Thelma has lived and worked for almost three years in the Republic of Ireland as a spa wellness massage therapist.
Our Travel To Co. Galway
We left Counties Donegal and Sligo behind us. We were on our way to County Galway, our next destination of these three weeks tour in the year 2004. We passed through Ballina, Westport and some fantastic places of Co. Mayo without knowing that in the next four years, we would be living in Carne Rock, Co. Mayo.
Our guest house was located in Oughterard, the heart of Connemara. On our way to the guest house, we passed the Croagh Mountain, the holy mountain in Ireland. Croagh Patrick is a few kilometers from Westport, Co. Mayo. According to Wikipedia, Croagh Patrick called the "Reek" to the local people is tall with its 764 meters height and is very important for the pilgrimage every year on the last Sunday of July. It was known that St. Patrick fasted for 40 days on the summit of this mountain in the 5th century. The legend says that a silver coin was thrown by himself down the mountain and knocking the demon and banishing all the snakes in Ireland.
Beautiful Places To Visit
The Twelve Pins or Twelve Bens
Twelve Pins or Bens are the twelve mountains located in Connemara, Co. Galway. They are amazing and breathtaking landscapes with lakes and wildflowers growing everywhere. We had to stop more often than we could, just to enjoy the beauty of the nature around us. It was so windy and cool without the sunshine although it was in May. We had met many people walking on the streets because Connemara is a great destination for walkers. It is also a destination for poets, painters and photographers. Once, we had to stop for an hour for there were a lot of people following a funeral in going to a cemetery nearby.
On our first day in our guest house, we drove to Connemara Heritage Center where we booked for our Connemara tractor tour in going up to one of the mountains. It was an amazing view of the mountain from where we could see theAtlantic ocean. Our tour guide was telling us that it was on that Atlantic ocean where loads of Irish people left their country by ship in going to America looking for a better life. There was a famine at that time.
The Famine Village in Connemara
The Famine Village is the village abandoned by the people who were living there before the famine. What exists now is all ruin cottages left behind by the owners. Nobody wants to restore the village as it is the reminder of hunger time in Ireland.
Clifden is the capital of Connemara. It is a good starting point or a base for your walking tours to the Twelve Bens. It is surrounded by beautiful landscapes that you will really have the longing to stay longer than you want. There are a Connemara Pony Show and Pony market every year in August. Connemara Ponys are small Irish horseriding Ponys.
Kylemore Abbey is a 19th-century castle and is one of the tourist attractions in Ireland and it is surrounded by mountains and lakes in Connemara. It has a Victorian garden and is very lovely for families who want to enjoy the beauty of nature. It has its own craft shop, pottery and restaurant.
Oughterard is in the heart of Connemara. It is a small village located upon Lough Corrib and it is known for fishing brown trouts. There are lots of amenities besides fishing. You can play golf, go hiking, walking, cycling, boating and lake cruising, horse riding and many others. You can visit also the 16th-century Aughnanure Castle nearby.
Galway city is the capital of Co.Galway. It is a colorful city with lots of culture and traditions. It is a lively city with lots of pubs offering cultural Irish music and dances. We started our tour in the city from the Eyre Square. There´s a John F. Kennedy Memorial Park where we rested after our shopping. You will enjoy visiting the pubs for their wonderful atmosphere while drinking a pint of Guinness like the way I did.
While having a window shopping, we saw the Lynch Castle, a city castle built in the 16th century. There is a legend about this castle. It was said that Mayor James Lynch, who was also a judge in the 15th century, executed his own son Walter, who had killed a Spanish royalty, his rival in courting a woman. Walter was so popular in the community in Galway that nobody dared to execute him. The Mayor who had a sense of equality and justice had no choice but to execute his own son and went to a monastery after this. That´s how the "lynch justice" came from. (Source: Wikipedia) You can see the Lynch Memorial Window on the marketplace where the execution happened.
Ireland has impressed me much not only by the beauty of the emerald "garden" that it has but also how friendly the Irish people are. In Galway city, I once took a seat on the bench between the statue of the sitting Oscar Wilde,( an Irish poet and writer) and a statue of another prominent person. Then suddenly an old woman came to me and said in a soft-spoken voice, `Love, you are not allowed to sit on that bench.´ I said I´m sorry I did not know. She said it´s alright, there´s no harm done. Then she left. I was so touched. She could have scolded me. If that happened to me in Germany, I would be very upset because I would be scolded in a rude German voice.
© 2011 Thelma Alberts
Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany and Philippines on June 03, 2015:
Yes, those stone cottages are beautiful. It would be nice to have one in your property. The photos above were taken in the west coast of Ireland where the mountain of St. Patrick is located that is why it look bare but beautiful. Thanks for your comment colorfulone. Have a nice day!
