Saturday we drove west in the rain, and when we got to Galway we stopped at a tourist office to help us with reservations to and on the Aran Islands as well as at a B&B not far from the Connemara airport. Parking in the city was a bit of a challenge! Bill asked a young man to direct us to a parking area. He said where we were was for quick purchases but he would watch our car for a euro while we completed our arrangements. How kind!
Off we hopped. The woman at the tourism office was very helpful. She quickly made plane reservations for Monday mid-morning with a return late Tuesday afternoon at a cost of about $112 for both of us. A B&B was also secured for our one night on the island of Inishmaan as well as for two nights in Spiddal, about twenty minutes away from the airport. So quick and easy….though she did have to make several calls as many hosts didn’t answer.
Radharc na Farraige is situated in a rural setting overlooking Galway Bay. It is an ideal base for touring Connemara. Our host showed us two rooms. The bigger one with a double bed and two twins was our choice as we would have more room to lay out luggage and organise ourselves for the trip to Inishmaan. The plan was to leave our luggage at the B&B and take only a small pack each. The first night was damp and chilly so we were very pleased there was an electric blanket under the bottom sheet! We kept it on low all night and were quite cosy.
Dinner at the pub Tigh Giblin was divine. Rich and creamy seafood chowder was the best either of us had ever had! Bill also enjoyed a fish taco with his while I opted for fries with rosemary and salt. The latter were a bit dry though the crunchy rosemary and salt were fun! Despite being well sated we did share a dish of lemon lime ice cream, also dreamy! The service, ambiance, and culinary delights made us quickly decide to dine there again upon our return from Inishmaan.
Sunday we over filled ourselves with a full Irish breakfast – juice, fruit, cereal, egg, bacon, sausage, toast, brown bread, tea and coffee! Oh, my! Our host, a soft spoken humble man, said we could add Tuesday night to our stay. His wife came out and introduced herself grandly stating she is the brains behind the operation! She clearly loves what she does. Apparently they weren’t going to be full as she let us keep our luggage in the room while we were gone the next night and didn’t even need to pack up, though we did.
The drive along the west coast is called the Wild Atlantic Way. I had found and downloaded an app that showed the route and things to see and do along the way. The views became more and more stunning the further we traveled.
Roundstone seems to be popular spot with colourful buildings and pier where sea kayakers were preparing for paddling off and away. Lobster pots were piled waiting to catch tasty crustaceans later in the summer. September, the other great month to travel in Ireland, is when they are plentiful. Guess next trip we will have to choose this prime time!
One of the suggested stops along the Wild Atlantic Way was a memorial to where Marconi built the world’s first permanent trans-Atlantic ration station more than a century ago as well as where pilots Alcock and Brown crash-landed in a bog in June 1959 after the first non-stop transatlantic flight. The odd part was there were two recognitions of the pilots in very different spots in the bog. The one of the nose cone was nearer to the actual site.
After a long day of driving, being buffeted by the wind whenever we exited the car to take photos, we returned to Spiddal where a rainbow was out over the bay. We decided to try another restaurant, recommended by fellow Americans and the B&B who claimed they had had the best seafood chowder ever, but we were not as impressed with either the food or the ambiance. Noisy kids kind of kill any relaxation! The church below is abandoned and closed in.
Another great sleep at Radharc na Farraige, without the electric blanket on all night, and then it was off to the Aran Island!!!