We've been to Gougane Barra, translated the Rock of St. Finbarr, before. In fact, one of my most treasured possessions is an oil painting of the little church on the lake which was painted for me, from a photograph as a Christmas present, by the wife of one of my employees many, many years ago. So, it seemed fitting to make a return trip to the little church.
St. Finbarr is the patron saint of Cork and it's believed he once had his hermitage here amidst the spectacular mountain scenery. Many tree species can be found in the area and it's great to walk around the forest park. The dark waters of the lake lap up against the high cliffs. Fishermen were trying their hand at the lake edge; we didn't see anyone catch anything.
After wandering around and seeing the inside of the tiny church, we took the circle drive in the car around the park. Then, we got out and walked through the park to the headwaters of the River Lee. A light rain mist started to fall and we retreated to the comfort of the local cafe for a light lunch and coffee.
This is a small community; it was Holy Communion day and only two children were conferred with the holy sacrament, a testimony to the size of the area.
We drove out of the mist and rain shower and headed home. It was a wonderful day and a nice trip back to a place we had visited long, long ago.
We took one more detour on the route following the signposts to the spot at Bealnablagh where Michael Collins was killed in an ambush in 1922. If you've seen the movie that tells the story of one of Ireland's famous sons, the spot would look familiar.