Weather wet, cold and very windy. 100km/winds
We decided to go to LISSADELL house because it was inside. We arrived early and were the first to take the tour at 1030am with our charming guide Joanne.
We learned so much from this delightful young woman about the house and it's history and also about Irish history. Well worth the E6 entry fee.
The house belonged to the Anglo-Irish, Gore-Booth family who lost alot of their fortune giving famine relief and passage to Canada to the farmers during the middle of the 1800's. It was the childhood home of Constance Markieviez and her sister Eva Gore-Booth who were both talented artists and Eva was a poet and the house is filled with their art and also poetry and art of others envolved with the family.
The sisters were both republican and politically active and Constance was one of the leaders of the ill fated 1916 uprising against British rule in Dublin.
The house is being restored by two Dublin barristers who are trying very hard to make this a very attractive place to visit.
Despite the freezing cold we had a wonderful and interesting visit to Lassadell house, we didn't walk around the gardens too much because of the weather but it must be beautiful in summer. Of course we had a pot of tea in the teashop and a tasty home made cake. The teashop is also decorated with lots of documents telling the story of the Gore-Booth family and again I learned alot. There is also a new exhibition hall with more memorabilia of constance Markieviez and the 1916 Easter rising.
Taking in the wildness and ruggedness of this coastine we then drove back to the N17 and because the weather was so bad we decided to drive up the coast to see a coastal town, with Benbuben on our right and the coast on our left we drove north to Bundoran.
The roads seem excellent and well maintained and there was only light traffic by UK standards. It may be heavier in the summer. They have the very good idea of a "slow lane" on the inside where you can move over to let people pass if you are taking your time, as we were, or for the heavy vehicles.
I didn't experience any impatience or road rage, and nobody tailgated me. Every time someone passed they blinked thier indicators to say thank you.
BUNDORAN was dissapointing. There is nothing more bleak than an out of season holiday resort on a cold wet windy day. Our hope of a walk along the front were dashed because the sand was blowing up in our eyes.
The only saving grace was a cup of hot chocolate in a smart little CAFE in CENTRAL ST down by the side of the Grand Central Hotel. Also my husband got to have a bet in the bookies!
So we made our way back in awful weather to Sligo calling at YEATS GRAVE in the church at DRUMCLIFFE. There is a visitor centre where we had tea and scones and sells memorabillia and an art gallery.
Near the Clarion Hotel we called breifly at the Famine Graveyard which we had passed every day and it intrigued me. This had been the mass grave for the victims of the famine in 1845-1847 and is now a sort of memorial garden. There is a very sriking statue of a tree as you enter the garden and for me it was a place to contemplate the hisory of the area and all the people who left. There is also a statue of people saying goodbye on the Quay car park known as the famine memorial, this is where thousands of people boarded ships to escape the famine.
At the Clarion lots of people were arriving for weekend conferences and still the rain came down!
In the evening we went out to a resturant that had been recommended to us called LAURAS in Carney on the way to Lassadell house. We were not dissapointed. Lauras looks like a typical village bar from ouside but inside you are taken to an extension at the back and treated to a great dining experience. They do specialise in fish but also sell organic chicken and other meat dishes.
We had Moules marinier to share, warm soda bread with chutney.Fillets of lemon sole wrapped around crabmeat, and saffron sauce. Hake in prawn sauce both accompanied by creamed potatoes and a plate of fresh veg, parsnip, cabbage, carrots, rattatoe. We were so full we passed on the puds but they looked delicious on the next table. With tea (no problem with tap water here they brought it without asking) the bill was E58 VERY good value for that quality of food and service. There was a good ambiance and very efficient and friendly staff. This was the best dining experience of the trip.
Back to the hotel to pack as we were leaving to drive back to the airport at 7am.
You have to pay a E10 "development fee" each to the airport when you are flying out of Knock.
We stayed at The Clarion Hotel (4 star) and paid £67(pounds) per night room only.We had breakfast in the hotel one day which cost E18.We were given a suite which was lovely and the double rooms also looked just as nice only smaller and they also had big beds.
Car hire.Booked through Argus rentacar.com in association with cartrawler. We were quoted £73.25pounds for a type 2 car for 5 days. It did say on the confirmation that "this does not include any optional rental extras"BEWARE this sentance!
We hired the car from Irish Car Rentals and when we picked it up we were asked if we wanted to insure the E1200 excess on the insurance, Because I was so ill I agreed to this at E15 per day (E1200 seemed alot if we had a crash). We have also been charged E6.60 road tax, E25 LOC surcharge (whatever that is)and VAT and so the total bill is nearer to E200 or £170 pounds. I'm not happy about this and will complain to the company as it is not clear what extra charges will be made.
Petrol was E1.18 per litre.
BEST THING ABOUT MY TRIP. Meeting the Irish people. Everywhere we went we found VERY friendly and helpful people who would go out of thier way for you.
I think Lassadell house was also a highlight because I learned so much.
THING I WOULD CHANGE. Perhaps go in a different season and the flu seriously hampered our ability to go walking which we had planned. There lots of places I didn't see so I will have to go back. I think a visit to Bundoran should be made in the summer.
THANKS to everyone who posted advice to me on this forum the information came in very useful.
If you have read all this trip report I hope you enjoyed it. Sorry for any spelling and grammar mistakes.