Sligo

20 Oct

It was an incredible experience to be able to leave the hustle and bustle of Dublin and spend a quite weekend in Sligo. Our group stayed in the Gyreum, which was a circular building that was incredibly eco-friendly and energy efficient. We had to be especially conscious of our water usage and that included using an environmentally friendly toilet outside which was really only a bucket and saw dust. There was also no Wi-Fi and so it was extremely refreshing and a great way to bond with new people.

The first night we arrived and were almost immediately served a home cooked meal. Having a break from cooking my own food was probably one of my favorite aspects of the trip. All the meals were warm, delicious, and much better than what I would have been making myself back in Dublin. We then all had the chance to all hang around and play board games and watch movies.

The next morning we got up bright and early for a hike up to the burial tomb of Queen Maeve. It’s a megalithic Irish tomb and is especially intriguing because it’s never been opened. It was especially cool to be able to see something so old and at the same time so preserved. After walking back down from the tomb we drove to the shore where we were given lunch, and then had the option of either kayaking or surfing. I chose to surf and it was an awesome experience. I was nervous at first because it was freezing outside and I had never been surfing before. I had nothing to worry about though. The wet suits kept us all warm and it was a lot of fun. I found it especially interesting that we were surfing in a place that seemed so far from what I was used to people surfing in, especially seeing as we were told that it was one of the best places to surf in Europe.

That night, after another home cooked meal, we met a Druid and listened Irish folk music performed by a local music group. The Druid was incredibly interesting to listen to as she told us about the history of the Druids and her life as one. The Irish music was performed by a group of young kids our own age and was incredible. We then went out onto the roof of the Gyreum where we were able to watch the stars.

The next morning we went on another hike to see even more tombs, however these were opened. We were able to crawl inside and see what they were really like. I really enjoyed being able to see both sides of ancient Irish burial tombs. We then went to a donkey rehabilitation center where we were able to see tons of donkeys. While there are many donkeys in Ireland, they aren’t native to the land, or adapted to the conditions and constant rain and therefore can easily become sick or injured. It was a very unique but neat place to see.

After this we began the drive home, and although I was ready to return to civilization, I really enjoyed my weekend in Sligo and would definitely go back.

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