Liscanor to Westport

Trip Start Jul 22, 2009
Trip End Aug 09, 2009

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Flag of Ireland  , Western Ireland,
Thursday, August 6, 2009

Today the weather person predicted rain and wind all day, but they were wrong! It was amazing pretty much all day, except when we were at the Prehistoric Tomb exhibit it poured on us. We started our day by driving a few miles North to an area called The Burren, then saw Ashford Castle, and enjoyed Westport's Music Festival.

The Burren is an area in Ireland that limestone rocks dominate the surface and it's tough to grow crops. However, 70% of its plant species are  found in this area. We stopped at several prehistoric sites and ruins along  the way through this area.It looks very interesting how these limestone rocks were formed. We had to run out of the tomb area because we had a sudden torrential downpour. After that we drove down the road about 15 kilometers and the rain never caught up with us.

On our way to Westport we stopped in Cong. This little town is where the John Ford film, "The Quiet Man," with John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara was filmed. It also has ruins of an Abbey. The Abbey is situated right on a river and the setting is very beautiful. We then walked to Ashford Castle. It is a Victorian castle that has been renovated to make a 5-star Hotel. The Hotel is running a special right now where you can stay there for 138 Euros per person. That's nearly $200.00 a person and that is for the cheap rooms without views. We didn't go inside but the grounds were beautiful. It has lots of gardens, a river and a lake surrounding it. If you are coming to Ireland for a special occasion consider staying at this sweet castle.

In Westport we checked into our great B&B. It's no castle but it is right downtown and there was even a music festival going on about half a block from our room. We enjoyed some of the starter groups and then moved on to get Sean checked in and to scout out the town. We got a pint and then went to dinner. Dinner was great. We ate at a new restaurant in town called "The West." We went back to our room and listened to the beginning of the headlining band at the music fest. It wasn't really our taste so we skipped that in favor of some traditional Irish fold music at Matt Malloy's pub. The owner of the pub plays the flute for "The Chieftans." We lucked out and found a table before the music started. We even got a treat that a girl in the audience was an Irish dancer. She danced a Jig for us. The music was fantastic. Around 11:30 we headed back to our room. The streets were crazy with drunk people because the music fest had just ended. We saw one guy get arrested!  All in all a great day in Ireland.
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