ireland day three: connemara + galway


I have this dream and I have it often. In this particular dream I have time, oceans of it, and it nearly comes to a pause when I find myself in a house perched in front of the ocean. Sometimes I’m surrounded by a vast, black forest, and a copse of trees obscures my view of a lake that belongs to me. I dream of space, quiet and the ability to be completely alone when I choose to. Yesterday morning I tell my pop this dream and he says he often thinks of it too: a small house, a farm, and a stretch of silence.

We begin this day in agreement, but the day folds into evening, and we end differently. But first, Ireland.

In a car, we set off for Cong, a non-descript village in Western Ireland, famous for its abundant fish and the 1951 film, “The Quiet Man.” With the exception of wifi and gas stations, you would think that you’ve traveled back to a time where a woman can live out her life full measure. The shops are small and all the food is locally made, including the butter, cream, and goat’s cheese. My pop and I drop into the Hungry Monk Cafe (in between snapping photos of the one of remaining ten traditional phone booths and the Augustinian Abbey of 626AD), and we marvel over the lunch menu of five local dishes, the scattering of food magazines and newspapers, and the abudance of homemade scones and pastries. The scones are outstanding, and the wife reveals that she whips the cold butter in a stand mixer before cutting in the flour. Doing so renders a lighter scone that lasts overnight. I spent this morning savoring said scone with clotted cream and IT. WAS. EVERYTHING.


We spent the remainder of the afternoon driving through Connemara, watching the rugged landscape unfold. The rolling hills, rocky mountains, herd of sheep and their newborn lambs, as well as the small villages that serve up bread and biscuits that will warm the coldest of hearts. My pop and I continue on toward Galway Bay along the Atlantic, and head to a town called Spiddal, where Irish is the first language. The coastline is a sight to see with its waters painted cobalt blue and boats parked by the harbor. I crawl up on the rocks facing County Clare as the beginning of an argument with my pop brews.

You’ll notice there are no photos of Galway, for the subdued bickering of the past few days erupted in a roar. I won’t indulge the particulars, but my dad and I came to the tacit understanding {after four hours of silence} that while we adore one another we sometimes need time apart. And while we tend to love the same things {a fine meal, conversation and sparsely-populated villages}, we both need that dream of a house blanketed in quiet.

We woke this morning, took a long breakfast, and laughed about the night before; we agreed to spend the day apart. Pop will reunite with his brothers in his childhood home while I’ll jet around Dublin, eating, snapping pics and visiting cathedrals and food halls. Tonight we’ll have one final dinner at The Gresham before flying home tomorrow.




ireland traveling girl