Sunday, 15 May 2011

How come all the rocks are different sizes?

The wife hails from Galway as do the rest of her family.  Galway, or Connemara to be more precise, is a stunning part of the world, full of lakes, rocks, mountains, harbours and tourists.  Apart from the tourists, its the thousands of lakes and the millions upon millions of rocks that catch your eye.

We took a spin out to Connemara visiting Aughnaure Castle, Ballynahinch Castle and Roundstone

On our way out to Aughnaure Castle, we got stuck behind a slow driver, one of those people who drives at around half the speed limit, even though the road is straight, wide and flat.  This guy was doing 60KPM on a 100KPH road and managed to create a train of over a dozen cars in the space of 5 or 6 miles.  I sat behind unpatiently, cursing the man under my breath...well maybe not totally under my breath...but as we were taking a turn off for the castle, we would soon be rid of this slow fool...Captain Slow took the turn ahead of me.  We had maybe two miles of a narrow country road to the castle and Captain Slow was promoted to General Slow.  He ambled along while behind him, I was darting from left to right, filling his mirrors while screaming "Comon! Comon!  FFS!!".

As we entered the car park, I tore past him and parked two spaces up.

I looked to my left in order to see what this tool looked like only to find him staring across at me...I looked away.  Round 1 of the staring competition to Mr. 3rd Gear...I got out of the car and stretched...My enemy got out of his car and stretched...I look over at him and he looks over at me...I was bigger, younger and had a beard...he looked away...Round 2 to me...We walk off to the castle...we get there first...I win he loses...In your face Mr. Shorty-no-beard.

Aughnaure castle is an old castle type house from the 16th century, of which there are around 200 in Galway alone.  Most are just ruins but this one still has floors and a roof.  The grounds or rather the small river that circles the castle, is absolutely gorgeous and worth the €3 entry fee.

Next stop was Ballynahinch Castle. This place is a working hotel set on stunning grounds with a river running past it.  It sits high up on a valley just shy of a 90 degree turn in the river.  There was a nice homely feel to it and if you like fly-fishing, then this is the place to be.

We stopped here for a coffee and as the sun was out and we had such a nice view, I decided a cigar was in order.  I went for the Macanudo 1968 as it was all I had with me.  A bit too much cigar for a coffee and coke but enjoyed all the same.

We then drove to Roundstone and stopped for more coffee but didn't hang around as it was too windy to really enjoy the place.  Further along the road, we stopped briefly at a beach which was ferociously windy so we had our coffee in the car.  We decided to call it a day and head home.  The drive back was about 90 minutes so we stopped and picked up some hitcher-hikers for company.  They were French.

All in all, we had a nice day out in Connemara and would recommend this as one of the places everybody should visit at least once in their lifetime.

Aughnaure Castle

Ballynahinch Castle

Macanudo at Ballynahinch Castle

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