A trip to Connemara

When you have guests visiting you can behave as a tourist and as there are so many places in Ireland which I still haven’t seen, I was happy to join my friends on a day trip to Connemara. I have always wanted to visit Connemara, probably because of some mysterious romance books, which I even cannot name any more but when they have been taking place in Ireland, then something has definitely happened in Connemara. So for me, it sounded a very romantic place and that’s why I recommended it to my friends.

We started early in the morning at the Molly Malone statue with Irish Day Tours and headed through the mainland towards Galway. Unfortunately, that hot summer, which had touched Ireland for the past 4 days had disappeared and given way to the normal Irish weather and so we were followed by showers, a bit of sunshine and more and more showers. I still kept believing that it could change and tried to watch the cows because there was some old Irish saying if the cows were standing, the weather would be nice, or was it the other way around 🙂 Actually when we were discussing it some days ago on our car trip, even my Irish relatives were not exactly sure, if the poor cows had to lie or stand to predict the good weather, so I tried to concentrate on the landscape and miss the cows.

01-file_000When getting nearer to Connemara, there were already more sheep than cows and none of them was lying. They all looked very colourful, of course, their real colour was white, but their heads were black and they all had painted red or blue stripes on their backs and they all had horns, even the girls 🙂 Estonian sheep never have horns, at least I have never seen them. The painted stripes have different meanings as our guide told us – they can mark the owner or if the sheep is sheared or not and probably something more that only the real sheep owners can understand.

Soon we reached the Killary Fjord to start our 1,5-hour boat trip. The weather was not our friend any more – it was grey, cold and pouring rain and all the picturesque coastline of the Irish only Fjord, that we were supposed to see was hidden behind the fog and it seemed that the real autumn had begun – it felt like somewhere in the middle of November. As the Irish weather is tricky, and I have a lot of experiences already to know it, we didn’t lose our good mood, but stayed outside on the boat and took pictures of the foggy shores.

Very soon the weather started to change again, the rain stopped and the fog faded away and it seemed like the mountains, which lay on both side of us, started to take off their foggy clothes and dress into the green festive dresses. That was really so beautiful and worth waiting.

At the same time, it went warm again and we also could take off our raincoats and warm sweaters and start to feel summery again. Very soon it was already possible to count the sheep on the mountains and then our 1,5-hour boat trip was over and we had to go back on the bus and drive to our lunch place.

We had a short lunch break at Kylemore Abbey, which seemed to be the biggest tourist spot in the area. The Abbey is still used by the nuns, but we didn’t have so much time to go inside and greet them because we had to stand the queues to get some lunch. That’s of course not the greatest thing of taking a day tour – the place was visited by almost 25 buses full of tourists, but it all went quite quickly and there’s nothing to complain about. We even had time for a small walk towards the gorgeous abbey, admire the building and the stunning high mountains behind it, take some quick photos and go back to the bus.

Our last stop was Galway and even if I knew that I am going to like it and will be sad to have such a short time here, I couldn’t imagine that I liked it so much. Now it’s my favourite town in Ireland, without any question. Galway is the home of a Claddagh Ring and a lot of signs and adverts here and there reminded you that.

Of course, we wanted to find the sculpture of two Wildes, or to be precise, a sculpture of two writers – the Irish writer Oscar Wilde and the Estonian writer Eduard Vilde. The sculpture is mad by Estonian sculpture Tiiu Kirsipuu,  and was given to Galway as a present by its sister town Tartu, where the second copy of the sculpture is located. The writers are from the same generation, but have never met, it’s just the imagination of the artist who saw them in a nice chat on the same bench discussing the life and literature.

Even our guide didn’t know who is this man sitting beside their famous writer, now he knows, I hope that he will tell it to the other groups as well because when entering the busiest street with hustle and bustle, musicians and jogglers, these two guys are the first ones you will notice.

Galway is a place where you need to sit down, forget your hurry, take a beer and enjoy life, then perhaps take a little shopping tour and buy some unuseful, but cute souvenirs, a Claddagh ring to your loved one and some woolen Irish jumper just in case because after enjoying the sun and the music, it might get cold again but you still don’t want to leave.

Now I have a plan for the next summer and it’s always good to have one – we will come back and stay here for some days and do all these things together.