Sunday, January 30, 2011

Silent Valley

Yesterday we took a little trip to Silent Valley which is at the foot of the Mourne Mountains. It is about an hour drive south from Belfast. We saw some more of the beauty of Northern Ireland.
The Silent Valley is a water reservoir which was built to gather water from the mountains to supply water for most of County Down and a large part of Belfast.
The project began in 1923 and took 30 years of work to complete. They built Mourne wall around the Mourne catchment area starting in 1904. The wall stands 8 feet high and is 3 feet wide and is 22 miles long and connects the summits of 15 mountains. Looking up at the wall reminded me a bit of "The Lord of Rings" movies.
The Mourne Mountains are made mostly of granite with little natural minerals which doesn't provide opportunities for many plants to grow. It supports plants such as heather and grasses that can live in acidic conditions. This is a definite difference from the Cascades but it was a beauty none the less.
The reservoir grounds are open to the public and have many walking trails, parks, lakes, and ponds.
There is also a tea room where we stopped to warm up with tea, hot chocolate, and coffee. The perfect ending to a beautiful day.

1 comment:

  1. Brr!!! Bet the Tea and hot chocolate were welcome at the end of the hiking adventure. Let me know when the Irish green starts to bloom out on the hillsides! Do you have bulb starts yet?