1999-10 (OCTOBER, 1999)

Galway & Connemara, Ireland

Andy organised a surprise weekend to Ireland. We flew in to Dublin on Friday morning, picked up our hire car and took to the western road. On the way we stopped at Clonmacnoise, which was very cool. We did a wee tour and had a look around the tourist centre. The poor guys that lived here 1000 years ago had received a pretty rough deal - they seemed to get attacked by an army from every part of the then known world on a fairly regular basis! Still, at least they were spared having to deal with the mobs of fat, old Americans that maraud the place now.

We stayed each night in the Ballynahinch Castle, near Recess. Our room was gorgeous - the view out over the black, moody river was magical.

On Saturday, we drove around south Connemara, taking in Clifden, Errislannan (where Andrea's Family owns a section by the sea), Ballyconneely, Callow and Roundstone. We were back at the hotel in time to watch the Rugby.

On Sunday we took in north Connemara. We saw Letterfrack, Tully Cross, Gowlaun and Leenane. In Leenane we met up with Andy's dad to watch the rugby in the village pub. We then drove back to Clifden for dinner at the Rock Glen Hotel, which was very, very good.

On Monday we headed back to Dublin. On the way we stopped at New Grange and had a look around. New Grange is the most modern and sophisticated of Ireland's ancient burial sites. It pre-dates the Pyramids by several hundred years. We got to walk around inside - the engineering was incredible.

On Tuesday morning we caught the earliest flight out of Dublin and arrived in time for work.