Susie Lehto from Minnesota on June 03, 2015:
I love those stone cottages and would like to have one built on the property. Ireland has beautiful scenery with all the hills and mountains. I'm so used to living in big timber country though, that Ireland looks bare to me.
Beautiful hub, Thelma.
Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany and Philippines on March 20, 2015:
Hi cfin! That is because I loved it there and I have a lot of wonderful experienced in Ireland and have made friends there as well. I can understand that you became emotional reading this. Believe me I also feel sad thinking that I am no longer living there. Good luck to your coming back home and I know you will find job there. Have a lovely weekend!
cfin from The World we live in on March 19, 2015:
So nice to see you speaking so fondly of Ireland Thelma. I am trying to move back right now and can't get a job there yet. Your articles bring tears to my eyes?
Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany and Philippines on February 15, 2015:
You are very welcome. I hope you can visit the Emerald Isle one day. Thanks for the votes and sharing it to others.
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on February 15, 2015:
Thanks for introducing me to a part of the world that I have never visited. It truly sounds lovely and judging from your photos and the videos you inserted, I can see why it it called the Emerald Isle. Many up votes and sharing.
Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany and Philippines on January 28, 2015:
Hi Noblito! This article is about Galway, Ireland not Florence. Maybe you are multitasking or have not read this article.
Noblito on January 25, 2015:
I love Florence! Such a beautiful city! Note: there are servael fake Davids in Florence, be sure to see the real one . If you happen to be in Northern Spain ( specifically Santiago de Compostela ), let me know. I have a close friend from high school living out there right now with her fiance, who is a local. I am sure they would be happy to show you around. Are you guys giong to make it up to Scandanavia?By the way, I have been reading about you adventures via Krol's Facebook sounds like a fantastic trip!
Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany and Philippines on August 23, 2011:
Hi Dolores! Thanks for visiting. I hope you enjoyed the reading. Take care.
Dolores Monet from East Coast, United States on August 23, 2011:
Thank you for the armchair tour of Galway, a place that I would love to visit for real. Your pictures are lovely.
Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany and Philippines on July 07, 2011:
Hello Lau´s Thoughts! You are welcome and thank you for stopping by and for your follow. I remember now that the film P.S. I love you was set in Co. Galway. It was I think the view of Connemara.I remember now that I told my friend who was with me in the cinema- "I have been there and I´ll be living there nearby in a few months time"- while watching the film. Thanks again.
Lau's Thoughts from North Yorkshire, England on July 07, 2011:
Thank you for sharing this. I've wanted to visit Galway since watching P.S I Love You. Lots of places I now want to go :o)
Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany and Philippines on July 03, 2011:
Mabuhay alocsin! Yes, you can have a holiday in County Galway, Ireland. There are lots of beautiful places there. Once you will visit there, you keep on going to Ireland. Thanks for your comment.
Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on July 02, 2011:
Gusto kong magbakasyon dito. Voting this Up and Useful.
Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany and Philippines on June 23, 2011:
Thanks for visiting and giving comment RedElf. Yes, another interesting place to visit. I hope you will visit the place one day. It´s amazing place to have a holiday.
RedElf from Canada on June 23, 2011:
Another interesting place to visit, filled with lovely pictures. Thanks :D
Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany and Philippines on June 02, 2011:
Hello BkCreative. Thank you for enjoying reading my hub and giving a great comment. I love Ireland too that´s why I keep on writing about this country to share what I saw and experienced there. I went to Queen Maeve´s grave and it was awesome to be visiting an old megalithic grave. Thanks again and I hope to hear about your holiday in Ireland.
BkCreative from Brooklyn, New York City on June 02, 2011:
This is so timely! I've been to Ireland before and loved it but spent most of my time in Dublin and then took the bus up the Dublin Road to Belfast. It's been calling me ever since.
Best of all I have a dear friend whose mother is of Irish descent. After telling my friend how I loved Ireland, we are making plans to go next year. I want her to see the cities but also some of the other amazing places. I want to go to Sligo as you mentioned because I think that is where Queen Maeve's grave is. And I want to go to Moneygall because that is where President Obama has roots.
But where else? Ah, your wonderful hub has covered so much so I will bookmark it and share it with my friend.
Thanks a million and rated up. Yay!
Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany and Philippines on June 02, 2011:
Hello Marellen! Thank you for reading my hub and of course your giving a comment and your follow. Yes, Ireland is such an amazing and beautiful country. God must be spending much time in creating the landscape of Ireland. The Quite Mans´"place" is one of the tourist attraction. Thanks again.
marellen on June 01, 2011:
Very informative hub. Irelnad must be so beautiful. My Mom's favorite movie is the Quite Man with John Wayne and it was filmed in Ireland and I loved the location shots. Thanks for sharing.