During the various layovers at airports today, Dan Burgoyne and I planned out our first day in Ireland. We plan to take a drive around Lough Corrib then past the Maamturk Mountains and take in the unique light of Connamara. Like Paris, the light in this region has inspired artists for centuries.

With all my visits to Ireland, I’ve never seen Kylemore Abbey so we’ll make a stop there then finally go the Western Way through the village of Delphi – very scenic. We’ll end in Westport have dinner in town and get to bed early to stave off Jet lag. This is one of the most beautiful landscapes in Europe. Can’t wait.

About to depart.

NOTE: It turned out we didn’t go to Kylemore Abbey after all. We were exhausted from the plane ride and it was raining. We decided to go up the east side of Lough Corrib in Mayo. We stopped in Cong and had lunch, visited the Abbey and walked the town in between rain storm. Then we headed for Westport, took a nap and then went into town for a delicious dinner.

Westport is an extremely walkable town with several blocks full of shops, restaurants, pubs. It’s hilly, with steep inclines in places, so the traveler will get his exercise. We had our first meal at Madden’s in the Clew Bay Hotel. I had some of the best seafood chowder of my life and Dan had Stir-fried Duck in oyster sauce served over pasta.

We walked to town in the rain, but by evening the sun came out and we took our time getting back. The sun sets in Ireland about 10pm in May, which makes for a long touring day. On the walk home, I remember thinking, I could spend a full three days in Westport. It’s a fabulous town for locals and visitors alike.

Dan and me stopping along the walk back to the B&B after dinner in Westport.

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