Saturday, 5 January 2013

Holidays ... part four.

The Mournes!
They've got to rank as one of the most beautiful places on earth.  Percy French's song comes to mind ... "Where the Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea".  There's a sculpture of him in the Percy French restaurant in Newcastle.
That's a good place to go (though not cheap for coffee) after you've had a walk on the windy promenade. There you find Charles Normandale's fine sculpture, Tails of Flight, that marks the pioneer flight by Harry Ferguson along Newcastle beach.
Eliot enjoyed the whole experience and takes a rest on the steps up to the Slieve Donard hotel.
 His interest was much more in the large number of dogs being walked rather than in the sculpture or the mountains!  And he enjoyed time in the sea and on the sand.
 If you look closely you'll notice a fair bit of rubbish on the beach ... in the summer time the beach is kept clean but during the winter months all sorts of debris is washed up or thrown down.
Ranking a close second to time at the seaside is ... running in the hills!
Just a few miles out of Kilkeel is Crocknafeola ... the Mountain of the Meat .... and here there are smells and trails to excite any dog ... and Eliot certainly follows his nose all over the place!

 These shots probably don't need much commentary.  All over the place he rushed backwards and forwards.  Everywhere looks dry here ... but we came across many parts where the path was totally under water and the black organic-rich mud was deep and slippery.  One very tired and dirty dog returned home!
There's no doubt that he had fun and got exercised!
At Hanna's Close he was left in the car while I took a look around at the well kept area around the traditional houses.
 It is all very neat and tidy ... though the road to get there sometimes leaves a bit to be desired!  The ruts are deep and the potholes many ... after the rains we've had ... the car came out a bit of a mess!
However, it was worth taking a look around and reading some of the information available about the house and the Clan Hanna.

These ditches have been standing for a long time ... typical of the area.  There's a great skill in getting the stones to fit so well that you don't need to use any small pieces to plug the gaps. 

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