Monday, September 5, 2011

Ireland Revisited: The Mountains of Mourne

Day 33 of 35: Sunday, September 5, 2010

Drifting in the rain on Carlingford Lough.

Postponed to last by circumstance, we finally drove up from Dublin toward Belfast and swerved right at Newry in County Down (UK) into the Mountains of Mourne. Diane had wanted to see this storied part of Ulster for a long time, and we had initially planned to go there early on in our trip, but circumstances kept pushing us back toward the end.

The day was wetly gray, and seemed played in a minor key. As we drove, we kept turning the car's radio on to get news of something we knew nothing about a few weeks before: the All-Ireland Hurling Final being played in Croke Park, Dublin. The match on this day, roughly the Superbowl of the GAA, was between Tipperary and perennial powerhouse Kilkenny. Both county colors -- black and amber for Kilkenny, blue and gold for Tipp -- had been on prominent display in flags and pennants all over both counties throughout our travels, and we couldn't help but get interested in what was going on. Tipp won in an upset.

In the Mountains of Mourne.

Southward-looking panorama from near Hilltown, County Down.

After a misty ramble through County Down’s highlands, we drove down southward toward the coast at Kilkeel:

… and then westward and northward along Carlingford Lough back toward Newry and the border, then back to the Republic. (Despite the sound of its name, Carlingford Lough is not a lake, but rather an inlet of the Irish Sea. It forms the easternmost part of the border between counties Louth and Down, between Leinster and Ulster, and thus at present between Ireland and the U.K.)

Deep water port equipment at Greenore, on the south side of Carlingford Lough, in the Republic.

Along our drive back through the rain to Dublin, we took a detour toward the border near Dundalk, looking for a settlement named Drumboat for our friend Ronnie Peterson, part of whose ancestry comes from there. We were not successful in locating the place, and rain was coming down so hard by then that we abandoned the search after wandering into Northern Ireland once again, but we know where to look next time!

More images from this rainy day in the mountains and around Carlingford Lough are available here.

Next: September 6, 2010 -- Dublin in the Rain
Previous: September 4, 2010 -- Moving Day
Beginning of the series: Prologue, August 2


Nostalgic for the Pleistocene said...

The skies in so many photos have been spectacular, but i admit to liking the misty, rainy ones a lot.

Yall need to get back there more often.

Sherwood Harrington said...

We wish.

But you touch on a great frustration: we've only seen Ireland in one season. Luckily, I now have Flickr "friends" in Ireland, through whose photos I can see scenes like this and this.

The latter one, Fran Molloy of Cork's spring view of the meadow at Birr Castle, is my current monitor wallpaper. If you look closely, you can see the stump of the grand old beech tree by the lake in it.

Nostalgic for the Pleistocene said...

Achingly beautiful, both of those photos by others. All the more reason to schedule a couple trips in other seasons! Do we get to see the piece of the beech tree that you brought back?