Beautiful Ireland – Part I
From April, 30th to May, 7th my girlfriend and I visited the beautiful country Ireland, more exactly the western part of the isle around Galway. We wanted to explore the beautiful landscapes and castles, visit the small Irish villages and take a look at the city of the tribes – Galway.
About my Equipment
I took my Nikon D750 with the Tamron SP 24-70 F2.8 and the Tamron SP 15-30 F2.8 with me, all sercurely packed in the Lowepro Flipside 400 AW backpack. Also two spare batteries, and two 64 GB memory cards (SanDisk and Transcend) found their way into my backpack.
Walk around Lough Atalia in Galway
I didn’t take pictures on the travel day itself because of the bad weather so I am starting with the first proper day in Ireland as Day 1. Again we weren’t lucky with the weather on that day. It was all grey outside and sometimes it rained. We decided to go for a little walk from our Hotel towards Galway harbor. We wandered along the Lough Atalia, spotted nice gardens, a sacred well and even an amusement park. We explored the harbor area with its parks and the famous Spanish Arch before we headed into the (despite the weather) very crowded pedestrian area with its numerous shops where we bought our first souvenirs. I stopped photographing there because it started to rain, which is not a problem for the gear, but i also had to carry some shopping-bags 🙂
Burren National Park
At the second day we started at about 9 o’clock in the morning and travelled with our rental car to the Burren National Park. The Burren (which means “great rock”) is a karst landscape located in the County Clare. The size of the National Park is about 15 km² and there are several hiking paths to explore. The trailhead is located at Gortlecka Crossroads where you find a small parking lot.
Initially we wanted to hike the 6 km long purple route “Lough Avalla Loop Walk” but after around 100 meters it suddenly started to rain so heavily that we went back to the car. However, we didn’t get there because the rain was gone as quickly as it started. We then decided to follow the green route which is 6.5 km long and called “Mullaghmor Return”. It is described as very difficult – remote/upland, but it was not that difficult at all. We followed the narrow road for some time (which are normal countryside roads in Ireland, a real adventure to drive along) until we arrived at a lake where the path led offroad into the rocky terrain. The landscape is very beautiful – the shape, the colors, really enjoyable!
The hiking path led us alongside the lake towards the hill. We left the lake behind us and went higher. Eventually, after mastering some passages where we had to climb a little bit, we arrived at the top. We were rewarded with a gorgeous view of the surrounding landscape with all the rocks, lakes and green fields. Now it was time to get back to the car because we wanted to reach our next destination of the day, the famous Cliffs of Moher.
Cliffs of Moher
I cannot say more about the Cliffs of Moher than that it was one of the most impressive and beautiful things I have ever experienced to stand at the top of the cliffs and look down to the roaring atlantic ocean. It was a great atmosphere there with the beautiful light of the sun through the clouds, the numerous birds we spotted flying around and the strong wind which drove the waves against the high cliffs. Also worth mentioning is the visitors center with a very interesting exhibition. The center is built into the hill so that it doesn’t distract the landscape too much which is very impressive. Enjoy the pictures!
On the way back to the hotel we stopped by a lovely little lake for a break.
The first two days in Ireland were very beautiful and interesting for us. We enjoyed them very much. I hope you like the pictures and in the next part I will cover the Days 3 and 4 where we visited Silverstrand Beach, Coral Beach, Kinvara with Danguaire Castle as well as our second visit to Galway including a visit in a cathedral.
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