Our last full day in Galway, Wednesday, was spent on another tour, this time to Connemara and Cong. This one was just as beautiful and informative as the Cliffs of Moher were.

We met up with the coach just like Tuesday morning and we set off on our journey. Connemara is even more in the Irish countryside than the Cliffs were and therefore even more beautiful. Along the way we saw many ancient buildings and stoneworks, further amazing me by capabilities of the Irish people before technology. Go them. One of the highlights of the trip was the stop in the tiny village of Cong, the location for the old movie The Quiet Man with John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara. I took lots of pictures because I know just how jealous Dad will be when he reads this. I wish we’d had more time there because then I would have gone in the museum/gift shop. I never realized just how many movies are filmed in Ireland but so far we’ve seen the sites of at least 5 movies.

Practically everything in Cong is dedicated to the memory of the movie that was filmed there.

Practically everything in Cong is dedicated to the memory of the movie that was filmed there.

In order to see all these beautiful and picturesque little sites we had to take the most narrow, rocky country roads. Keep in mind we were in a huge passenger coach…on twisty roads…with lots of sharp turns. The skill of our driver amazed me and I swear that coach had to have had a hinge in the middle to make some of the turns we did. Strangely enough, the only things that held us up were the sheep (they liked to cross right in front of us without warning) and the cycle race that was tearing through the country. Those guys were impressive as all get out. I could never imagine riding my bike in that country, let alone as fast and agile as they were about it. I did make the other girls laugh a little though because I was climbing the rocks and scrambling about to get better pictures. I guess I just channeled my inner mountain goat.

Irish hills and lakes, I'm beginning to think there's nothing more beautiful.

Irish hills and lakes, I'm beginning to think there's nothing more beautiful.

The Twelve Ben Mountains with their sides covered in stone fences built during the potatoe famine.

The Twelve Ben Mountains with their sides covered in stone fences built during the potatoe famine.

The few post and wire fences around are meant to keep the livestock of one farmer from mixing with that of another. Most farmers don't care, they just mark their herd and sort them all out in the spring when they come off the mountain for shearing.

The few post and wire fences around are meant to keep the livestock of one farmer from mixing with that of another. Most farmers don't care, they just mark their herd and sort them all out in the spring when they come off the mountain for shearing.

A bike race went through the countryside. Because the roads were so narrow we had to pull off and wait for them to go through before continuing on our way.

A bike race went through the countryside. Because the roads were so narrow we had to pull off and wait for them to go through before continuing on our way.

An old Abbey built in the side of the mountain. Just up the way was a small cathedrale built and paid for by the nuns independently of the monestary.

An old Abbey built in the side of the mountain. Just up the way was a small cathedrale built and paid for by the nuns independently of the monestary.

When we got back in town we ran to the hostel to drop off our bags and then it was to grab a quick dinner before the Harry Potter movie. We were so happy we’d already bought our tickets when we got to the theater because there were signs on the doors saying they were sold out. Because we got there early we even managed to get pretty good seats and I had a lovely conversation with the gentleman sitting next to me. He was there with his teenage children and was very interested in our travels and what we’d seen so far. I like the Irish the best of all the nationalities we’ve met because they’ve been the friendliest, most welcoming of all. I’ll be sad to say good-bye to this lovely place in the morning. Someday I’ll come back when I can spend more time here. For now though I need to go pack and get ready to fly to Paris in the morning. Hopefully this flight goes better than our last one with RyanAir…

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