Heading Out to Connemara

We rounded out our day in Galway by heading out to Clifden. Clifden is the gateway city to Connemara. Connemara is a national park that encompasses quite a bit of the area west of Galway.  The mountain peaks are almost always covered by fog/drizzle.  It’s also an area where marble is mined.  Connemara marble is sold all around Ireland, but most notably in the west.  The last time we headed out there it was cloudy and rainy.  I was hoping for a sunny day but that is a rarity there.

We stopped in a village named Moycullen on our way because we wanted to stop at Celtic Crystal.

IMG_1994IMG_1995Much of the crystal that was once cut in Ireland is no longer cut there.  Celtic Crystal is the notable exception.  We found it by accident the last time we were in Ireland.  We stopped this time because our friend Eleanor has a major obsession with crystal. She’s tried to steal my pieces more than once.  It was fun shopping with her money.  While they have affordable pieces they also have pieces worth thousands.  We split the difference last time and have one of the blue colored pieces.   She opted for green goblets and we did the shopping via Facebook messenger.

We stopped by the side of the road several times to take pictures and to wait for sheep to move away from the road.  We stopped at Joyce’s which is a gift shop owned by the family that owns the marble mines.

IMG_1999You can’t miss Joyce’s. There is a statue across the road that’s labeled “erected for no apparent reason.”

IMG_2137Joyce’s is attached to a gas station and other than that there’s not much around until you get to Clifden. Cory was gifted a large piece of marble by the proprietor who is one of the owners of the mine so he can make a custom pocket watch. That same proprietor is the one responsible for the statue.

IMG_2000We headed on to Clifden and stopped for dinner at E.J. Kings.  E.J. Kings was a good choice as the food was good and I discovered another cider I hadn’t tried yet. Our first choice wasn’t going to happen because the sun would have set before we got to the sky road.  I think driving the sky road is a must do when you head out to Connemara.  It has wonderful views and is pretty peaceful.  It was also extremely windy when we were there but well worth it.  We ended up making it to the end of the loop and heading back to Galway as the sun was setting.  Thankfully the days were longer there otherwise we wouldn’t have been able to jam everything into each day.

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