We traveled out west to visit some key contacts near Sligo and in Galway and took in some great sights along the way. It was an excellent and productive time of reconnecting with others engaged in ministry on the other coast and continuing to learn from them and their experience.
Before the first dinner meeting in one couples’s home on the 21st, we drove out to Sligo on the 20th so that we had some time to relax and do some sightseeing. The first night we stayed in a lovely bed and breakfast on the shore of Sligo Bay shown below. This first picture was similar to the one on their web site which attracted us to try it out as it had such a lovely view from the dining room.
This next picture gives a better view of the bay, taken from our bedroom window. You’ll notice that the owners also apparently provide B&B services for sheep 🙂
While in Sligo, we toured Sligo Abbey in the city center, pictured below. It was a key burial site for Sligo during the Irish Famine, so there were grave sites and headstones throughout the site. It’s always interesting to tour such sites and learn more about Irish history.
Since we had plenty of time to get to our dinner appointment we took a drive along the coast so that we could take in some of the beautiful scenery such as this coastal view.
We came across a beach resort town called Enniscrone, so we took the opportunity to walk the beach a bit and found it to be one of the most beautiful beaches we have ever seen.
We stayed at a Bed and Breakfast in Knock after a wonderful dinner and time of fellowship with friend Tim and Cathy in Kiltamagh. The B&B was being managed at the time by some Christian friends of theirs, so they made the arrangements for us. We did not realize until we arrived the significance of the location or the date though we were seeing some signs along the way that a significant religious event was occurring. We learned after arriving that it was the 134th anniversary of the appearance of an apparition at the local church and it is now one of the world’s major Catholic shrines (click on the image if you would like to learn more). There was a major event that evening while we were having dinner, so there was a continual stream of traffic leaving as we headed back from Kiltamagh to Knock that night. The church pictured is a larger capacity auditorium that was built next to the original church to house the huge number of pilgrims that come to the site each year. We took the time to tour the site and visit the museum there which was very enlightening.
On the way to Galway for our next meeting, we again had plenty of time to do more sightseeing and took the scenic route along the coast. Again there were beautiful views everywhere. We had been encouraged to travel by way of Croagh Patrick, which is known as the Holy Mountain, recognized as the site where St Patrick tended sheep when captured and brought to Ireland as a young boy. It is a popular pilgrimage site where many Irish come to climb to the top of the mountain. Patti and I were not that adventurous, but we did walk part of the way, up to the point where they had a statue of St Patrick. It was an absolutely gorgeous view from there as you can see from this picture.
There were more absolutely beautiful views as we continued to drive through the mountains and along lakes.
And as usual, you can always expect to see sheep feeding right next to the road, especially in the country.
In Galway, we had a wonderful visit with our contacts who have previously led a CBSI study as part of their ministry and hope to get another one going in the future.
Hope you enjoy these bits of Irish beauty 🙂