To get to Renvyle near the west coast of Ireland, we drove inland westward from Dublin, exited the toll way to a two-lane road with a dangerous speed limit of 100km/hour. The drive was scenic as we passed green pasture of farmlands, distant mountains and blue lake.
The nearest town to Renvyle is Tullycross, where beautiful thatched cottages still stand amongst more modern houses.
At Renvyle, we came across our first castle ruin, a tower built of rocks overlooking the coast.
We didn’t know then but these ruins are commonly found along the Wild Atlantic Way, many of which have certain parts already toppled, either by bombs or weather.
We braved the cold to walk along rocky beach, littered with pebbles, seaweeds and odd shells.
The Connemara Loop runs around the peninsula, hugging the nature reserve. One of the stop around this loop is the Kylemore Abbey, a beautiful castle built by an Englishman Mitchell Henry for his wife Margaret in 1864-1871, but then lost his fortune and sold it to the Manchesters, who also met with financial trouble. The Benedictine nuns finally bought it and turned it into an Abbey.
Around the castle is a walled garden. On the day we were there, we were greeted by the typical Irish weather of rain and wind, adding an authentic Irish atmosphere to the historic building.
We spent two nights at Renvyle before moving off to our next destination, Galway City and the southern coast.