Thursday, June 23, 2016

Ireland - Day 4 (Galway)

Our goal today is to visit Kylemore Abbey and a few spots along the way and back based on some day tour brochures that Allison found. We had breakfast at 8:00am and it was included in the price of the stay. The breakfast is actually served in the restaurant and it was actually surprisingly good! We got the Full Huntsman which included everything, white pudding, black pudding, two sausages, two pieces of peameal bacon, toast, scrambled eggs, portobello mushroom, and grilled tomato. It was really good and we also got freshly squeezed orange juice and coffee/tea as well.

Full Huntsman at The Huntsman Inn.
So, where does the other car fit in this two-way lane? 
Killary Fjord.
First stop, Leenaun which we got to by around 11:00am, there is a nice view of Lough Lake and while driving we even saw sheep roaming the roads! Yes, as in actual sheep walking the roads with no one tending to them. I didn't understand it either...

Random stop. 
Near Kylemore Abbey. 
Did I miss the sheep crossing sign?
We made it to Kylemore Abbey by around 12:00pm. While it is a very big site, I don't think it will take you too long to do everything that you would like to do. We first went to the Mausoleum, the Abbey, and then the Walled Garden. It cost €13 per person to enter. Parking is free.

Kylemore Abbey. 
Church at Kylemore Abbey.
Church interior.
The Mausoleum was okay, nothing much to say about this one. There is a small church as well on the way back to the Abbey which was cute to see. It isn't very far from the Abbey and worth a stop since you are there anyways.

Surprise! Weird fingers of Kylemore Abbey.
We got back to the Abbey by around 12:00pm. The Abbey itself was a bit disappointing. The reason is, it is a fully functioning abbey and you are only allowed to visit 5 rooms of the building, I wish that we could walk more of the building.

Kylemore Abbey's Tea House. Scone on top, sponge cake on the bottom left, quiche on the bottom right.
By 1:00pm we made it to the Walled Garden, we lucked out and was able to catch the free shuttle which supposed saved us about 20 minutes of walking. Right by the Walled Garden is a Tea House which is a surprisingly good stop for lunch or a snack while you are there and oddly not that expensive. €13.30 got us a scone, a quiche, and a HUGE slice of sponge cake, the biggest that I recall having. Make sure to get extra cream because it was absolutely divine.

Kylemore Abbey's Walled Garden. 
Kylemore Abbey's Walled Garden. 
Kylemore Abbey's Walled Garden.
After our lunch, we walked the Walled Gardens, took the shuttle back to the main area and we left by around 3:00pm, so we spent about 3 hours here including our stop for lunch. The site is actually very nice and I would say well worth visiting if you can.

Spidal was our next stop and we got there at around 4:00pm, it was supposed to be known for thatched roof houses and it was a bit of a disappointment. It probably is because we expected to see more instead of the one or two that we saw. I'd avoid the stop.

Was this road meant for bikes or cars? 
What's with all the random rocks here?
From Spidal, we followed the GPS home and that was a mistake. For some weird reason, it took us on some weird detour that it thought was the quickest route, but we were driving through a deserted area where we did not see a single car or person for a good 30 minutes. The road was a single lane, it was in such disrepair that grass and weeds were growing out of the middle and it was scraping the bottom of the car. Lesson learned, don't trust the GPS and turn on weird small roads.

Stick'em up!
This wild detour did show us that the terrain changes in Ireland quite quickly and easily. We saw green fields, short mountains and rocky fields all in a short span of a 2 hour drive.

Front Door. Guinness Beef Stew on the left, Bangers and Mash on the right.
Dinner tonight was at Front Door which is in the downtown area. We ordered the Guiness Beef Stew and the Bangers and Mash. We also got dessert and it cost us just under €30. In my opinion, this was our best meal so far. While here we saw the opening ceremony for the Eurocup which was neat.

Street performers. 
Family crests! 
How does a merry-go-round work?!
We wandered downtown some more after dinner and headed back to the hotel and called it a night. Tonight we discovered that staying atop a bar and restaurant meant that it was noisy at night since it was Friday today. The noise did die down by 11:00pm, so it wasn't too bad, but it is good to point out if you decide to stay at The Huntsman Inn. We were in room 105.

Tomorrow, we do the Cliffs of Moher.