Not too far from the bustling, charming town of Westport in County Mayo, Ireland lies the most grand, stunning strand. There are few signs but for the lure of the water. If one is lucky enough, The Silver Strand awaits…
This day, this day is one of my favorite memories of our recent trip. We had a free day due to the abundance of good weather! We didn’t know what we wanted to do but I remembered overhearing some guests at breakfast mention a place called the Silver Strand. They took a ride out and had a picnic there. Perfect! We both agreed that we wanted days on this trip to be quiet with not a lot of driving or touring necessarily. We had three weeks so it didn’t need to be breakneck at all times.
We didn’t have an exact location on the map as it displayed just the main things for touring the area but we figured, it can’t be that far. We headed west toward Louisburgh on the coast thinking we would eventually see signs. After a few turns (and turn arounds) I spotted a tiny sign that simply said “Silver Strand.” That must be it! We drove through the rugged landscape for a good bit before we could finally see the water. Ah! This must be the way! For anyone touring rural Ireland, it’s always a bit farther than you think… Then we got onto an extremely tight, winding, one-lane dirt road. Buses don’t go here, right?! Once we got high enough, we saw her.
People asked while we were still visiting and then when we got home, “What was your favorite spot?” And while I always said, “Gee, that’s a tough one,” The Silver Strand popped into my head every time. There was something so grand about the space. Peaceful. Beyond peaceful. And we were alone. There were a few cars in the parking area but we didn’t see anyone else! Sublime. And the sun was absolutely radiant that afternoon; It shone upon every blessed grain of sand and each molecule of water for us.
The strand is massive! After looking around and incredulously at each other a few times, we started walking toward the water. Twirling around every few steps, we took in the stunning scene around us. Our mouths were agape. This is Ireland? The sun was scorching! I used the umbrella we kept in the car as a parasol! (You can’t imagine how many people looked at me smiling throughout the trip for using it this way!)
After reaching the shore, we headed up those soft, fuzzy dunes. And then it got even more beautiful. (Is this Hawaii?)
Someday when someone asks me to imagine my happy place, this is where I will go.