Saturday, August 27, 2016

Clifden to Ballina

Thursday 26th August, 2016

We left our colourful B & B after a very nice breakfast; adequately filled.  Our host suggested we take a side trip to a fishing village of Roundstone which we did.   It meant going south again, but a round trip back to Clifden.  Well worth it, the countryside very pretty, the heather and gorse at its peak I think; the landscape barren & sparse at times.  Many little villages along the winding seaside road, when we arrived at Roundstone we weren’t disappointed – these little harbour villages have a certain charm.
Because we couldn’t get into Kylemore Abbey yesterday (there was a function) and as it was on our way north, we called in, paid the necessary Euros (with senior citizen discounts) and wandered around the rooms that have been made available to view.  Around the walls is the history of the Abbey – very interesting and quite sad too.  We then meandered through the beautiful trees to the Gothic Church, built in 1877, ten years after the Abbey.  In the other direction is the Walled Garden covering 6 acres..  Quite a walk to this incredible area, both formal gardens and a vast vegetable garden.  What they do with all the produce I have no idea but impressive it was.
We had lunch at a wee café and finally we found a sandwich (like the ones we have in NZ, two in a cardboard pack affair) very yummy along with a coffee.  We sat outside and watched the continuous flow of people come and go.
Then off we motored north into County Mayo, via Westport, through Newtown with the lovely arched bridges, past the long narrow Kilery Harbour,  with many many mussel farms.  The landscape I thought, not unlike our McKenzie Country but greener of course.  Gone are the rock fences and replaced with post and wire.
We passed many areas that have been harvested (not sure if that is the right word) for peat.  The peat in groups of white bags which looked awful in the landscape I thought.
We drove through Bangor then onto to Ballina where we have found a superb B & B on the outskirts of the town.  Early to bed tonight.

Our Colourful B & B in Clifden

Boat Harbour Roundstone

Love the coloured houses throughout Ireland, these at Roundstone

Boats in the harbour

Fishing area, surrounded with heather and gorse.

Kylemore Abbey

Interior of the Gothic Church

Walled Garden

The arched bridges at Newtown


Vicki Bright said...

That was a beautiful selection of photos. The place looks like a postcard.

Meg Lipscombe said...

Finally this morning have caught up on your blog. What a wonderful time you are having, especially catching up with Freespiral. Loving the pics, such picturesque country and loving the towns. Sorry Dora has been misbehaving, they do strange things some times. After great weather in Norway for the first week, we have some rather wet days, along within single figure temps. Layers of merino needed! Xx Meg