For me there is nothing like the wild, majestic beauty of Connemara. Stark mountains, loughs, open meadows, miles of bogland, and the immense Atlantic Ocean. In the sun Connemara is utterly breathtaking. Gray, damp and rainy it is mystical and powerful. We have seen both aspects and are awed by both.
We chose to stay in the small coastal town of Spidéal in the heart of the Gaeltacht, the Irish speaking area of Ireland. It would be a chance for Mike to be exposed to Irish spoken daily not just in class at the House of Ireland in Balboa Park.
Our couple of days in Spiddal would be spent sitting on rocks on the coastline that goes in both directions for as far as the eye can see. We sat and soaked in the beauty, peace and tranquility. Our alone time was punctuated by the occasional child accompanied by a parent or grandparent running along the shore laughing, digging in the sand or pawing through piles of seaweed. Treasures to be uncovered. In the evening hours we observed owners walking the beach tossing sticks into the ocean and dogs gleefully plunging into the very chilly water to retrieve them.
Spidéal also has a lovely craft “village” – a collection of small cottages that house a weaver, silversmith, painters, printmakers, glass artists, potter, basket maker, an Irish book and music shop, photographers, and other artisans. We visited each cottage and enjoyed looking at all the art and wares. Of course, we bought a few pieces too!
In the evening the smell of peat fires burning was intoxicating. How can I get some peat back home?
We spent a snug night in Tigh Giblin, a lovely pub, across from our hotel. On our last night in Spidéal we were treated to a session of local musicians playing fiddle, mandolin, guitar, and concertina. Two of the musicians had gorgeous voices. Needless to say, we stayed until the midnight closing.
One of the names in my family tree is Bodkin. This is a familiar name in Galway and this area. I know I have Connemara in my genetic make-up. It is magical here.
My second home.
Sláinte. Slán go fóill!
Are you enjoying these posts? — Go here to see more pictures and read our blog posts from two previous visits to Ireland and Scotland, in 2013 and 2016. (http://kandmindublin.blogspot.com/)