As much fun as it was exploring the city of Galway, we also wanted to take the chance to explore a bit of the nearby countryside. While there are loads of drawbacks of travelling with a car, this is definitely one of the perks. To me, there’s nothing lovelier than a drive through beautiful countryside: especially if you can stop, hop out, and appreciate the moment.
“The Real Emerald of Ireland”, Connemara is full of beautiful scenery. Pretty lakes and towering mountains, golden beaches and bogs filled with unique flora and fauna. I love unspoiled scenery and often wish that I didn’t have to rely on technology so much. Otherwise I’d just bugger off and live in a cave somewhere (instead of living with one).
After driving for a wee while and admiring the stunning scenery, we eventually reached a wee place called Recess: home to the charming Joyce’s Gift Shop. We decided to stop and have a nosy. There were a few interesting pieces in the car park, showcasing the famous Irish sense of humour. There was the “Connemara Giant” (a “late 20th Century monument” which was built by Joyce’s gift shop “for no apparent reason”) and a sign commemorating what happened there a hundred or so years ago.
The gift shop was full of quirky goodies. James had bought me a very chic Guinness scarf when we were exploring Galway the previous day, so I bought him a book called “Stuff Irish People Love”. It had a hologram Virgin Mary on the front. It was also full of interesting cultural tidbits that just go to show how similar Irish and Scots culture and language is: for example, the Irish call their shopping “messages” too. Now I just need to find out where the word “bunker” comes from.
We picked up some crusty rolls, cheese, and crisps from the grocery shop next door and had a little picnic. Afterwards it was onwards and upwards, and we soon found ourselves at the National Park itself: just in time for the sun to come out. We had a little look in the visitor’s centre, and I entertained myself by reading about crannogs and peat bogs. James didn’t seem quite so excited by this, sadly.
We went on a nature trail which was supposed to be 7km long but was really 7 minutes long. There was also a big hill/ that I wanted to climb, but James said I wasn’t properly dressed. He’s a dafty though, I was wearing my best mountain climbing dress (as you can see).
Since we weren’t going to be doing any mountaineering, we daundered back to the car. We noticed loads of French families in the car park, all having their traditional lunch time bread, cheese and wine outside of their caravans. They waved at us as we drove by. I like to think this is because we’ve perfected the French airs and graces so much that we actually look French… but it’s probably because we were in a left hand drive Renault.