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Ashford & the Connemara

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Sadly, this was our last day to explore Irish country roads.

We headed west from Cong to the coastal town of Clifden, tucked in between the Twelve Bens mountain range and the bay.  Before we enjoyed a late lunch in quaint Clifden, we stopped by the Connemara National Park to learn a bit more about bogs and did a drive-by of stately Kylemore Abbey, a Gothic Revival estate built in 1826.

The drive from Ashford Castle, along Lough Corrib, Ireland’s largest lake with its 365 islands, was very nice. This region had fewer shades of green, taller grasses and looked decidedly less rugged and more coastal.  Tides ebb and flow to such a degree that low tide leaves boat leaning on their sides and allows car traffic to a nearby island.

We were also on a search for bogs. Bogs are not particularly visual; I guess that’s why they aren’t featured in too many photo-spreads. They are wet, swampy and generally soft, but since they maintain debris (and can serve as natural embalmers), they do offer a window into the past.  Ireland is known for blanket bogs; peat bogs that are large and spread out.

Bogs notwithstanding, we saw some more beautiful scenery, lots more sheep, lakes, tiny villages and sweeping vistas.

Eventually, we found our way back to Ashford Castle and enjoyed just being there.IMG_3187

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