Monday, July 7, 2014

Ireland - A Village, A Castle Home & 4th of July

Continuing with more of my Ireland travels, I'd like to introduce you to a quaint town where our tour group stopped for an overnight stay.   Ballyvaughn is a fishing and farming village located in County Clare on the south shores of Galway Bay.  According to the 2011 census, the population of Ballyvaughn is 258.  Considering such a small population, the below photo shows many varied and colorful direction signs on the town street.  The village was clean, colorful and typically Irish in cottage design.  The last photo shows the view from the Bed & Breakfast we stayed in.  Flower planters were stationed at most windows, adding floral beauty that says 'welcome'.
What a GPS signpost - no excuse to get lost!
Ballyvaughn street
Window view
The village is within driving distance to archaeologist treasures of medieval origin that is rich in history in ancient Ireland.  Among these is Gleningh Castle built in the late 1500's for the O'Loughlin family.  They disposed of it in the mid 1600's but later regained ownership and were its last inhabitants when it was abandoned around 1840.  This well preserved tower house looks down from a hillside across the wide expanse of Galway Bay.  It has a distinctive L-shaped plan comprising an oblong tower of four stories with a projected turret containing a spiral stair.

Overlooking Galway Bay
Once a castle home
It was at Gleningh Castle that our tour guides Phil and Carolyn, surprised us all with a July 4th Celebration with champagne and apple turnovers.  The group were all Americans... some from South Carolina, California, Ohio and of course, Oregon.  It was a most wonderful surprise and a July 4th that I will never forget.  Imagine celebrating USA Independence Day by a medieval castle.  Such a young country in comparison to ancient Ireland.

  July 4th Remembrance
To reach the castle from the parked tour bus, we walked down a country path and enjoyed viewing the surrounding countryside.  An Irish cow just happened to be curious enough to take a look over the hedge and gaze at all the two-legged critters walking by.....

Until my next post at The Turn-Up Patch, here is a beautiful Irish blessing that I leave with you:
                                                     May flowers always line your path
                                                     and sunshine light your day,
                                                     May songbirds serenade you
                                                     every step along your way,
                                                     May a rainbow run beside you
                                                     and may the skies be always blue,
                                                     And may happiness fill your heart
                                                     each day your whole life through.

See you on Monday, July 21!

Although July 4th has come and gone, you are welcome to check out my post written in 2013 entitled "Identity of the American Flag", a tribute to the flag of the United States of America in honor of the Declaration of Independence...

1 comment:

  1. Of all the pictures, I love the one of the cow in the grape vines. Adorable.