Monday, June 06, 2016

The Ireland-UK Trip: Day 3 - Galway and Cong

After another hearty breakfast, Martha and I set out to explore the city of Galway just north of Kinvara.

After fueling up, we made a brief stop at Dunguaire Castle just for a picture, electing not to go in based on the reviews we'd seen online.

The programmed route on the GPS took us straight into the city's center and somewhat chaotic traffic conditions to my eyes.  Fortunately, it was a banking holiday today, so I imagine it is orders of magnitude worse when everyone is at work!

We found a parking garage, secure Mary Kate and went walking.

As I mentioned, it was a banking holiday and so the crowds down Shop Street were minimal.  Our first stop was to visit the Saint Nicholas Collegiate Church:

 Shop Street

 Spanish Arch, one of four archways built for when 
Spanish Galleons used to unload their goods in 
the port of Galway

We next walked over to the Galway Cathedral to take a closer look:

 The fast running river Corrib leads one to the cathedral
 A view of the Galway Cathedral from the Salmon Weir Bridge
I found the pentagon-shaped stained glass windows drew my eye.

 One of the inside views of the Galway Cathedral

As we walked back to Mary Kate, I asked 
Martha to pose by this ad by Guinness.

We didn't spend a lot of time in Galway, as others had mentioned to us, it was just a city.  We escaped northwards and headed for today's lodging destination of Cong.  Conga in the Gaelic tongue, it means "narrows".

We'll be in the Cong area the next two days or so, exploring the sights along with trying to find as many of the locations used by the John Wayne/Maureen O'Hara movie: The Quiet Man.  It's a favorite movie of Martha and I, and one of the primary objectives for this trip to Ireland.

 One of the centerpieces of the movie, Cohan's Bar....nowadays its
a pub where we had lunch today.

 Wandering about the small town of Cong, we found these
statues dedicated to John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara along
with the folks who "invaded" the town to film the movie.

The other claim to fame by Cong is the Cong Forest, a rather pleasant and sometimes densely wooded park with a stream running through it.  The park has several stone gateways that proved suitable for pictures:

Near Pat Cohan's Pub are the ruins of Cong Abbey:

 Rory O'Connor, the last High King of Ireland, was buried here in
1198, but his remains were moved later on.

 Martha at the "Quiet Man" museum and souvenir shop.
The front of the building is crafted to look like John Wayne's 
White O'Morn cottage from the movie:

source: irishecho

Near where we parked Mary Kate, the Royal Enfield Sidecar rig we rented from Retroventures, we found the house where "the dying old Man" sprang from his bed in the movie to go witness the climactic fight between Sean Thornton (John Wayne) and his brother-in-law Red Will Danagher.

Screen capture from the movie

It was 3:00 PM by now and time for us to find our lodgings for the next few nights.  It's the Manor Lodge by the Ashcroft Castle near the Cong Village.  Fancy place, meticulously maintained grounds and golf course, with gorgeously forested areas to delight the eye.

 The reception building with Mary Kate out front.
The view below of a small harbor used by Corrib Cruises is seen
from the reception building.

After getting dinner in town, we returned to the vicinity of Ashford Castle and wandered around a bit shooting video and some pictures:
 Ashford Castle from a very brief stop at the entrance to their helipad.

Ashford Castle

It's supposed to rain most of the day tomorrow so we'll spend it hunting down "Quiet Man" film locations I think.


Bob and Sharon said...

Great Pictures, checked out the website, which tour are you doing?

redlegsrides said...

Which tour? I've only found one so far.....

RichardM said...

What a beautiful location! I am surprised at the size of Ireland. For some reason I thought that it was a pretty small country.

Gary France said...

What I find amazing about your posts Dom, is having just ridden a similar route and been to some of the same places, I now find out really interesting facts about those places from your blog that I didn't find out for myself. Thanks for all the useful information!

redlegsrides said...

Thanks Gary but most of the credit the info goes to Martha. She's the one who keeps things interesting and points out stuff to me.

redlegsrides said...

It really isn't a big country RichardM but when you're negotiating it at less than Ural speed because of narrow roads, new driving conditions and so much scenery to take in, it can take a while to move from one spot to another.

Andy & Laura said...

Glad we watched the Quiet Man with you all just a couple of weeks ago. It was great seeing some of those same sights from your point of view in today's entry. I'm sure it's exciting to see them in person.

redlegsrides said...

Yes it is Laura and Andy, though some spots are proving somewhat hard to find or photograph from similar angles.