FUN-travel Ireland: Galway – Connemara – Howth

October 3, 2011 by  

Day 13 – Monday, September 26 – Galway to Connemara – cloudy, windy, warmer – turns to light steady rain – Depart 11:45

Ashford Castle

  • 1st stop – Ashford Castle – restored Victorian (once owned by the Guinness family) rents some of the finest rooms in all of Ireland – Quiet Man filmed here too
  • 2nd stop – Cong Village – Quiet Man cottage –  Cong Abbey early 1100’s Gothic & Romanesque
  • 3rd stop – Westport for lunch – feeling dodgy so only eat a wee bit of soup & cheese bread
  • 4th stop – Kylemore Castle & Gardens – neo-gothic design built 1860 by wealthy man for his bride – majestically situated at base of mountain & lakefront
  • 5th stop – Ballynahinch Castle to spend the night – built 1384 means “household of the island” – completely isolated in the middle of the forest – absolutely breathtaking! & our 1st time sleeping in a castle
  • 6th stop – in the pub for beer – still feeling dodgy & pass on dinner

Cong Abbey

FF (FUN-Fact)– Evan our waitress from Nimmo’s suggested we stay here

Day 14 – Tuesday, September 27 – Connemara to Howth – cool, light rain, low clouds & fog

Kylemore Castle

  • Take a short walk along river after breakfast – depart 10:30
  • 12:30 – stop for cappuccino
  • Good road to Dublin & arrive 3 pm – map not clear & stop for directions – on way to Howth (8 miles northeast of Dublin) stop @ Honda dealership for side mirror – they call Renault dealership & part is there – they are one exit past the airport – WRTC2BSL! will get it tomorrow

WRTC2BSL – What are the chances to be so lucky!

  • Go to TI (tourist information) for map – pick King Sitric to stay as owner is renowned chef – get a room –  big bummer – restaurant’s closed on Tuesday
  • FUN-food – Joan from King Sitric recommends Ivan’s – mussels in cream, garlic & wine (like a light chowder) Gambas (prawns on steroids) in chili garlic sauce w/real french fries! SA Pinotage quite nice

Howth Harbor

FF – “midges” small flying insects – have to keep window closed after 7 pm (very prevalent in Scotland)

Day 15 – Wednesday, September 28 – Dublin to Glasgow – wake to blue skies, full on sunshine & unseasonably warm!

Ballynahinch Castle

  • Depart 10:45 – arrive Renault dealership 11:15 – replace plastic mirror molding 80 euro – OUCH!
  • Depart 11:40 & head to airport for 4:10 flight
  • Check out Duty Free but not allowed for flights in the European Union – Kevin educates us on Irish Whiskey – even gives us 2 different taste samples! Jameson 18 yr & Red Breast – Buy Middleton’s Barry Crockett Legacy – still a good price even w/o duty free – can’t buy it in the states

Myth – GPS from car rental is all you need to find your way around Ireland
FUN-damental Truth– Buy the Complete Road Atlas of Ireland if you want to know where you are going – told by tourists GPS doesn’t always know one way streets

Myth – your credit card (Am Ex, Visa, MC) will cover the insurance deductible on your car rental
FUN-damental Truth – no credit card I know of  covers any extra insurance in the Republic of Ireland – buy every bit they offer you for peace of mind!

Michael the Emcee during Competition

  • Highly recommend Rick Steve’s travel books! Saved us a bunch of money (which we used to pay for the car repairs)
  • BTW total spent on car repairs 140 euro – extra insurance would have cost 168 euro – savings 28 euro and frankly not worth the frustration, aggravation & stress!

Myth – all Irish people are very nice & go out of their way to help you
FUN-damental Truth – they are & they do!