Anniversary Adventures in North Mayo

After our vow renewal, we changed clothes in the car and headed off to our next adventure!  We went to the coast to walk along some epic cliffs!

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Before you get anywhere near the ocean at Downpatrick Head, there are huge signs warning of peril and instability of the land you are walking on.  That is because these aren’t just cliffs.  The ocean has eroded tunnels into the sides of the cliffs, that go as far as 500 meters into the land.  We got to observe amazing blowholes!

In this blowhole, Poll Na Seantainne, you can see sunlight reflecting from the other end, but the other end was a very long walk away!  It’s really cool to see and hear waves crashing here.

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Along the walk to the ocean, we visited a church St. Patrick, himself, founded.

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Also notice, this is the first and only day we got to wear the jackets we lugged all over Ireland.  We had promised the boys this weather, and they finally got to see it!

This is the beautiful sea stack, (meaning broken fort).  It is gorgeous the way it looks sliced off from the land like a piece of cake.  The boys love the legend of St. Patrick striking the ground with his crozier when a pagan chieftain refused to convert to Christianity, splitting the headland off into the ocean with the chieftain on top.  Someone recently climbed to the top if this!

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The caves/tunnels in the sides of these sheer cliffs are just gorgeous!

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The boys loved watching this fisherman pull up multiple fish at a time.

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This spot is also home to an old stone World War II lookout post (can be seen in first image, at beginning of post).  The ground still has large lettering spelling out “Eire” for aircraft to see.

It was an incredible creation of nature with some great history.  So glad we visited.

Oh, and the food truck had a Lionel Richie poster that said, “Hello…. Is it tea you’re looking for?”  We thought it was pretty awesome.

 

For our anniversary dinner, we ate at Belleek Castle.  It seemed to be well-known for its amazing food.  The tables around us were couples sampling the menu for the wedding they were planning there.  We saw a steak brought to a table on a sword, then lit on fire, tableside.  The food was definitely a little more interesting than typical Irish cuisine.

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While refreshing ourselves in the bar built like a ship, we saw a flyer for live music in town that very night.  So, after dinner, we headed over.  It was wonderful!  We were greeted at the door by the owner, who gave us front row seats.  He brought the children crisps.  My hubby went to the bar to get me my traditional Bulmers and a patron at the bar paid for it.  That same guy later came and gave each of our kids a fiver!

The music was awesome!  It was traditional Mayo music, and the accordions were brilliant!  Then a musician pulled out a tin whistle, and I was just amazed at how fast she played.  The musicians shared a bodhran with each of the boys.   They announced our anniversary, and some lads started singing Hotel California.  I had been hoping to catch a live session while in Ireland, but I didn’t expect to be so welcomed and included.  We’ll never forget it!

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It was the best ending to a very special day!