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1 October 2013

From Misty Cliffs to Sunny Glencolumcille

On this first day of October it looks like a change in weather pattern. Our intent was to visit the Slieve League Cliffs to include some reverence to Aine, and explore some of Glencolumbkille. The weather forecast was not great and only 5 of us set off to brave the day.

Reaching close to Slieve League it was wise to take a bathroom stop below Cnoc Aine

When we reached the Slieve League cliffs it was a mighty gust present. Can anyone pick out Miss Marple who came along with us?

Surprisingly, this is the first time Slieve League has been misty considering all of the times I have visited here.

 

 

 

Our intended stay of an hour or two was cut short to about 10 minutes

There was still an attraction to here, and all day the women reflected back to this very short time as actually being a highlight of their entire adventures.

At this moment, though, a desire for coffee somewhere seem to be stronger.

The request was to stop in at the Ti Linn cafe and gift shop, a large establishment at the base of the new widened Slieve League Cliffs road.

I was surprised how this had now become quite a CIE tour buses depot now

We saw at least 5 CIE buses come and go. There is also a network of minibuses that CIE travellers transfer to here to get to the cliffs.

There is also a 'no vans' sign at the start of the Slieve League road, which I totally ignored. We did face minibuses coming the opposite direction going to the cliffs and returning, and they seem to be a bit grumpy about us being there.

I hope this will not turn into an exclusive minibus network similar to the Newgrange operation.

I was also uncomfortable within the Ti Linn cafe. I found the woman serving us was not welcoming but quite bossy, intimidating, and even rude to our travellers. There was an air of 'I'm in charge, don't question me' rather than warm and kind hospitality that is usually the normal response around ireland. I think I will try to avoid there in future.

Slieve League Cliffs are currently a much more superior experience to a Cliffs of Moher visit. I hope it stays that way.

After a quick warm up, we were off to Glencolumbkille, and despite the following pics, there was actually a bit of sun out over Glencolumbkill :-)

There is a 15 station Turas pilgrimage walk of ancient sites from the monastic time here and pre-monastic times. We visited a few of them.

First stop was Turas 3, a carved stone on a mound, with the carving being quite Germanic Monastic, probably brought here by Saxon students or trades people long ago

 

Then it was off to one of my favourite spots, Turas 7, the cairn well, Columcille's Well. A bit of a climb, especially in strong wind, but it was dry and sun trying to shine on us.

 

The well water was a bit low, as we are finding at many of these wells

 

I love the quartz stones that still remain at this cairn

 

I climbed a bit higher against the wind, to get some shots of the curved quarter moon shape of this cairn

 

Now, back down the hill and across some fields to the collection named Turas 5, which includes some cairns with standing stone cross remains on them

 

 

A chapel remains that some of the girls stayed in awhile protected from the wind and with the sun warming their faces.

 

All snugly fitted into a couple of fairy rings

 

 

 

Before we leave, a visit to Turas 10, a holed standing stone that many speak of as having a wooden post through the hole to turn it into a cross. That is not an explanation that makes sense to me as tone masons could easily make a stone cross.

 

 

To me this is one of the few surviving mating stones where couples would entice each other to share putting their fingers through the hole. When such attraction was bonded the union was consummated and if offspring came from this then their union was bonded ... much like how the lifelong relationship of some bird species happen.

 

I placed my finger through the hole in the stone ... But there was not much response.

Watch this blog for a continuity of this myth story and tradition ...

Before we leave Glencolumcille, a quick browse down a lane of several large dolmens in fields.

 

 

and this beautiful big quartz stone that must have been part of one of these dolmens at some point.

 

 

Next stop, a place of shopping !!!

 

 

 

 

 

and an essential book to read (you may need to zoom in on the title)

 

Darkness starts to arrive. It was planned to stop at the Baskin's fish and chips cafe on the return but the hotel restaurant was very good the evening before, plus it was very nice to meet up again with those who did not join us on today's adventure.

Again the evening meal at Sand House hotel was excellent, same menu, and a grand day had been enjoyed by all who had adventured or stayed behind.