Friday, January 15, 2010


Monday, September 15, 2003 On the road again heading towards County Mayo

Today we have Seat number 21; we’re getting closer to the front every day! Breakfast at 7:45 am and the bus left at 8:45 am; overcast most of the morning. The sun attempted to shine but too many clouds.

Our first stop this morning was at The Ulster American Folk Park just outside of Omagh. We were there from 10 am to 11:45 am. A very interesting Museum following by a walking tour of actual buildings that were moved into the site; starting with the very earlier Irish homes, up to late 19th Century. The earliest homes had dirt floors and those built at the end had tile floors, and many amenities, but small in size. Then we were in a miniature town representing Londonderry from where most of the immigrants left for Scotland, England, Australia, Canada and America. They even had a live horse in the stables. Then we walked into the loading dock and a “ship” showing the living conditions of the “coffin” ships that they lived on for two to four months at sea. From this area we walked into the “new world” and 19th century in the United States. There were Log cabins, barns, pumpkins & cornfields. A maple tree had leaves that were turning bright red.

We then boarded the bus and continued southwest along the shores of the Louch Erne to the town of Fermanagh and Belleek Factory. Here they make the famous Belleek China and figurines. Had lunch in the cafeteria, spent some money in the gift shop; a Christmas ornament with the Irish Blessing. The actual tour was through a working factory. The people generally apprentice for two to three years and then are paid by the piece. Even Mary, who has been around pottery making for years in Wisconsin, found it interesting.

We were at the Belleek factory from about 1 to 3 pm. As soon as we returned to the bus the rain commenced in earnest as we drove southwest. We had a photo stop at William B. Yeats grave at Drumcliff Churchyard. His wife is buried in the same plot. Her name is George Yeats; she dropped the “i” from her name of Georgie and is known for eternity as George. Here is a bit of his poetry:

HAD I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

W.B. Yeats (1865–1939)

Back on the bus, we traveled on through the village of Sligo to see the statute of William Yeats. We also saw many soldiers on duty in the village with rifles. Then off to the main highway and our home for the night: Breaffy House located in County Mayo in the city of Castlebar. Yes…we’re officially out of Northern Ireland as of tonight! Time to put away the English Sterling Pounds and get out the Euro as we’ve arrived in the Republic of Ireland.

No comments: