Earlier this semester, I visited Sligo county. I went with a group of NUin students, and we stayed at an ecolodge. Throughout the weekend, we did a variety of activities relating to Irish culture, especially that of Sligo. The ecolodge was located at an incredible spot on top of one of the many rolling mountains. The lodge was positioned so that on the solstices sunlight would enter the windows to create a streak of light through the center. This positioning is important as it is suppose to emulate the similar positioning of some of the cairns located in Sligo.
Over the weekend, we went on several hikes. On each of them, we saw different cairns. Although each was different in size, they all possessed similar qualities. They were always on top of a mountain, with an incredible surrounding view. Each was also associated with different myths and legends. The most remarkable was the one rumored to be the burial place of Queen Mauve. This cairn was the most massive, and required the most arduous hike. I was amazed to find out the ages of the cairns, which predate the pyramids. It seemed unimaginable to me the amount of work required to build such momentous structures without modern tools.
While we were hiking or canoeing, we were learning about Irish culture. One night a druid came to the lodge to discuss how the faith continues to be practiced today, and the logistically elements of the practice. We also listened to traditional Irish music, and listened to some myths and stories. We even learned some traditional Irish step dancing.
Overall, the weekend was a fun way to experience and further immerse myself in Irish culture. I enjoyed seeing the countryside, and seeing the different elements of Irish culture by region.