Sunday, March 27, 2011
Connermara, Galway, and the Aran Islands
I can't believe it was only yesterday we drove down from Westport through Connemara to our hotel in Salthill which is just outside Galway on the "beach." It's like a mini-mini Myrtle Beach here. Our hotel is very nice and very comfortable, but there are tour buses coming in, and tonight being Sunday, all the wrinklies are here for music and "dance" in the bar. I'm not sure what that is about, but maybe ballroom dancing????? Yesterday, when we arrived, there were tons of kids in the lobby from little ones to high school age. I don't know what that was about either - maybe the first weekend of spring or something. We prefer the wrinklies. They are much more quiet.
Connermara is a remarkable countryside - with lots of rocky landscape, not much green, and high rocky cliffs and mountains on either side of the road. We stopped at Croagh Patrick, but didn't have five hours to do the pilgrimage up and down, and then drove on to Leeanne, getting lost only once, and having lunch in a small pub there. It reminds us a lot of NZ. We arrived here at the Galway Bay Hotel about 2:00 p.m. The broadband connection in our room wasn't working, although a hotel "porter" (geek) tried to fix it. Tonight, it is now connected, so I guess he did something right. We ate dinner in the hotel - not great, but expensive.
Today, we got up early and took the ferry from Rossaveal to the largest of the Aran Islands. It was amazing. The scenery is unlike anything we have seen before. Lots of rocks! In fact, there are 7000 miles of rock walls - enough to reach to NY and back. They are all dry stack walls, and you can see light between the stacking. The fort on top of 400 foot cliffs is amazing, too. Back to the hotel about 6:30, and we hopped in a cab and went into Galway for a seafood supper and to hear traditional Irish music in pubs. Great evening. What a birthday! Thank you for all your very wonderful wishes.
The Knockranny Hotel, which was gorgeous and wonderful, in Westport is the top picture. Then, Croagh Patrick, and the Loo Lough (Black Lake in Connemara) and a dog reading the menu outside a pub in Salthill. Smart dogs here in Ireland.
I'll do photos of Aran Island and Galway tomorrow. Hopefully, this broadband connection is fixed for the morning. Then, we are off to Dromoland Castle for Monday night. It's been a whirlwind tour.