Our day in County Cork ended at beautiful Gougane Barra National Park, Ireland’s first national park, which opened in 1966. The park extends over 1,000 acres of beautiful wild scenery.
Gouganne Barra is in a lovely area with waterfalls cascading down the green hills.
But the centerpiece of the park is St. Finbarr’s Oratory, a pretty small chapel located on an island in Gouganne Barra Lake. We saw a wedding party there that day. The chapel commemorates the early Christian monastery founded by St. Finnbar, patron saint of County Cork. The monastery was later moved to Cork city.
We stopped for a delicious lunch beside Lake Gouganne Barra, and when we wandered around afterwards, we discovered this pretty Collie looking for someone to play with. Several of us stood around and tossed a stick for the dog to chase.
As I write this, I’m listening to Celtic Thunder Heritage on public television and feeling even more nostalgic than usual about our day in County Cork. One of these days I’ll go back. Here’s a Celtic Thunder video for you to enjoy, if you’re like me and love Irish music.