Croagh Patrick in the morning, and a driving tour of Achill Island in the afternoon. What a day! Here are some scenes from our drive.
This is Rockfleet Castle on the shore of Clew Bay. It was the home of Grace O'Malley, the "Pirate Queen" of Ireland during the 1500's. She is a fascinating character, a female who boasted a fleet of pirate ships and an army of men who fought loyally for her for over 40 years. We followed a brief tip from a driving guide I found online and travelled down an out-of-the-way country road to find this castle sitting empty on a farmer's land. The guide said to ask for a key from the gatehouse but we found the castle open and went in.
From inside the castle looking out the front door.
Road to Dooagh
It was on Achill Island that we also had our scariest experience. On our way from Keel to Dooagh, we found ourselves on a narrow (of course) road snaking up the side of a mountain. This was the only road I believe in Ireland that does NOT have a wall on the side of it and the edge, a mere three or four feet from the edge of the road, plunged steeply down into the sea hundreds of feet below. I was hyperventilating too much to take pictures as I looked straight down from my left side passenger seat into the ocean below - trying NOT to think about the fact that Craig had been driving over curbs constantly (took a while to get used to driving on the left side). In the picture above you can see the road coming down the side of the mountain from the top right. This picture does not convey how steep the dropoff was!
Driving back up the road wasn't so scary since we were next to the side of the mountain so I snapped some pictures. Note the narrow patch of grass from the end of the road to the dropoff.