Blogs from Westport, County Mayo, Ireland, Europe

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Europe » Ireland » County Mayo » Westport March 13th 2011

On our third day in Ireland we venture out into County Mayo. We leave Castlebar and head north toward Ballina, but stopping first in Foxford to check out the Foxford Woollen Mills Visitor Centre. This mill was founded in 1892 by a local nun who made it her mission to put the idle hands of Foxford to work doing something productive. I was super excited because this was the first time I wanted to purchase souveniers. Beautiful woollen scarves and blankets were available and I wanted them all. We were able to take the 40 minute automated tour that was silly and informative all at once! After making our purchases we set back off to see the Ceide Fields and the Atlantic Ocean. Driving north and up hills, getting colder and colder we found the Ceide ... read more
Foxford
Ireland 2011 078
Foxford Wool

Europe » Ireland » County Mayo » Westport December 12th 2009

What a way to end! Everything had been leading up to this day, our stay at The Ashford Castle. One of Irelands Top 5 Hotels we were Literally Princesses for a whole 24 hours. Ireland’s grandest castle hotel, with a history going back to the early 13th century, Ashford is set in 350 acres of beautiful parkland. Grandeur, formality and tranquillity are the essential characteristicsthat you first see in the immaculately maintained grounds and, once inside, you feast your eyes on a succession of impressive public rooms that illustrate a long and proud history - panelled walls, oil paintings, suits of armour and magnificent fireplaces. It has changed hands many times throughout it's long history including been proudly owned by the Guiness Family. It is clear that all the detail, decor, service and manicured gardens make ... read more
11am pint
Fluffy Pillows
The Lobby

Europe » Ireland » County Mayo » Westport September 21st 2009

We finally found our first free WiFi.... not quite a coffee shop but a Cyber Pub! Totally comfortable with driving for the most part. Last nights campground was more like a Gypsy encampment so we hit the road early and have been touring the countryside. We are next heading to Connamerra and camping near the town of Clifden. Probably moving south tomorrow and maybe out to the Arran Islands. We will post photos but if it cuts out halfway through it is because we are on battery power. Answers to people FAQ's: #1) Yes Guinness tastes different- Smoother and Fresher... not to mention poured correctly! #2) The weather is very similar to home.. it is usually overcast in the morning and clears in the afternoon. On the western half of the island it is very similar ... read more
cong abbey
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Europe » Ireland » County Mayo » Westport May 25th 2009

A great big suprise in Knock! We all made our way to Stanstead early in the morning to suprise Kyle on his 30th Birthday. Once arriving at our desitination in Knock we were hit with a problem, one of our friends Roland from Namibia was not allowed to enter Ireland on his visa. So we got told to sit our in the airport waiting room to find out if he was alowed to enter into Ireland. Two hours later we managed to hire a 7 seater car and Kyle went and made a sign with Rolands name on it. One second later to our amazment Roland came though the door into Ireland. We all cheered! (if that wasnt the "Secret" we dont know what is). We then had the task of fitting 9 people into the ... read more
The sign worked
Dale, Manu and Kyle
All of us

Europe » Ireland » County Mayo » Westport May 17th 2009

Craggy rock-strewn cliffs, rain and a good dose of Catholicism greeted Dad and I as we entered the Burren from the Ring of Kerry. We've continued our trek around the coast, heading slowly upwards from Killarney, stopping frequently to take panoramic photos and stain our teeth with endless pots of tea. Each day we've made ambitious plans to travel x hundred kilometers to the next big town, but we keep falling in love with small towns as we drive through them. From tiny musical Doolin - a loose agglomeration of pubs, shops and B&Bs next to the Cliffs of Moher - to the even smaller port of Cleggan - jumping off point for Inishbofin Island followed by the vast Atlantic - our last week has been characterized by long impromptu walks, seafood chowder (cheap and hearty, ... read more
Ripples on the Sea
Castle on the Connemara Trail
Barren Rock on the Burren

