15 June 2014

Side Streets

Yesterday morning we went out for a walk. We went down one of the main roads we'd been down before, but this time we made it a point to take a stroll down the side streets just to see what is there. We hit a dead end every time, but we got to see some interesting things.

We came across this gym at the end of one of the side streets--we'd seen the signs in the past, but not the building. It seems so unlike gyms I have seen in the US, but there are so many old buildings around here and they are so sturdy. They do get reused. I hope the air circulation is good in there.
According to the sign, there's a lot happening inside, including indoor soccer (they use "soccer" instead of the usual "football" for some reason).

As we were heading back to the main road, we came across this tower behind the fire station. No idea what it once was.
It seems like these kinds of things are everywhere here--stone or concrete buildings with very thick walls which still stand with their roofs long gone and vegetation growing up from inside.

Back at the main road, we crossed the street and went in behind the building for the Ballinrobe Branch, Mayo County Council--it has a cool spiral staircase on the side:
Behind this building is what remains of the old workhouse, which now houses an upholstery shop, a photography studio, and a pie shop, which was, sadly, closed when we were there.
We took another right a bit further up the road and saw the signs for the "Men's Shed." Rose, the owner of the BnB we stayed at when we first arrived, told us about men's sheds before we moved to Ballinrobe. She said that they developed in order to help men make friends because they would often find themselves isolated and solitary. They take on various projects and stuff, I guess. We never did find out exactly where they meet. We came to a building that apparently is the home to a BMX bike club. There was a sign with an arrow pointing to the men's shed, and there was an actual little shed, but "little" is the important word there. If this is the shed where the men meet, then clearly not more than 2 of them meet at any one time!! There's no room for more than that. Or the shed could just be a place where stuff for the BMX bike track is stored and the men may have their "shed" elsewhere nearby--perhaps near the water towers that are the most visible landmark of the town as you come in from the south. We see them from our kitchen window and when it finally gets dark, which is after 11 these days, they are lit with a green light.
Shortly after this, we ran out of sidewalk on the main road and turned around to head back toward town. We stopped at SuperValu to stock up on some nectarines while they are on sale before heading home for lunch. According to Bill's pedometer, we took a 2 3/4 mile stroll up and down the little side streets off of Kilmaine Rd. It was grey and not too hot--quite a pleasant little walk!

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