My last few days in the Republic of Ireland were filled with trips to the northern area and more days of rain. Galway was a vibrant city. Eyre’s Square, Shop Street, River, Spanish Arch: lots of young people everywhere. I really enjoyed some live music at the Murty Rabbits, where I also had a disappointing stew – everybody warned me Ireland’s food was not the greatest…
In County Mayo we visited Cong, where John Wayne filmed “The Quiet Man”, Cong Abbey, and Ashford Castle, a 5-five hotel/medieval castle. On our away out we also went to the Country Life museum, which had many artifacts from life in Ireland.
We only stopped at County Donegal for a day, but it was one of my favorites not only because of its spectacular views but also because it is the home of the fiancé’s ancestors. We went to Grianan of Aileach, a circular structure from the 7th century CE atop a hill from where you can see 3 different counties. It was very windy, but we warmed up by having some food and Guinness at Leo’s Tavern, the bar of Irish singer Enya and her family. We also stopped by Glenveagh Castle, built in 1870. It’s inside a national park and it has beautiful gardens. We toured the castle, a retreat for the rich and famous like Charlie Chaplin and Marilyn Monroe, but couldn’t take any pictures of the inside.
County Sligo was very dreamy – I had a coffee while watching the waves and the rain at Strandhill Beach. I definitely see where W.B. Yates got inspiration from. We visited the Irish poet’s grave that says “Cast a cold eye on life, on death. Horseman, pass by!” And life goes on… now to Northern Ireland!