For our third day of travel we were westward bound – all the way to Westport. Pam, Bethany’s Step-mom, had ancestors that were traced back to this area, so we wanted to explore the town. This was quite a drive, and probably will be the most time we’ll spend in the car on this trip. Many of our pictures were taken from the car, and in some cases where the road was one lane, we had to take some moving pictures. Hopefully these pictures will give you an idea of some of the beautiful countryside we’re seeing. I’m not quite sure how to explain the terrain in terms of American comparisons. I would maybe say “Kansas, but much greener”, some parts are as beautiful as taking a drive in the Rocky Mountains, but not as mountain-y.
Westport itself seems like a typical small Irish town, with many shops along the town square and shops that line the busy streets. For friends that have been to Fort Collins, imagine Old Town, but with an older appearance and on streets that are a little more narrow and a little more busy. It’s not a very good description, probably because the towns in Ireland are different than anything that I’ve seen.
In the center of Westport they had a big structure called “The Octagon” – almost like a town’s clock tower without the clock, instead they have a statue of St. Patrick at the top.
We stopped by the Westport house, which is basically a tourist attraction with activities for kids. We walked around a bit, but opted not to pay the admission to see the house up close. Instead on the way over there we saw these kids that were put into these big round balls and rolled down the hill. I couldn’t help but wonder how many times people have gotten sick inside of those balls.
We then stopped by Croagh Patrick, the mountain where St. Patrick went up and fasted during Lent in the 5th century and drove all the snakes out of Ireland. In the last week of July over 15,000 people make a pilgrimage up the mountain.
Below the grounds of Croagh Patrick lies a moment for those who suffered while seeking refuge from the Potato Famine. While they escaped Ireland to immigrate to the United States, the ships they sailed on had horrid conditions that resulted in many of them dying along the way. If you look at the picture of the ship, you’ll see that the masts are made of skeletons to signify the life that was lost during those journeys.
We then drove through Doo Lough Pass, a beautiful but windy road across the hills on the way to Galway. There we saw some beautiful sights around a large lake. It was drizzling throughout the drive and made for a very pretty two hours. We had to slow down a few times to avoid some sheep alongside the road. This reminded me of when we’re in Colorado and people stop to take pictures of the elk – now it was our turn to take pictures of the sheep.
We finally reached Galway for dinner, and choose from what seemed to be 100 pubs and rastaurants in this small walking area in the town. There were some pedestrian walkways that looked like an old version of Pearl Street in Boulder. We’ll be back in Galway later on this trip, and I’m looking forward for the opportunity to explore some more.
Day three is in the books! Thank you for continuing to accompany us on our adventure!