Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Annaghkeen Cottage and Shannonbridge

Friday 14 June

My husband and I were visiting relatives in Headford, Galway for a week. Frank hit the jackpot with our accommodation, finding a delightful cottage, with 360 degree rural views and a 5 min walk to the lovely Lough Corrib.

Down to the lough.............
The walk under the lush green canopy of trees, to the sound of numerous birds chirping was a joy in itself.

Annaghkeen Castle ruins overlook the lough.

The duck family swam across a narrow inlet to join me. I sat down and they conversed with me.

The thatched cottage [R] now attached to a modern home, was previously the home of Frank's great uncle. Great Uncle John was quite a legend in the area and gave Frank his first Guiness when he was nine.

Walking back up the lane.

One evening we arrived home from visits at about 9.30. I was downloading photos when I noticed a glow in the sky, through the 50cm deep window of our renovated cattle barn. Warm clothes were quickly thrown on and camera grabbed. The sun actually set at 10pm.

The cottage of Great Uncle John is here.

On the walk back .....

Still grazing at 10.15pm.

Curious cows.

Sleepy cows.

Thursday 13 June

The day after landing in Dublin, we drove as far as Clonmacnoise and spent the night in a B&B. We drove into Shannonbridge to explore the fortifications, built in the early 1800's, to prevent an invasion of Dublin from the west, by Napolean.

Shannon River

This tavern was recommended for our evening meal. A perfect suggestion.

An evening of Irish music was to start at 9.30. We wanted to attend but we were fighting jetlag. We made the decision to explore the Clonmacnoise monastery ruins. They were an early Christian site, founded by St Ciaran in the mid 6th C. It was strategically placed on an east west, land route where it crossed the Shannon and became a major centre of religion, learning, craftsmanship and trade. By the 9th C, scholars came from all over Europe.

The site had closed at 5pm but our B&B host made the suggestion to enter by the local cemetery. Fabulous idea.

Cross of the Scriptures in front of the Cathedral.

Looking out to the cross.

The Round Tower


Sunset glowas we reluctantly left the monastery.

Spot the birds roosting for the night in this pine tree. It was wonderful to watch them noisily, soaring above as one, before resting.

The traditonal music wasn't starting for another hour, so we went back to our B&B for a coffee. Alas, sleep overtook us and our amazing day ended with sweet dreams.

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