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Galway Travel Blog

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The Rock of Cashel
Hey everyone, sorry it has been so long since I last wrote. A lot has happened since Cork! We are now in Galway, but let me catch you up. After Cork we went to Kenmare, the Ring of Kerry, and Dingle, which were all gorgeous!

I don't remember if Rock of Cashel, Cobh, and Waterford were before or after Cork (that just shows how many places we've been too!) So I'll write briefly about them too.
Cobh


The Rock of Cashel is a huge cathedral on a hill above the town of Cashel. This is the cathedral where St. Patrick first baptised the King of Ireland. The views of the Tipperary were amazing, as was the cathedral itself. Next was the colorful town of Cobh. This was the staging point for the majority of the Irish immigrants to America. It was also the last port of the Titanic before it hit the iceberge and sunk crossing the Atlantic. St. Colman's Cathedral overlooks the city atop a large hill. It had amazing stained glass windows (rivaling the Notre Dame, in my opinion) and boasts the largest church steeple in Ireland and the UK. The sole purpose of our one night stay in Waterford was to visit the Waterford Crystal Factory. We took a one hour tour where we got to see the master craftsman blowing, cutting, and engraving the crystal. They had an impressive gallery which housed pieces only available for purchase in Ireland.
The Ring of Kerry
We of course bought a few pieces (Uncle Gary, be patient!).

The Ring of Kerry was pretty spectacular, with rocky green fields and impressive views of the Atlantic. We went to Valentia Island and Portmagee which both offer amazing views of the Skellig Islands. Skellig in Gaelic means "splinter" and true to their name, these islands were nothing but a block of jagged rock jutting up from the ocean. It is amazing that monks inhabited these islands, seeking spiritual solitude. After crossing Valentia Island, Jeff and I did a two mile hike uphill in the rain out onto a peninsula overlooking the Atlantic. The views of the cliffs and the Skelligs were amazing.

Then it was off to Dingle. I think we all loved Dingle; a small little port town steeped in Irish tradition. If you walk down the street of this town at about 9:30 you can hear Irish music floating out of every pub.
The Skellig Islands
We drove around the Dingle Peninsula too, which I think was even more scenic than the Ring of Kerry. We drove on narrow, winding cliff roads through potato famine country. Jeff and I again, hiked out to the Western most point of Europe, offering great views of the Great Blaskett Islands.

From Dingle we drove up the coast, taking a car ferry at Tarbert and then through the Burren. The Burren is nothing but a rocky plain. When the English first saw the Burren they described it as being so desolate that there was not even water to drown a man, nor a tree to hang him, nor soil to bury him- they weren't exaggerating. We then made our way around Galway Bay and here we are! Today we drove out to Aughanure Castle which housed the O'Flaherty clan in the 16th century until Cromwellians took it over in the 1700s. It was very impressive.

Tonight we are going on a pub crawl through Eyre Square and in the morning, it's off to Sligo!
gbowe says:
Good to hear you're alive and still on schedule. Did ye not get to the Aran Islands? I was wondering how the bicycling may have worked out. Anyway, today you should be seeing the notorious "scared" relic in the Cross of Cong (is that the original or the remake?). Your Aunt Barbara is disappointed there are only a couple of days left for her to follow along in her itinerary tome. She wants you to extend your trip by another month or two so she can keep dreaming and travelling with you vicariously. Thanks for confirming the Waterford stop. Now if you would be kind enough to stop and fill that beautiful Waterford decanter you got for me with some authentic Irish whiskey, I won't hold it against you for not taking me with you - sort of. Stay safe and keep your eyes open at the airport.

Gary
Posted on: Jul 01, 2007
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The Rock of Cashel
The Rock of Cashel
Cobh
Cobh
The Ring of Kerry
The Ring of Kerry
The Skellig Islands
The Skellig Islands
Cliffs at the Dingle Peninsula
Cliffs at the Dingle Peninsula
Prehistoric beehive huts
Prehistoric beehive huts
The Blasket Islands
The Blasket Islands
The Cliffs of Mohr
The Cliffs of Mohr
The Burren
The Burren
Aughanure Castle
Aughanure Castle
The Aran Islands
The Aran Islands
Hanging my feet over the edge at I…
Hanging my feet over the edge at …
Dun Angus on Inishmore
Dun Angus on Inishmore
Me and my brother at Dun Angus
Me and my brother at Dun Angus
Galway
photo by: AleksandraEa