We got on the ferry back to Holyhead about an hour early. Due to the time of day I took a little walk up on the top deck. It was cold and I was very tired having travelled across Ireland but the sunset was spectacular, the location might not have been the best, Dublin Port isn’t the most picturesque part of Dublin by a long way but the sunset was something quite magical and a fitting way to end my trip to Ireland.
Setting off late morning eastwards towards Dublin we prepared ourselves for a long journey. By mid afternoon it was definitely time for a break and we all felt like something to eat. We stopped at Strokestown (our half way point) but everywhere seemed a little quiet. We randomly drove through a fancy entrance to what looked like a posh house or park and it turned out to be Strokestown Park House. It had a lovely restaurant where we had a good bowl of soup and a chance to stretch our legs. The house is an 18th century mansion and within the estate was the famine museum which explains the circumstances of the Great Irish Famine of the 1840”s – sadly we didn”t have the time to look around the museum but it was a great pit stop.
It’s my last night in County Mayo before we head back home tomorrow morning so I thought it would be nice to watch the sunset. I did go down to get a sunset photo earlier in the week but it was a little too late for it, tonight I was a little early so I went swimming in Lough Mask. After much of this trip being based around it I thought it only fitting to swim in it. It wasn”t as cold as you would think for an Irish Lough and was very enjoyable. I took a photo of the sun all the same and it came out better than I had anticipated, in fact this photo is one of the first in a long time that I have not colour corrected in Photoshop.
Knock Shrine is a major pilgrimage site in the village of Knock in County Mayo, Ireland, where Catholics believe that there was an apparition of the Virgin Mary in 1879. It was visited by Pope John Paul II and has become one of Europe’s major Roman Catholic Marian shrines. Our Lay Queen of Ireland is the massive basilica that can be seen in the background of this photo below and can accommodate 10,000 people – a mass is held here every hour.