Ireland Day 7

Day 7           Galway to Dublin              Sunny and warm

 This morning, we headed off to the Connemara area, west of Galway.  We drove along beside the banks of Galway Bay, firstly to Barna, a sleepy little seaside village.  Then on to Spiddal, which is known as the gateway to the Connemara Gaeltacht, the Irish speaking area.  Spiddal has a small working harbour, which we visited and were interested to see a small old church, to protect the fishermen.  We then ventured further west to Inverin, where we were able to see the Aran Islands.  Here we saw a sign pointing us to a coral beach, so we decided to check out this beach before heading off to Dublin.  The beach was somewhat disappointing as it had some large boulder type outcrops of coral and most of the beach and the coral was covered in seaweed and very little sand.

Along the coastline, we saw more paddocks with the rocky stone walls that we have seen in many parts of Ireland.  In some places, the rocky walls are used instead of hedges or fences along the side of the road and in other, more rural areas, they are also used as paddock/field dividers, for crops and livestock. They are dry stone walls and are built without mortar to hold the stones together – these have certainly stood the test of time.

We drove back through Galway and headed towards Dublin.  We were surprised to find ourselves on a motorway not long out of Galway and it didn’t take too long to get here.  We booked into Griffith House, the same B&B that we were at on the first night, and walked up the road to a lovely little café for a late lunch.

After checking ourselves in for our flight tomorrow, we walked up the road and caught a local bus into the city, where we walked down O’Connell Street to the River Liffey and then along the banks of the river past several bridges, including the favours Ha’penny Bridge.  We looped back through the Temple Bar area to the centre of the city where we had dinner before walking back up to the top of O’Connell Street to the Garden of Remembrance.  We caught the local bus back to Griffith Avenue and our B&B.

We have really enjoyed our time here in Ireland and have been amazed at how some of the areas in the West of Ireland are so similar in landscape to the areas we visited in the West of Scotland. 

Our favourites were Killarney Lakes, the Ring Of Kerry, Dingle Peninsula and the Cliffs of Moher.

Our car has been very comfortable and reliable – the cost of petrol here was a bit steep – 116.9 euros (multiply by 2 for dollars), but we only filled the car up twice, which is surprising considering the number of kilometres we travelled.

We could not have done this trip without the faithful Sean, Janet and Adrian’s GPS!!  He has been an absolute wonder, and also very patient, when we decided to zoom off somewhere to look at something that wasn’t programmed!!

Apart from the first two days, the weather has been fantastic – cool in the mornings, averaging around 12 to 13 degrees and warming during the day to around 19 to 20 degrees by mid afternoon, remembering that the sun doesn’t set here until about 7.30pm, and then we have twilight for another hour or two!

The Irish people we have met have all been very friendly and eager to help us to make our holiday as perfect as possible.

After breakfast tomorrow morning, we take the car back, unfortunately, and then off to the airport for our trip back to Maidenhead, London, to our second home.

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