Galway: Who needs roadsigns,anyway?!!!

Galway Travel Blog

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My Mam outside Padraig Pearse's house.

One idle Friday morning Mother decided she wanted to go find Padraig Pearse's House in connemara, Co.Gaway. This was the place he used to bring his students from Dublin to learn and experience the Irish language, which at that time was not being taught in most irish schools. I was due back in Italy a few days later so we figured we'd take a road trip. We set off 9-ish and after 2 hours arrived in Galway city, but kept going on towards the desolate, no-man's-land that is Connemara.

For anyone that has never been to or heard of it, Connemara is true Ireland at it's 'picture postcard' best.

Connemara,Co.Galway
It's one of the few parts of Ireland that still uses the gaelic language in daily conversation. The land is mainly untouched by the construction-worker's evil hands. There are few houses and no supermarkets, nightclubs (or Starbucks). But natuarally, being Ireland, there are as many pubs as people.

We first stopped off at The coral beach which, I'm almost certain,  is the only one of it's kind in the country. Instead of sand, the beach is made from broken down coral. It's very much off the beaten track and even though we had 2 maps in front of us we still had to ask locals for the exact location. We decided to eat our sandwiches there and then collected some coral to take home for the garden. 

 

Then, we were back on the search for Padraig Pearse. It took us another hour of driving in circles to find it (again having to resort to asking  the locals).

Alcock and Brown Memorial
When we finally got there we found a tiny 2-roomed thatched cottage, with some replica furniture from early the 1900's. The care-taker, an oldish but polite fella, offered to give us a guided tour but we thought we'd find our own way through the two rooms.  We then followed a path down the back garden which led us to the most one of the beautiful views I've seen in Ireland. There was a louch Inagh wth the 12 bens in the backdrop just sprawled out in front of us. Breath-taking!

 

Next was the 'Alcock and Brown Memorial' . Alcock and Brown took off from Lesterâ��s Field in St. John's Newfoundland on June 14, 1919 and crash landed in a bog at Clifden, Ireland on June 15, 1919.

Fellow traveler on 'The Bog Road'
 I can just image what was going through their minds after successfully crossing the Atlantic for the first time ever...then finding themselves elbow-deep in a bog!! The monument was erected in 1959 a few miles from the actual landing site.

From there we decided to head towards civilization for dinner. The nearest town was Clifden. Now, to get to Clifden from where we were we had to take a road, which I SWEAR to God, was called 'The Bog Road'. We drove 8 miles through peat and sheep (yes, sheep) to finally find a road with with a white-line down the middle (I was never so glad to see a white-line!!). We found a roadsign, a rare find in Galway, that pointed to Clifden and lo and behold , it actually led to Clifden!!

Clifden...a venus-fly-trap of a town!!(welcomes you in, but won't let you out) We found our way there easily enough and didn't have to think twice about stopped for something to eat.

The 12 Ben mountains
It's very eye-pleasing and has that traditional irish charm that most Galway towns seem to be bursting with. After leaving the restaraunt we headed for the car and seeing as neither of us could remember which way we had come into the town we thought we'd just look for a roadsign................HOW NAIVE WERE WE?!!!        Clifden doesn't 'do' roadsigns.  It just lures you in with it's charm and it's white-lined road, then that's it. You basically have to try all the routes out and hope to find a sign somewhere along the way. If you discover you're heading the wrong way-you have no choice but to head back to Clifden and try again. After an hour and a half of this we finally hit the road to Galway.

 

It was a very enjoyable day and I'd recommend anyone traveling in Ireland to throw away your maps and guide books and just go get yourselves lost because the most beautiful parts of the country are stumbled upon and certainly not lead to by roadsigns!.

 

sladios says:
it is true...beautiful places are stumbled upoon...mostly by walking to it or through it before you know it!:)
Posted on: Jan 25, 2008
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My Mam outside Padraig Pearses ho…
My Mam outside Padraig Pearse's h…
Connemara,Co.Galway
Connemara,Co.Galway
Alcock and Brown Memorial
Alcock and Brown Memorial
Fellow traveler on The Bog Road
Fellow traveler on 'The Bog Road'
The 12 Ben mountains
The 12 Ben mountains
Clifden
Clifden
Connemara,Co.Galway
Connemara,Co.Galway
The coral beach
The coral beach
Galway
photo by: AleksandraEa