Exploring Connemara

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.

Clifden castle, Connemara

Clifden castle, Connemara

You could see right away how grand this place once was – and it had a gorgeous view of the ocean.Clifden castle, Connemara

Clifden castle, Connemara

This was the gate into the courtyard in the back.

Clifden castle, Connemara

The walls were thick and strong, tells you why it’s lasted – even as a ruin – all these years.

Clifden castle, Connemara

Along the road that leads to the castle was this charming fence post.

Clifden castle, Connemara

The fall color contrasts were lovely – that yellow thing is gorse and the red stuff grows everywhere.

Clifden castle, Connemara

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.

Connemara beach sheep

Connemara 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.

Connemara beach

Connemara boat

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.

Connemara scallop shell

We headed into the nearby town of Roundstone, which is a charming seaside village.

Roundstone Ireland

Roundstone Ireland

Roundstone Ireland

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.

bog road Connemara sheep

Views you can just sink into and dream …

bog road Connemara

Our first view of Pine Island – one of the most photographed places in Ireland.

Pine Island, Connemara Ireland

Pine Island, Connemara Ireland

We also visited┬áBrigit’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).

Brigits Garden, Rosdahill

Brigits Garden, Rosdahill

The sleeping woman is symbolic of winter.

Brigits Garden, Rosdahill

Brigits Garden, Rosdahill

In the woodlands, we found fairy villages.

Brigits Garden, Rosdahill fairy village

You can see why this land must have felt very mystical.

Brigits Garden, Rosdahill

Brigits Garden, Rosdahill

 

fourteenergirl Written by:

A mother, sister, wife, and daughter who writes, knits, hikes, and practices yoga on the west coast. Loves a zippy chardonnay or a tart margarita!

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