Back in the Irish Republic we headed off to Galway. We went via the county of Longford where one of my ancestors, Francis Burns, came from. Francis, unlike many of my forebears was not a convict, but rather a soldier in the British Army who eventually ended up in Australia. When we arrived at Galway, I headed off in the rental car to see the Cliffs of Moher, about an hour south of town. Pete had already seen them on a previous visit, so I went on my own. They were definitely worth seeing (left).
One thing I noticed was that because most of the roads were narrow and had so many bends, you couldn’t travel more than about 70kmh at most, but the speed limit was 100kh. So there wouldn’t be many speeding tickets issued in that part of the world. When I arrived back in Galway about 6.30pm I had a good look around the town area.. Since this was a Monday night, I hadn’t expected to see much happening in the CBD area, but I was wrong. Galway’s Monday nights are as lively and entertaining as Friday nights are back in Brisbane. Not meaning that Brisbane’s too quiet but that Galway’s very lively!!
next morning, I did a bit more of exploring, visiting the museum and
other city sights, then hopped onto a very good motorway (again financed by
the Germans) that goes right across the middle of Ireland to Dublin.
Halfway across Ireland we stopped off and had a look at a monastery called the Clonmacnoise Monastery. The circle in the cross in the picture represents the sun and it was combined with the cross so as to keep the locals happy when they were being converted to Christianity. The sun was one of their earlier pagan symbols.
left: Clonmacnoise Monastery
A fair bit of history is associated with this monastery. It was founded in early 5th century AD. This monastery was attacked nearly 30 times over the centuries by Vikings, Normans and others, but somehow survived. All very interesting.
Back again in Dublin, but not without a drama in trying to get the rental car returned in time to the rental car company.
The GPS we had decided not to work but luckily, after a number of attempts asking locals and getting lost in and around Dublkin CBD, the GPS finally came good. One local had told us to go through seven sets of lights then ask a local where to go from there! It all sounded a bit Irish to me. In the end, we thought it was too late to return the car for the day.,but as it turned out the office didn’t close until 6. We made it at 5.55pm. Cutting it a bit fine.
After we got rid of the car, we headed off for one of our last Irish meals as we only had just over a day left in Ireland (the meal, no surprise, came with hot chips). The next day being my last day of the holiday, I took a bus trip out of Dublin down to the Wicklow Mountains, about an hour and a half south of Dublin.
On the way to there was a lake called Lough Tay (right) which has sand imported by the Guinness brewery laid down at one end of the lake, to give the lake a Guinness look with the sand said to resemble the froth at the top of a pint of Guinness.
On the way back we checked out a handweaver’s factory at Avoca.
On our last night, we had a few Guinness etc at the bar across the road from our hotel, where the locals were very friendly. So it was a good way to end the holiday.
In the morning, Pete and I caught a taxi to Dublin airport. Pete's flight to the US was a couple of hours later - he was going to visit his daughter who’s working in New York. He was also to meet up with a couple of the others who had been on the canal boat ride. My flight was a fair bit later, so I had a five hour wait all at the airport.....