Today, after breakfast, I traveled along within a taxi to another county: Mayo. I headed (with the taxi of course) in a long journey that almost took one hour of driving to a village called Cong, on the north of the Loch Coirib. This long way was supposedly to be shortened (with lesser expenses) by a ferry, but since the ferry stops at the end of the September with the end of tourism season, I had to take the hard way. Not only that, but a ferry would take you into the lake to an island in the Corrib, named Inchagoill, where a grave stone of St. Patrick nephew is supposedly to be there with a church that dates back to the 5th century, and also a 12th century's Romanesque church. However, today I went to Cong, and tomorrow, if the weather was nice I shall be heading to Inchagoill by boat.
There are three main sites to see in Cong, but I saw only two of them since I didn't really care much about the third! They are: 1. Ashford Castle which has been turned into a luxurious hotel, 2. St. Feichin Monastery which dates back to the 6th century, 3. A museum, which was the house where a movie was shot, named "The Quiet Man."
1. In Ashford castle, tourism was much still alive and people were going in and out, either for picnics or to play golf in the wide green fields around the castle. I took many shots around the place and I had a long walk in the forest behind the hotel (the castle). We were thinking that the monastery is somewhere around the castle but we got it wrong. Anyway, I really loved the trees there, and some of them were giants and obviously hundreds if not at least one thousand years old. On the way out of the place, we asked a valet about the monastery, and he guided us to it. It is in the village itself and not near the hotel.
2. We got back to the village and found the monastery. Frankly, I don't know if it is St. Feichin monastery, but it was Cong Abbey, or "Ministreach Chonga." It was a national monument as the signs in the place denoted and from the design and the hard rocks it was obvious that it was a medieval building. The graves were every where and I was trying hard not to stop on them. The dead deserve their respect. The graves were marked by a grave stones sometimes but lot of times they were marked by a Celtic crosses. The abbey had a second floor which was exposed like a roof, and I tried to take a panoramic shot up there. The building was magnificent, and after the castle of Aughnanure, this is the second time I see a real medieval building with religious significance. The castle itself was not completely medieval as it was obvious that it had been renovated to be in shape of the hotel that it is seen today. The abbey was unique with its ruins. Upon my way out, I snapped the gate of the abbey as well;
3. On the way back from Cong, I had a nap in the taxi, as the long drive to Cong actually made my stomach a bit disturbed. On the way though, I couldn't help to stop my camera from snapping but this I had to make fast shots with no HDR intention (3 shots with different exposures and blah blah blah). There were many spectacular views for Connemara hills and the Corrib lake with the road being up and down all the way, but I had few shots that were good enough, specially with the problem with the light source and the speed of the shutter;
Tomorrow, Hopefully, I'll be heading to Inchagoill, and only 4 days left to get back to Dublin, and on the 5th day then, I shall fly away back home!