Today I headed up to Galway. I was going to go back to the coast before I went to Galway, but Steph suggested I head to Connemara instead. I ended up going through some of Yeats country, Joyce country, and found the bridge they used in "The Quiet Man". All quite by accident.
Connemara is beautiful!!! I can only imagine what it would be like in the summer and the hills backlit with a blue sky. Sheep dotting the hills more than the natural stones and an unexpected fjord! I ended up at Kylemore Abbey, which looked straight out of a movie. Steph says Ireland is like a theme park, and she's right. Everything here seems to be in technicolor and all of a sudden, around the next bend, something comes at you out of the blue. You don't need to find history, it finds you.
The thing I was most struck with is that the hills in Connemara are criss-crossed with rock walls. The hills in County Clare are gentle and rolling. These rise seemingly straight up from the ground, in golds and russets. Incredible stark beauty where one mountain pass leads into another. I am hopeful for better weather so I can go back.
Eventually the rain got so bad today I gave up and went back into Galway. I managed to locate my hotel fairly easily, got my room keys and the car parked. I decided to eat downstairs in the hotel, because I didn't want to walk and have to find somewhere. It was delicious! In honor of my journey, I had Connemara lamb shank. So good!!!
I went out for a walk after dinner, ended up in a pub with a glass of Guinness listening to some trad music. The city is full of bars and restaurants and cobblestone streets, with a pedestrian-only area. I'm staying right by Eyre Square, in the center of town. I desperately wanted some photos at night, so back to the hotel I went and grabbed my camera.
I ended up at a different bar this time, enjoying another glass of Guinness listening to a band cover some old songs (We Are Family) and new songs (Lucky by Daft Punk). I finished my glass and headed back to the hotel. I don't usually do too many full pints because those knock me out and I need to have my wits about me in unfamiliar surroundings. Can't wait to get up in the morning and wander around in the daylight. Also lots of shopping.
After I finish up wandering in the morning, I'm headed off to Newgrange to stay and visit the tombs there. Oh, and I might sneak in a visit to a distillery on the way over. We'll see what happens! Onto more adventuring tomorrow.