Sep. 27, 13 °C, sunny, 115 km
We spent the morning in Connemara National Park where we hiked to the
summit of Diamond Hill (440m): 6.7 km in 2 hours 40 minutes. The park
Loop Walks. The views
of the coast and surrounding mountains were fantastic and the sun was
shining. We stopped at Kylemore Abbey and Aasleagh Falls. Via Doo Lough
Pass we reached Westport with a view of Croagh Patrick, Ireland’s holy
mountain (762m). We found a room at
Hazelbrook B&B which was only a short walk from the
centre. Had a lovely dinner at Cosy Joe’s Bar.
28, 13 °C, a.m. sunny, p.m. cloudy, 206 km
After a short stop in Newtown we went to see Carrigahowley Castle, a
tower house that belonged to pirate queen Grace O’Malley. Then we
planned to hike the Clogher Bog Loop, however we were unable to find the
starting point. So we went back to Westport and then south to Leenaun
and Connemara. In the early afternoon we arrived in the little village
of Cong where we visited the old Abbey and Ashford Castle, a luxury
hotel where Ronald Reagan once stayed during a state visit in Ireland.
We stayed at
Hill View Farm and had dinner at the
Crow’s Hill Pub.
Galway – Clonmacnoise – Athlone – Mullingar
Sep. 29., 15 °C, overcast, 284 km
Today we visited Aughnanure
Castle, then Galway where we also had a look at the Lynch Memorial
Window in Market Street which commemorates an event that may have been
the origin of “lynching”
as a legal expression. We stopped at the cathedral of Clonfert and around 3:30 p.m. we reached Clonmacnoise, the ruins of an
ancient monastery on the River Shannon and site of several impressive
high crosses. We decided against staying in Athlone but continued until
Mullingar where we arrived around 6 p.m. Spent the night at Glenmore
House, quite an impressive Georgian building. Found a very nice pub for
dinner: Ulysses Pub.
Drogheda – Clogherhead
30, 12 °C, a.m. rain, p.m. partly cloudy, 144 km
In the morning we visited the passage tombs at
Knowth and Newgrange which are older than the pyramids in Egypt. While
it was raining when we were in Knowth, the sun came up at Newgrange. In
the afternoon we visited the monastery site of Monasterboice which was
great as we were all by ourselves. There was a round tower and a few
High Crosses and the ravens were circling the tower, all bathed in
sunlight. Then we had a look at Old Mellifont Abbey and visited the town
centre of Drogheda before we looked for a B&B at the coast near
Clogherhead: „The Cross Garden B&B“.
Dublin – Swords
1, 13 °C, sunny, 55 km
Around 10 a.m. we arrived in Swords where we had booked
Rathview House for our last night. The bus stop was just
around the corner and around 11:30 a.m. we arrived in the centre of
Dublin at O’Connell Street. We saw the Bank of Ireland, passed through
the grounds of Trinity College, had a look at Oscar Wilde’s birthplace.
From Merrion Square with its colourful doors we went for a lunch break
in St. Stephen’s Green. Via Grafton Street we arrived at the Molly
Malone statue, then we walked through Temple Bar with its many pubs.
From here we went to Dublin Castle and Christ Church. With the beautiful
weather we wanted to go up the observatory tower at Old Jameson
Distillery but it was closed due to maintenance. We walked along the
Liffey, passed by Ha’penny Bridge and arrived back at O’Connell Street.
We also had a look at Henry Street and the market in Moore Street before
boarding a bus at 5 p.m. that brought us back to Swords.
Swords – Howth –
Malahide – Dublin Airport
2, 16 °C, overcast, 56 km
On our last day we drove to the villages of Howth and Malahide hat the
coast and we also walked to Malahide Castle. Our return flight was at
5:20 p.m. Around 8 p.m. local time we arrived back in Düsseldorf.
We booked the rental car (Alamo) in mid August
and ordered a B&B guide. A month before our departure I wanted to make a
reservation at a B&B in Dublin, however, all the three places I tried (Abberley House,
were fully booked. So we changed plans and were hoping to be more lucky with a
reservation at the end of our trip, but still no luck... Eventually we booked a
place out of town near the airport in the historic village of Swords:
It was no problem to find a place for two nights for the start of our trip near Glendalough. I made a reservation by phone and didn't even need to leave my
credit card details. On the road we never had any problem to find a place.
Reviews of accommodations can be found at
Tripadvisor. We usually paid 60 or 70 euros per room including breakfast.
Many guests at the B&Bs were American, but also Australian, Canadian, some
German and French.
For dinner at a pub we paid approx. 12-14 euros per meal. Tesco and Lidl are
good places to shop for food.
If you buy a
Heritage Card you can save a lot on admission charges.
Traditional music can be found in many pubs, but this usually doesn't
start before 9:30 p.m.
We found the roads to be often so small with only room for one car! So don't
book a large car for Ireland!
It's quite amazing how quickly the weather can change!
In total we covered 2825 km.
Online B&B Guides:
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