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Europe » Ireland » County Mayo » Westport August 11th 2008

KONICHIWAAAAAAA!!! That's Pikachu, a.k.a. The Cosmic Inferno, screaming into a microphone. She's the guest singer of Acid Mothers Temple, the reclusive Japanese psychedelic band that lives communally on the slopes of Mt Fuji. They look like monks and take their music (and acid) very seriously. Except Pikachu. She looks like Pris, the berserk android from Blade Runner. The Pale refers to the tiny patch of territory around Dublin that the English first controlled. Beyond that patch, beyond the Pale, as our expression goes, lurked mad Celts hiding in deep forests. My own plan to go beyond the Pale failed to reach escape velocity due to the fact that last May I checked "July 3" instead of "August 3" on the car rental reservation form. When the clerk pointed this out to me I began to sputter ... read more
Cliffs
Looking down 1
Looking down 2

Europe » Ireland » County Mayo » Westport March 20th 2008

We’re now in County Mayo at Kinsallagh, overlooking Clew Bay and Achill Island, with the Atlantic pounding on the other side, at a very cosy B&B. Behind us is Croagh Padraig - the hill on which St Patrick is said to have fasted forty days and nights, and where he banished the snakes and toads of Ireland (with the exception of one type). The weather is getting cooler - and the long johns have made an appearance! First night in Ireland was in Country Wexford in the SE of Ireland. Stayed at our first Irish B&B (the Haven Lodge at Wellington Bridge) - great hospitality in a beautiful rural area. Like much of Ireland, Wexford is dotted with new subdivisions covered with identical two storey houses - one we saw more than doubles the size of ... read more
Crosses at Cashel Rock
Cahir Castle
Cahir Castle roof timbers

Europe » Ireland » County Mayo » Westport August 7th 2007

Driving around Ireland certainly isn’t as bad as driving in Australia - there is a lot more to see for starters! But today, we had a bit of a boring drive - through Sligo and onto Westport. We didn’t stop much along the way, and after a quick visit to the Tourist Info Centre to book our accommodation, we split up and went our separate ways. Ryan and KB wanted to check out the coastal sights, while Iz and I were more than happy to take the more direct route, straight into Westport. This is a charming town with flowering hanging baskets galore, a cute little river running through the town and quaint buildings to boot. It was a hot, sunny, afternoon, so we made the most of the weather, and strolled through the town’s streets ... read more
Driving Food
Westport Stream 1
Westport Stream 2

Europe » Ireland » County Mayo » Westport December 26th 2006

Croagh Patrick mountain Waking up nice and early I had breakfast packed a few snacks and made sure my bike was working alright then headed off to the mountain. After a short bike ride to pilgrims route up the mountain, during the summer there are 1000 of pilgrims that climb up the mountain to pray both Christian and pagan. They even have a huge festival type thing in the top near the summer solstice. I attempted to bike up as much as possible, which wasn’t that much I ended up half pushing half carrying it the first 500m then gave up and locked it up behind a little hill. The first section of track is rocky water eroded and very green, which moves on to an incredibly steep shale surrounded by grass and heather, but even ... read more
Croagh Patrick mountain
Croagh Patrick mountain
Croagh Patrick mountain

Europe » Ireland » County Mayo » Westport December 22nd 2006

Waking up at 5am we packed a bit more had quick showers and were off! The fog was intense barley able to see more than a car or 2 in front of us, but all in all much better than being at work! We filled up at the exorbitant Christmas diesel rate of 1.02 a liter(usually 0.92), and drove through the classic British Christmas scene white frost covered grounds and trees looking a lot like snow, it was really beautiful almost worth waking up so early=p I tried to get some pic’s but I’m not sure if they came out. Using the software Conor “sourced”(net) we were able to find our way through all the twists and turns magnificently, it has all the roads and maps for most of Europe so getting lost should be a ... read more
the drive in
the drive in
the drive in




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