On our Best of Ireland Trafalgar Tour, we began the day by driving to Knock. And yes, knock-knock jokes raged through the bus.

At the Marian Shrine in Knock, fourteen witnesses saw an apparition of Mary. The vision lasted two hours in the pouring rain outside the back wall of the cathedral, behind the altar. A glass enclosure was built to allow worshippers to pray behind the cathedral.

Marian Shrine at the cathedral in Knock.

This is the front of the cathedral.

Inside the cathedral at Knock.

Handsome pauses by a wall made of stone and coral.

We stopped at Drumcliff to see Yeat’s tombstone and the cathedral.

Yeats headstone at Drumcliff.

Inside the cathedral at Drumcliff.

The cathedral at Drumcliff.

We stopped at Donegal for shopping and lunch. Castle Donegal is a planter castle. Castle Donegal in Gaelic is Caisleán Dhún na nGall. We didn’t have time to climb around this castle, so we grabbed lunch instead.

Donegal Castle.

The tide was out in Donegal.

The town of Sligo, which is Sligeach in Gaelic, was built around a ring fort. It is an active shipping port. A Neolithic tomb at Carrowmore, near Sligo, at the top of Knocknarea hill is said to be the burial place of Queen Medb, or Maeve. She is the warrior queen of Connacht in Celtic mythology. Fifty-percent of Europe’s stone age art is in Ireland. The bogs preserve artifacts. This place is an archeologist’s dream. To see more about ancient ruins, click here.

Ancient stone walls mark property lines.

The lump at the top of the hill is the burial site of Queen Maeve.

Giant windmills dotted the hills.

 

The Clayton Hotel in Sligo looks like a castle on the outside. We stayed there overnight.

The Clayton Hotel in Sligo.

The Clayton Hotel in Sligo.

We elected to go on the optional Sligo scenic drive and dinner and we were very pleased we did. The drive took us closer to a castle as seen from the shore. We saw the harbor where the IRA bomb killed Lord Mountbatten and members of his family. We dined at Harrison’s Bar and Restaurant. An amazing meal.

A lovely castle near Sligo.

The harbor where Lord Mountbatten and his family’s boat launched before being blown up by an IRA bomb.

The owner of Harrison’s Bar and Restaurant greeted our group.

Thus, we collapse at the end of our day. We have one day left of our Best of Ireland Trafalgar Tour.