Final day out

My last full weekend living in Ireland (I leave next Saturday), and it was a beautiful day when I woke up so I decided to take advantage of it and take myself out for the day.  I started by driving west into Connemara to Spiddal, partly because it’s a nice drive, but I also wanted to pay a visit to Spiddal Craft Village.

Spiddal beach

While there is a sandy stretch at Spiddal Beach, a lot of it is much more interesting – streams, rock pools, and a bit of an outcrop to scramble over.

Spiddal Craft Village

Ceardlann (Spiddal Craft Village) is always worth a look around.  While I was there I bought some fantastic candles, and drooled over the work of one of the artists (I always love her work, but I can’t afford it).

View from the road

I then drove back along the coast road towards Galway.  This is a view from the coast road near to the bottom of the road I live on.  Everytime I take this route home from work I remind myself to photograph this view one day, and I’ve finally managed it in my last week here!

Signpost in Ballyvaughan

I then followed the coast road round the tip of Galway Bay, heading for the Burren and the Cliffs of Moher.  I had to photograph this signpost in Ballyvaughan on the way though – they really make the signposts work hard in this part of Ireland.

Looking back down the switchbacks

Driving into the Burren you can go pretty high, and this switchback road (2 bends of which are just visible in the picture) is always fun to drive along.  Once you get to the top there are spaces to pull over and enjoy the view back towards the bay in the distance, with the limestone pavements rising up to either side.

Cliffs of Moher visitor centre

I finally reached my destination, the Cliffs of Moher.  I’ve been a couple of times before, but each time the visitor centre was a Portacabin while they were working on building the new one.  It’s finished, and I really wanted to visit before I left Ireland.  I think the new centre is fantastic, it blends into the side of the hill like a hobbit hole with some new exhibitions I enjoyed going round.

Cliffs of Moher

O'Brien's Tower

Everytime I visit the cliffs I can’t resist taking loads of photos, especially as this was the first time I’d visited when it didn’t rain!

Dunguaire Castle in Kinvara

I then enjoyed a leisurely drive back to Galway, following the coast road on the Co. Clare side of the bay – I love driving through the middle of the Burren, but wanted to see the views along this road as well.  My last stop of the day was in Kinvara, another place I’ve been meaning to stop in and take photos for the last two years!  I was taking these photos of Dunguaire Castle in Kinvara just as the sun was beginning to set.

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