Connemara and Galway

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

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Flag of Ireland  , Western Ireland,
Friday, August 7, 2009

Today was a long day of scenic driving. We left Westport and headed into the Connemara region. We drove through the area making several stops at Croagh Patrick, the Coffin Ship, the Doo Lough Valley, Kylemore Abbey and the Connemara National Park. I think we are all looking forward to Dublin and not driving anywhere. Bekah was car sick and Sean and I fell asleep several times in the car.

We headed out to Croagh Patrick which is a a religious destination. It is supposed to be the sight where St. Patrick starved himself for 40 days during lent and drove out all the snakes from Ireland. It serves as symbolism for the beginning of Christianity in Ireland. We hiked part of the way up because the full hike takes at least two hours. Check out the path in the pictures. We didn't have enough time to do the whole thing but I don't think I would have wanted to, loose rocks and slippery, wet bolders.
Across the street from Croagh Patrick is the Famine Ship. It is a memorial to all those who died in passage out of Ireland or soon after reaching their destination. Many Irishmen were forced to leave Ireland in search of food because of the failure of the potato crop. The spent 6-8 weeks on overcrowded ships with deplorable conditions and many died in crossing or soon after. Seeing the memorial in person is very moving. 

Next we drove through the Doo Lough Valley. There is a very beautiful lake in this area and another trageic story about the potato famine. In 1846, the 600 residents of Doo Lough Valley walked to the Delphi Lodge in hope for food, but 200 people died on the walk and there is a memorial on the mountain overlooking Black Lake.

We arrived in Galway and walked some of the sites, but are going to bed early for our long drive to Dublin.
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