On our trip to County Waterford that we won back in 2013, my husband Bill and I  decided to take some extra days and trek northwest while in Ireland, to see the Knock Cathedral in County Mayo. After passing through Waterford we headed up through Tipperary and Offaly before heading into the beautiful Counties of Galway and Mayo, which of course are part of the Wild West of Ireland! We passed through many quaint and colourful towns and villages, velvety green patchwork fields and rolling hills, country farms and cottages, cows and sheep grazing on the greenest of grasses, and glimpses of distant mountains here and there along the way, life as it is in the interior of Ireland's western counties. We never ceased to admire the lush growth and colourful blooms that seemed to just burst out uncontainably everywhere, along the roadsides, up telephone poles, cascading from window sills and street gardens - it was so lovely to experience! Coming from where we live in a city of half a million people in Southern Ontario, Canada, we just thoroughly enjoyed the country drive and the most delightful scenery!

Our pilgrimage ended in the little town of Knock in County Mayo, made famous by the apparitions of the Virgin Mary, St. Joseph and St. John the Evangelist to 15 people on 21 August 1879, after which a Basilica and Museum were built near the Church where it happened. It now remains one of Europe's major Catholic Shrines! The site is beautifully decorated with flowers and statues around the perfectly manicured grounds and is a place of wonderful peacefulness and beauty as you can see from these photos I have included.

We truly fell in love with the Emerald Isle and hope to travel back to the West of Ireland some day soon and visit the coast, making the entire Wild Atlantic Way drive this time, to experience the inherent thrill of that amazing looking adventure! It certainly gives us something to dream about!

Tell us why YOU want to experience the ‘Wild West’ of Ireland, and you might win a free 9-day trip there, courtesy of Wild West Irish Tours and WOW Air. Get the details!

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Tags: Knock, Mayo, Pilgrimage, Tourism, Travel, West

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