We went to see the Clifden castle on a wet and rainy day. It’s a castle ruin that you have to walk to to get to. It’s not far from the parking lot, which is really just a dirt patch by the paved road.
We walked along the dirt road with our umbrellas, watching the scenery change as it got wet and misty.
You could see right away how grand this place once was – and it had a gorgeous view of the ocean.
This was the gate into the courtyard in the back.
The walls were thick and strong, tells you why it’s lasted – even as a ruin – all these years.
Along the road that leads to the castle was this charming fence post.
The fall color contrasts were lovely – that yellow thing is gorse and the red stuff grows everywhere.
People we talked to told us that you’ll find some of the most breathtaking beaches in Connemara and they’re completely empty. They were right. We headed to one of them and stepped among the sheep to get to a very pretty, very deserted beach.
I took off my shoes and waded in – it was as cold as the water in California so it was quick to get used to.
We found the second scallop shell of our trip – we think this may portent hiking the Way of St. James, which we’ve talked about for years. We brought both shells home just in case.
We headed into the nearby town of Roundstone, which is a charming seaside village.
We headed back through Connemara – apparently on the bog road. We found that out later when someone pulled us over and told us we were on the bog road. She wanted to check and see if we were lost, but when we said we were headed back to Clifden, she said we could follow her.
Lots of sheep on the bog road – these were painted because they’d already been sheered.
Views you can just sink into and dream …
Our first view of Pine Island – one of the most photographed places in Ireland.
We also visited Brigit’s Garden, a working Celtic garden and woodland where they teach and keep alive pagan traditions and festivals of Samhain (winter), Imbolc (spring), Bealtaine (summer), and Lughnasa (autumn).
The sleeping woman is symbolic of winter.
In the woodlands, we found fairy villages.
You can see why this land must have felt very mystical.