Friday, October 21, 2011

Photo Friday // Ireland: Day Six – Connemara Region & Galway

On day six we set out from our B&B in Galway to explore more of the rural Irish landscape. We stopped briefly in Roundstone, where mom and I found a Bodhran drum maker’s shop. We peered through the plexi-glass wall to see him at work fine-tuning some of the instruments. Realizing there wasn’t much else to see in Roundstone, we hurried off to Clifden where we took up the Sky Road.

Sky Road is aptly named; it winds up through the mountains and hills often revealing an unguarded drop-off only a foot from the edge of the road. What a thrill when we learned the speed limit was 100kph on that tiny two-lane road...shared by cars, tour buses, cyclists, pedestrians and SHEEP!

The gem of the Connemara region was Kylemore Abbey and its little Gothic church. The abbey rests on within the wooded hills and serves as a school for girls run by Benedictine nuns. Also on the grounds were several gardens and a cafeteria/gift shop featuring some of their home-grown foods. I purchased a jar of strawberry jam…it was the most delicious jam I’ve tasted!

My favorite part of the abbey was the Gothic church. The interior walls were made of a cream sandstone, intricate carvings galore. Also displayed were columns made of marble from the five regions of Ireland. What a beautiful display of Ireland’s natural resources, which God created, thoughtfully designed into a house of worship.

After we returned to our B&B in Galway, Uncle Gary drove mom and me on a search for the Long Walk. It was a part of the Galway harbor displaying a row of painted houses along the water. I HAD to get that photo myself! At first we ended up on the same street as the houses and we were quite unimpressed with their simplicity. Once we made it to the other side, the whole scene became one of my most treasured memories.

The sun was just setting at 9:30pm. The sky glowed with pinks, purples and blues as the bay grew sleepy. The only commotion was the feeding of the ducks and swans a little way down the pier. Boats drifted lazily as did the birds once they finished eating. I could have sat by the water for hours enjoying the view. One day, I may have to frame these photos.