Hello Ireland

Trip Start Jul 21, 2006
Trip End Aug 05, 2006

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Sunday, July 23, 2006

The Village of Oughterard
We flew to Shannon Airport from Heathrow and rented a car. Lucky Erik got the job of driving on the left. Though Shannon Airport is about 100 KM from Oughterard, it took a good 2 hours to get there. Every town we went through, of any significant size, had a traffic jam.

We were staying with some friends from Seattle, who had rented a house for the month of July, in the Town of Oughterard. Oughterard is about 27 KM northwest of Galway on N59. It is called the Gateway to Connemara. The area is absolutely beautiful - very lush and green, with sheep grazing next door, and the Connemara mountains in the background. The first evening we were there, we went for a long walk on the small gravel roads in the area, past horse pastures and peat bogs. The nights are long, and the magic hour seemed to stretch into at least 2 hours - from 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm. We could almost envision fairies dancing in the meadows (OK - maybe it was the jetlag).

The Town Centre is about 4 blocks long and contains 2 grocery stores, several pubs, a few restaurants, a tourist information, and a post office. There is also a nice wine shop, bakery, and Pizzaria/Internet Cafe. Since this is a popular fishing area, the town is well equipped to handle all tourist needs.

Oughterard is located on Lough Corrib and the Owenriff River runs through town. Though we didn't do any fishing, we saw lots of boats and fishing gear in the area.

There are several day trips you can make from Oughterard, but two notable attractions are very close and we recommend both.

Aughnanure Castle
Located just outside of town off N59, this castle is typical of Irish Tower Houses in the 16th - 17th Century. Its an easy self-guided tour and Sven liked climbing into the little nooks, etc.

Inchagoill Island
You can get to the island on a foot ferry that leaves from the end of Pier Road. Tickets are on sale at the Tourist Information office. Its a beautiful island with two churches - one was founded by St. Patrick and there is an interesting relic in the graveyard.
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