I arrived in Galway in beautiful weather to discover that I had a first class hostel waiting for me. The town itself is a small and manageable college town with loads of pubs and restaurants with fantastic music every night of the week. The Irish music was particularly good and the shops were plentiful and interesting.
THE GALWAY CITY HOSTEL – A five-star hostel if there ever was one. Good beds, clean en-suite bathrooms, and nice people throughout. Plus the Tigh Fox, a super pub right downstairs with live music every night.
SHOPPING AND RESTAURANT DISTRICT
POULNABRONE DOLMEN – 5,800-Year-Old Neolithic Structure – Older than the Pyramids!
Seemingly Substantial – It’s got gravitas, but is only about eight feet tall.
One of nature’s more compelling abstract designs.
The Cliffs Of Mohr
CLIFFS OF MOHER TOTEM
THE CLIFFS OF MOHER
That cave was in “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”.
CALL BEFORE YOU JUMP
Seventeen people have died from suicide by selfie or just plain jumping off this year. Strange, so many people would still want to top themselves after gazing upon such beautiful surroundings. Then again, really bad depression turns everything black.
That exposed rock area in the grass is where a scene from “The Princess Bride” was shot. Probably the one where Westley, dressed as the dread pirate Roberts, climbs up the cliff and has a sword fight with Inigo Montoya. “My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die.” Ah, the memories. Let’s not forget Billy Crystal and the MLT (mutton, lettuce, and tomato sandwich) when the mutton is nice and lean, and the tomatoes are ripe, they’re so perky, I love that!
ROSS ERRILLY FRIARY – 14th. Century Franciscan Friary – Best preserved in Ireland
ASHFORD CASTLE – A magnificent castle and five-star hotel. This is where the cast of “The Quiet Man” starring John Wayne stayed during the shooting of the movie in the nearby town of Cong.
I figured why not stop in for a nice lunch. Good idea. The trout from the lake was amazing.
REAR OF THE CASTLE
WALLED VICTORIAN GARDEN
BACK ROAD TO THE TOWN OF CONG
QUIET MAN STATUE – Dedicated in 2013, it looks just like John Wayne, but Maureen O’Hara not so much. Still a beautiful tribute, nonetheless. Ten days after I visited this village, Maureen O’Hara died peacefully in her sleep at the age of 95 on Oct. 24th. She was a fiery redhead who found great success in Hollywood and starred in a few films with Wayne during her career. “How Green Was My Valley” was her breakout film, and she also starred in the perennial favorite “Miracle On 34th. Street”.
“Her characters were feisty and fearless, just as she was in real life. She was also proudly Irish and spent her entire lifetime sharing her heritage and the wonderful culture of the Emerald Isle with the world,” the Fitzsimons family statement said.
“For those who may ask what they can do to honor Maureen, we have a simple request: visit Ireland one day and think of her,” the family said.
It has been an honor, a pleasure, and a privilege to have been able to do just that.
This is the pub where much of the goings-on in the movie occurs. John Wayne and Victor McLaglen crash through that double door and onto the street in the longest recorded fist fight in Hollywood history. Given that the interior shots were all done in Los Angeles, Wayne was punched in L.A. and landed in a street in Ireland thousands of miles away!
DYING MAN’S HOUSE – The dying man in the film leaps out of his death bed to see the fight.
A stretch of road where people lined up to see the legendary battle.
REPLICA OF THE INTERIOR OF THE COTTAGE IN THE MOVIE
The bed where Sean Thornton flings Mary on their wedding night.
Nice American tourists dressed up as Sean and Mary for a reenactment.
FAIRY TREE – Don’t ask me, I am completely ignorant of the significance of this cloth adorned bit of shrubbery. All I know is there is a sign on it designating it as such.
KYLEMORE ABBEY – Monastic home of the Benedictine Order of Nuns in Ireland.
The Sisters of the order decided to restore the garden and what you see is the result of years of work that is now appreciated by busloads of visitors to the Abbey every year. It looks pretty good for October nest-ce pas?
A pub that finally supplied fast enough wifi to get caught up on this blog.
Bride to be, bachelorettes, and busker on High Street. I hit the town with some of my fellow hostel mates and caught some great Irish music in the process.
Jacob and Michaela, two of the friends I hit the town with on Friday night.
CHECK OUT THE FELLOW ON THE RIGHT
John F. Kennedy
The hustle and bustle of the main street on a Friday afternoon.