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Cº Westmeath
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travelogue, 5.19
Westmeath Tourist Trails
Choose Ireland

putting coins in the Tree that Will Not Burn

One of the most amusing days in Ireland was our quest to see the Seven Wonders of Fore. Fore is a tiny little town near Castlepollard. It has the ruins of an abbey just off the main road, but the big draw is are the Seven wonders -- which are a fun collection of weird folktales and word-play. The wonders are supposed miracles performed by St. Fechin.

Looking down on the Wonders of Fore

There is a wealth of great hking trails around the valley (indeed, one of the wonders -- the Water that Runs Uphill -- is a goodly hike over the hill and through the woods. All of the wonders are fairly normal things, but the power of folklore is that people continue to embellish things.

The tower of Fore Abbey

The Seven Wonders are:

  1. The Water that Will Not Boil
  2. The Wood that Will Not Burn
  3. The Monastery Built on a Bog
  4. The Mill Without a Trace
  5. The Lintel Stone No Man Could Lift
  6. The Water that Runs Uphill
  7. The Anchorite in a Cell

If you ask me, they're stretching thigns a bit for that Seventh wonder, but it's all in fun now. The "wonders are clustered along the road just outside of town -- you can refresh yourself in one of the pubs in town and then head out to walk around the wonders themselves.

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skellig bay
lost in ireland 2005 travelogue and photos © rfingerson