There are some regions in Ireland that you need to visit more than once to like it, especially if the weather is bad. But not Connemara. It’s one of my fave parts of Ireland… and it’s not because of the Kylemore Abbey or the N59 Road through the rugged Twelve Bens mountain range – just to name but a few of the most scenic spots -, it’s the whole EXPERIENCE that I adore. Connemara has long been regarded as the real emerald of Ireland. I couldn’t agree more. Last year in May, my best friend Orsi and her husband, Peti visited us for a long weekend. When I asked her what they wanted to see the most in Ireland, the answer was: “The Cliffs of Moher.” I thought ok, but we’ll start with Connemara first .
First time when we stopped, we had a lovely PIG-themed piknik. Oh well, get used to pigs, I love them . As we continued our journey, the next stop was meant to be the Kylemore Abbey…. but not with me in the car LOL. I spotted a horse in the fields.
Never had a horse, nor have I ridden one. But I’ve always been drawn to them. This beauty that you’re looking at is a horse I’ll never forget, for sure.
She was grazing close by a beautiful waterfall, pretty far away. The whole area was covered with wonderful bushes in full bloom with lovely yellow flowers and tall grass. ‘Stooooooooop’ – I shouted. Thank God, we could stop. I missed so many amazing images throughout the whole day that I couldn’t bear the thought of not taking some amazing portraits again . (I’m not making this up, I couldn’t have arranged the horses in better compositions than the way I saw them while speeding on the motorway.) So we parked down the car and I grabbed my camera. When I see a horse… nothing can stop me. Had to walk up a lot, but it was worth it. I couldn’t see the color of the horse, but when I got close I saw that it was one of my fave ones. Tried to hide behind a bush, but the horse quickly figured out I’m there. Didn’t want to miss any shot, so I looked at her through the viewfinder. It looked at me with such intensity. For a moment I thought that this horse is not too friendly, but I couldn’t be more wrong. The horse walked straight up to me and I gently started patting the horse on her neck and face. As I wanted to photograph the horse I signalled to her to go back grazing, but she wouldn’t leave. So I collected some grass and gave it to her. She took the grass in her mouth and looked at me.
The grass was sticking out of her mouth, she looked so funny . Click. I felt like looking into a mirror, cause this is crazy stuff that I would normally do with chips, spring onions, etc. After having her picture taken, she chewed, I laughed . I started yelling and waving to my friends to leave the car and come over to experience the beauty of Ireland. I believe that animals are friendlier in this country than elsewhere….
Soon we were all feeding the horse with grass and patting her. She put on such a show, she stroke all kinds of poses, lay down, ran, everything one could ask for .
We were really late, so we had to go. I was the last to leave and the horse walked up with me to the gate. It was time to say goodbye, but she kept on pushing herself against the barbed wire that separated us cause I guess she wanted more human touch.
First time I experienced what it must feel like having a horse who is longing for your touch and maybe your friendship…. I love horses , so expect a lot of horse portraits.
Then we continued our journey and stopped at the all time mystical-beautiful Kylemore Abbey. I won’t bore you to death with the history of the place…. this time.
We stopped in the mountains to “enjoy” the view….
…. and also at Doo Lough. I was lucky to photograph the same sheep that I photographed the previous summer.
I also took some portraits of Orsi getting into the groove , isn’t she adorable?
We arrived a bit late at the B&B which was absolutely gorgeous, I’m definitely taking my parents there next year. Before nightfall, we went out to enjoy the view from the Sky Road and checked out the reason why we booked our accomodation at Clifden: the old D’Arcy mansion, Clifden Castle.
Clifden Castle was built by John d’Arcy in a Gothic Revival style in the 18th century, about 1750. The house was only lived in for about 90 years before it was abandoned in the 1840′s.
Next morning we headed down to the Castle and I knew straight away that it’ll be sooo much fun. There was a flock of sheep grazing and a herd of cows…. apparently there was a bull too, but we didn’t see any sign of it…. oh I mean we did see a sign, but not the bull .
Everything was oh so quiet…
…. I decided to stir up the mood a little bit. Chasing sheep can be really energizing .
We “attacked” twice, but we didn’t do any harm to these lovely fellas.
I adore sheep too. For example this family over here, posing for a portrait:
After our adventures at Clifden, we hurried to get to the main attraction, but we stopped at my fave spot on the N59 Road, at Lough Inagh.
The Cliffs of Moher. Sigh. Having been there many times, not being lucky with the conditions of the light many times… I was a bit worried. It happened once that the weather was absolutely wonderful and sunny on the way there, but 20 minutes later, when we arrived, the Cliffs were covered in heavy fog and we couldn’t see a thing. If this wasn’t enough, on top of our disappointment we even got a Penalty Charge Notice for parking in the wrong place for 5 (!) minutes .
But this time, everything was perfect! What you see here is a dream come true…. Orsi enjoying the winds of Moher.
We also wanted to do a fun picture, this is us jumping .
We were extremely blessed with the weather: when we got there it looked as if it was about to rain, but then the cloudy sky opened up and the sun colored the Cliffs and the sky with magic. Final splash of golden light… always worth waiting for .