OT: See More of What *He* is Seeing

A couple of weeks ago I took you on a journey through Connemara along the Wild Atlantic Way. But there is more beauty to be seen in Connemara, even when you are not on the Atlantic. And so I made my way across to the hinterland of Connemara again, accompanied by cRAmerry and Silverbluelining who were here to visit me. In case you are curious – there were no sightings of a particular gent who may or may not have been filming in Connemara. All you are getting to see in this post is what Connemara looks like. Not a camera, a crew member, a catering truck in sight! 

For a quick overview of what *he* was seeing, here are some pictures. If you’d like to see more, there is a slide show of Connemara, Part 2, further down.

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Lough Corrib and Lough Mask provide the blue in a landscape of greens and browns. And for some medieval ruins I have thrown in a few pictures of Cong Abbey, Ashford Castle and Aughnanure Castle to give you an impression of the still visible remains of the past in this landscape.

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After a 200km drive in heavy rain we arrived to heavy skies that were just opening up, illuminating the bare mountains with golden rays of sunshine. The next morning we took a wander in the grounds of Ashford Castle, on the shore of Lough Corrib, and had breakfast with tea and scones in the sunshine. Ashford Castle was built in the early 13th century on a site overlooking Lough Corrib that had previously been a monastic settlement. What you see nowadays is not what the castle looked like in the middle ages. It is in fact the Victorian re-imagining of a medieval castle… Today it houses a fancy-schmancy 5-star hotel.

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More impressive and definitely original are the remains of the Benedictine abbey in Cong. The early abbey (7th century) was destroyed and re-built twice, the last time in the early 13th century. Today you see some beautiful masonry work on the fragmented cloister.

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According to the hostel proprietor, they had filmed in the Abbey the week prior to our visit. As you can see in my photo, with a bit of trickery and perspective it is possible to create the illusion of seeing a sort of intact building. In truth, the Abbey is a ruin, inhabited by the wind – and rooks…

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My favourite photo – as usual it is one that would usually be considered a fail.

We also stopped at Aughnanure Castle, the stronghold of the “Ferocious O’Flahertys”. It is beautifully intact from the outside, but was closed for renovation of the inside. But this will give you an idea what the “residences” of medieval clans looked like:

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As you can see, the tower house is a defensive structure. They are usually found in the more inaccessible parts of Ireland where they were built along the shore or in the mountains to defend and control the surrounding area. They are often called castles – but they are only a castle if they are surrounded by further walls and enclosures. Interestingly, they were predominantly built by the Anglo-Irish (and the Gaelic clans only to a lesser extent). Don’t expect to see them in Pilgrimage, though – they are a later defensive/architectural style than the 13th century.


As for the elusive medieval road-movie: We did enquire after it, rather surreptitiously, in a couple of places, but everyone around there was suspiciously tight-lipped uninformed… They claimed they had hardly ever/never heard of a film called Pilgrimage being made around there! It seems that discretion is a Connemara speciality! Did it matter? Not in the slightest. I think we forgot about Mr A roughly 20 minutes into leaving the motorway… Sorry, Rich – you may have given us the idea to go on a trip to the West. But the soul-filling programme was provided by Connemara. I am totally on a roll with that part of the country now – so much so that I am going there once again in four weeks’ time for a short break on Inishbofin Island.

There, we may not have seen Mr A. But we saw Connemara. And had a road-movie of our own. That is more than enough!

52 thoughts on “OT: See More of What *He* is Seeing

  1. I’m so jealous that you were back there! Lovely photos to make up for it though 😉

    Tea and scones at Ashford Castle… 😉 But no sightings, what a shame!

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    • Nah, I don’t think so… If anything then it is too close to home, too fraught with history, and not quite on the same “out of this world” scale… But I have been secretly delighted to read and see Weber’s updates. He has evidently fallen in love with the place, and that’s sweet.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. At this point, you could make a pretty penny being a tour guide in Connemara. Thanks for the stunning pictures. I’m glad you are having such a wonderful time because you deserve it. ((hugs))

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  3. Beautiful photos. I will see that lovely countryside one day. Probably soon after I invite myself to visit you.

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  4. Ich habe nochmal zum “Quiet Man” recherchiert: Regisseur John Ford, Story in Anlehnung an Shakespeare’s Widerspenstigen Zähmung: bin ja schwerst beeidruckt. Und ich habe das Denkmal mit John Wayne NICHT fotografiert, sowas aber auch! Mal sehen, ob ich vielleicht irgendwo in den Untiefen der städtischen Bücherei noch die DVD auftreibe. Weniger wegen der sicher schmalztreibenden Handlung (wobei das Thema im Original von S. schon Potential hat), sondern natürlich um die Location zu verproben.
    Mein Lieblingsbild ist übrigens das mit Shaun 🙂

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    • Da sagst du was – man könnte sich die Schmonzette noch mal antun und gleichzeitig dabei die ganzen Locations abhaken. Sowas macht ja immer besonders viel Spaß (auch wenn das für die Umsitzenden eher nervig ist… “Oh, das ist da, wo wir Kaffee getrunken haben.” “Also, in natura sah das so aus…”
      Die Bilder mit Shaun kommen immer gut…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you! The photos are wonderful and I’m glad you had a nice trip. No wonder you are looking forward to another getaway, I’m looking forward to more pics! xx.

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    • Thanks Austoz, hope I am not boring anyone with this. I admit, I am quite in love with Ireland, and I am sort of apologizing to my wonderful host country after my infatuation with NZ… Mind you, I think you can love more than one place 😉
      I am so looking forward to my island weekend, too – I may have to stop over for a night in Connemara first, because the ferry to Inishbofin leaves only twice daily…

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      • No way, never bored! only thirsty for more! If I started posting pics of Aus’ I’d break the internet with my enthusiasm, so espouse away, Ireland (and NZ) is lovely xx.

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    • You’re welcome. I wish Irish tourism paid me for my advertising 😉 – but it’s just as good to just pass on the pics and know that they will be seen.

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  6. Schöne Bilder, Guylty.

    Das Krähe-fliegt-über-Turm(?)-Bild gefällt mir persönlich sehr. “Fail”?! – Pah! Glückstreffer!

    Und das zweite, Lichtstreifen und Schatten davor und dahinter – gefällt mir. 🙂

    Auch sehr schön: Der Schnappschuss von deinen beiden Gästen, wie sie unterm Baum ein Päuschen einlegen. 😉

    Tolle Gegend! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Who wouldn’t fall in love with the place? As always your photos are stunning. My favorite, too, is the up-shot of the tower with the greenery and the rook. It’s simply a striking image that makes you look twice. But I also like the architectural details of the Medieval structures. I love to imagine all those Irish monks copying their manuscripts 🙂

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  8. I really hate location scouts 😉 The must have the best job in the world!
    On to the photos, ohhhh… isn’t it cute how the sheep huddle beneath the tree??? awww, or should that be baahh? 😉 The next one is just perfection, you know like in photo perfection too (rule of thirds and all that stuff ;-)) I can’t stop looking at it, it is almost as if i can touch the grass and even the asphalt on the road 🙂
    Love the abbey too, reminds me of a few places i visited round here too which look similar, too bad you missed them by one week 😉
    Sounds like a perfect weekend for everyone 🙂
    Will indulge in the full slide show later in my hotel room, if i can’t be somehwere in nature at least i’ll have it on my screen 🙂

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