It seems visiting Ireland is on everyone’s to-do list. It was certainly on mine, but I wasn’t allowed to take one family member without taking the others and that never seemed quite do-able. So, when a brochure arrived in the mail offering a one-week trip to the “Wild Atlantic Way” with no single supplement fee, I decided to travel as a single along with an educational tour group.
I had a wonderful time. I found Ireland to be just as gorgeous as the travel brochure depicted, perhaps more so because the photos could not capture the pristine, emerald green, wild, harsh, wet, sparsely populated vastness of western Ireland.
We stayed in the town of Westport and traveled to various regions within a day’s drive: Galway, Cong, Sligo, Achill Island, and Connemara. I found Ireland to be charming, peaceful, and welcoming. They have a rich history which includes (and for which they are very proud) the stories of strong, independent women: Queen Maeve (Megalithic era), Grace O’Malley, the pirate queen (1530-1603), and recently, Mary Robinson.
So, here are a few of the highlights. Keep in mind, it rained every day so not too many sunny shots.
The town of Westport, Ireland
Remains of one of Grace O’Malley’s castles near Achill Island
Foxmore Woolen Mills
Town of Sligo
Crough Patrick (St. Patrick’s Mountain) on the way to Connemara
Note the “gas station” on the left
Church stained glass in Cong Street scene in Galway
On our unscheduled day, me and my biking buddy took a spectacular 30-mile trail ride.