Part 3...Irish history...Connemara Heritage and History Centre...Finally, photos of us...


Tom has been wearing the flannel shirt he purchased in Penguin, Tasmania in 2016/2017.  Its come in handy in the cool weather in Ireland.
"Fascinating Fact of the Day About Ireland"
Poet Carl Sandburg's home of 22 years in Flat Rock, North Carolina, which is now a national monument, is named after the Connemara region."
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Today, we continue with photos from the Connemara Heritage and History Centre.  Although this area is rich in history, customs and culture, there are few museums and historical facilities in the general area.

Far from the bigger cities of Dublin (1,173,179), Cork (208,669), Limerick (94,192) and Galway (79,934) are the four most populated cities in the country, the Republic of Ireland, all of which have numerous tourist venues.  For more information on population numbers in cities throughout Ireland, please click this link.
Tom standing in the doorway of an old building located on the grounds of the centre.
The tourist business in Connemara appears to be a result of travelers visiting Galway and driving to see the gorgeous scenery including the ocean, lakes, rivers, streams, and variety of bogs, typical in the area.  Based on our drive from Galway when we arrived on May 12th, it's approximately a one hour drive, not too far for most tourists.
It's easy to see how tiny this lamb is standing next to Tom.
There are roughly 30 hotels and bed and breakfasts in Connemara and a number of holiday homes such as this lovely house we've rented for 90 days.  There certainly are sufficient accommodations to attract tourists to spend their holiday time in this historic and charming area.  
Me, in the doorway of the old fieldstone building on the ground of the centre.
However, when we're out and about, we don't get a feeling of there being as many tourists as we've seen in many other areas throughout the world.  Today, while in Clifden to grocery shop I stopped at a clothing store to buy a few white tee shirts.  The prices on most items were outrageous.  
Pretty flowers blooming on the shore of the lake in the garden.  Thanks to reader Laurie for identifying these flowers as rhododendron!
When I didn't find what I was looking for a kindly salesperson disappeared to a back room and returned with two white tee shirts that were perfect to wear under other shirts to add to the warmth.  

Since these two very-stretchy tee shirts were large in children's sizes, she assured me there would be no sales tax charged on the items.  There's no sales tax on children's clothing in Ireland.  Fortunately, they both fit and the total was Euro 27.98, US $31.28.  In a GAP or Old Navy store in the US, these two very basic tees would have been half this price.  
There was one little lamb in the facility's garden who seemed very interested in us.  Wish we'd had some pellets!
It's expensive here, especially coming from South Africa where everything is half as much as many other countries.  I suppose we were spoiled in our 15 months in Marloth Park and must continue to brace ourselves as we visit other countries upcoming in the near future.
  
Our next stop is Amsterdam for two days.  No doubt prices could be even higher than they are here in Ireland.  Prices may be a deterrent to many travelers when the costs of food, dining out, hotels and rentals cars are at the top end.
Note the little horns growing on this lamb.  Too cute!
While dining out last Saturday, we didn't see what appeared to be tourists with only a few appearing to be locals residents.  When we've shopped in Clifden each week, the next closest town, there's a presence of some gift and trinket shops that mainly appeal to tourist.  

Today's visit to a clothing store reminded us of tourist pricing we've seen in bigger cities throughout the world - a captive audience.  The store was packed with what most likely were tourists looking to purchase an Irish sweater, fleece jacket, am Irish-made woolen scarf or some Irish trinkets, all of which appeared to be of high quality.

Pansies at the Connemara Heritage and History Centre appear to have little faces.
Perhaps, I'm being a bit more of a "tightwad" than usual when we're still having to pay incoming hospital and doctor's bills as we struggle with our insurance company who's refusing to pay, claiming I had a pre-existing condition which I did not.  

This has been a huge source of frustration emotionally and financially, especially while trying to focus on a full recovery.  Subsequently, we're watching our budget more than ever with this upsetting imbalance and inequity.  We'll report back what transpires as we continue to fight this battle.
These two buildings were homes at one time.
Otherwise, we're good, generally cheerful.  I'm now at a point where I don't have to ask Tom to help me so much.  I am working hard at doing things for myself. The more I do, the stronger I get. 

I've even taken over the process of making my own protein smoothie each day which he'd done for months with no complaint.  I cook the majority of each meal, make the bed, do most of the laundry and tidy up around the house.  
Bridge across the lake to an old home.
He continues to do all the dishes, put everything away, help prepare dinner, does some laundry and does all of the heavy lifting.  When we grocery shopped this morning, I packed the bags we'd brought along while he loaded them into the car and later into the house, emptying all the bags.  I put everything away since storage space is limited and don't get frustrated figuring it out.

The bottom line...we're tourists.  As much as we'd like to believe we're unique and fit right in, the fact remains "we are visitors in a strange land."  If we don't like the prices, don't buy the quality of the products we enjoy and go the budget route instead.  Don't purchase a few bottles of red wine at twice the cost as in South Africa.  Don't go out to dinner.  Don't shop for items of clothing.
Anyone know the name of these flowers?   We've seen them often here in Ireland.
But, the fact remains, we choose this life we love and we'll take the good and bad with it.  Many have asked us over these years, the following question:  "What will you do if the worst thing happens, short of passing away or being kidnapped?"

It happened.  We had a major medical crisis, one of the worst we could imagine and we made it through to the other side.  We can whine all we want about tourist traffic, prices on products, budgetary concerns, and inconveniences. But the reality remains...we're alive, almost completely recovered and the journey continues on.

Be well.  Be happy.
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Photo from one year ago today, May 28, 2018:
We moved the bird feeder further from the veranda which without our looming presence has attracted birds at last.  Our prize of the day was this hornbill who stopped by for some seeds who later became familiar with us to come very close on the veranda.  For more photos, please click here.

2 comments:

Unknown said...

Hello
That is rhododendron! Many here on California northcoast. Really enjoy your travels and so glad you are feeling stronger all the time.
Best wishes. Laurie

Jessica said...

Laurie, thanks so much for identifying the flowers, the good health wishes and for letting us share our story with you. You certainly are living in a wonderful place in the US. Enjoy as summer approaches!

Warmest regards,
Jess & Tom

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