Sunday, October 4, 2015

Knocknarea and Donney Rock

Climbing Kkocknarea with Sligo in the distance.

Today we climbed to the top of Knocknarea, near Sligo.  A large flat mesa, it seems to have been a major place of ritual and meeting in the Neolothic era. There is a large cairn on top believed to be the grave of Queen Maeve, 200' long and 40' wide. It is believed to date around 3000 BCE.  WB Yeats refers to Knocknarea as "The land of heart's desire". It took us about 40 minutes to climb the 1078 feet, some of it rather steep, rocky and treacherous to an old lady (or so I'm told). The views along the way of Sligo and Lough Gill are spectacular.  It was very windy at the summit, and we sought the leeward side of the cairn to have our picnic where there was a fine view of the Atlantic Ocean. We ran into David, another guest at Coopershill. 
Wayne approaching the summit and Queen Maeve's Cairn
Back in the car we headed for Dooney Rock the setting for Yeats' poem, The Fiddler of Dooney. The small dale there that fronts Lough Gill was deep and green. We were satisfied to simply reach the Lough, listen to the lake water sounds lapping low on the shore and skip the kilometer walk to the rock. 
Wayne in the glen approaching Lough Gill
Dinner tonight was again at Coopershill. We asked David to join us. He was entertaining enough. A publisher of English origin who now lives in Stockholm, he had a great deal to say about technology, Jeff Bezos and the demise of the printed page. The fare was duck tonight.