There was no shortage of rain during my quick trip to Ireland this month. Glencar Waterfall in County Leitrim was particularly impressive after so much precipitation. Plenty of water cascaded over the falls, even if the foggy light was less than optimal for photos.
On the drive to the waterfall I stopped by Glencar Lough to snap these gray shots of the lovely lake.
Just 8 miles north of Sligo town, the drive to the waterfall takes you through beautiful scenery along the foot of Ben Bulben and the shores of Glencar Lough.
Despite being overcast and wet, the lake rippled romantically in the gloom.
The car park greeter wore a wet, woolly coat.
Sheep grazed on the soggy shores of the lake. The car park opposite the falls overlooks the lake where I took this shot of the flock.
The waterfall is just a short walk from the car park. The sound of rushing water fills your ears. As I crossed the road I felt my heart quicken in expectation. Waterfalls are beautiful, and no matter how many waterfalls you ever see in a lifetime, the prospect of another veil of cascading water always makes the heart sing.
And as I worked my way along the wooded path, my heart galloped in sync with the thundering water.
I remembered the words of Yeats’ poem, The Stolen Child, which immortalized this mystical place.
“Where the wandering water gushes
From the hills above Glen-Car,
In pools among the rushes
That scarce could bathe a star,
We seek for slumbering trout
And whispering in their ears
Give them unquiet dreams;
Leaning softly out
From ferns that drop their tears
Over the young streams.”
“Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.”
I stood at the top of the wet steps, leaning on the fence watching the lacy froth of the glorious plunge pool. Glencar is magical, just as Yeats proclaimed. Wandering along the looping paths, breathing the finely misted air you can’t help but imagine the faeries dancing here at night.
The previous time I visited Glencar I was probably only ten years old. Back then the path to the waterfall was muddy and treacherous. The new decking, bridges, and beautifully maintained paths make this wonderful place accessible to those who are not so nimble of foot.
Some purists may believe the natural beauty of the waterfall is somewhat eclipsed by all the levels of decking, but I thought it was very tastefully done.
As you say goodbye to the waterfall don’t forget there are some wonderful hiking trails for the more adventurous. Wooded trails wind through the trees, meandering in loops up the steep incline along the flanks of Ben Bulben, and finally emerging over the waterfall.
This trip I had no time to take the rocky path to the top, but next time….. Yes, next time I hope to scale those mysterious heights.
Slán agus beannacht leat!
(Goodbye and blessings)
Irish American Mom