Another glorious day in Ireland!!! We don’t have wireless internet today and I’ll have to wait to post this until tomorrow morning or when we get to Dublin tomorrow evening. I am writing it and will cut and paste.
We left Galway around 9:30 this morning after a great breakfast at the B & B. All of the places that we have stayed have been very nice and the people very friendly and helpful. Whenever anyone asks where we are from and we tell them Arizona, their first comment is about President Bush. I have been very surprised by this and it has happened several times. They do not like him at all, at least with the people that we have talked to. We haven’t even brought up politics and they do. They actually use fairly bad language about him. They love President Clinton and have all said that he is greatly responsible for peace in Ireland. I did not know this and am going to have to research it when I get home and have some time. They are all very much against the war in Iraq.
We traveled from Galway to Connemara and passed by the “Quiet Man Bridge” from the movie. Connemara is beautiful and wild. We stopped at Kylemore Abbey and went on a tour of this beautiful place. It is now a boarding school run by the Benedictine Nuns, but it was originally a home for an English doctor who was married to an Irish woman. He built it for her as a second home. It is on a lough (lake) and the grounds are magnificent. After she died, he built a gothic church in her honor on the grounds. It is a small replica of many gothic cathedrals in England.
From there we traveled on the narrow roads again, but today there has been very little traffic and people have not been driving so fast. We traveled on the coast and then inland around many lakes and even a fiord. Once again the beauty is breathtaking and so different from place to place. Every now and then there is a pine forest that is so thick you can’t see light in it.
We then went to Crough Patrick which is a holy place dedicated to St. Patrick in County Mayo. There is a statue of St Patrick about halfway up the mountain and a church built on top of the mountain. It is about a 3.5 hour hike to go up and back down. Patrick walked up to the statue, but we didn’t have time for anymore. It is overlooking Clew Bay. We stopped at the Famine Memorial and then drove on to Westport and our Bed and Breakfast. We are going to dinner at Sheebeen’s which is a thatched roof pub not far from the B & B. This area is much more rural than anywhere else we have been and absolutely beautiful.
This is Europe’s spring break because of Holy Week and Easter being on Sunday. There are tourists from all over Europe. Because of the European Union and the Euro, it makes it very convenient and less expensive to travel within these countries. Something else that I have noticed that I didn’t see when we were here before is the number of people from other countries and languages who live and work here. The other night our waitress told us that she was from Malaysia and had come here with her boyfriend for jobs. She said that she would not be able to do well in Malaysia and here they are doing very well. We heard on the radio the other day that they are concerned about all of the people who are here illegally. So Ireland has a problem with illegal immigration, too. I guess it is world wide wherever the economy is good!!
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