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Our arrival (hubby and I) a little over a week ago in Spiddal, Connemara, County Galway was greeted by warm sunshine along with a gentle breeze blowing in from the Atlantic Ocean. It seemed summer had finally arrived on Ireland's West Coast.


(Above: View over Spiddal Quay, Connemara, County Galway)

Not too much has changed in Spiddal since our first visit exactly thirty seven years ago when we, along with a group of friends (most of whom we still meet up with fairly regularly for a few scoops) arrived in Spiddal in the lashings of rain looking for a suitable field to pitch our tents. Oh! those were the days when slogging it was the only way we knew for none of us even had the price of B&B accommodation let alone possessed a car!


(Above: Sunrise over Spiddal Quay, Connemara, County Galway)

Another area we visited was Carraroe. In 1972 we spent a wonderful week there with friends this time in more upwardly mobile accommodation, a caravan!


(Above: Rugged Landscape, Carna, Connemara, County Galway)

Of all the locations we visited the one place I was really eager to see again was Clifden, Connemara's largest town. Again, back in 1972, we spent a week there long before the developers were given the go-ahead by greedy politicians to build structures not in keeping with the surrounding landscape.

Walking down Clifden's main street brought back the memories of all those years ago but something was not quite the same. It didn't take too long to realise that what was ruining the street was the car parking on both sides. Every inch of road space was packed with high-sided SUVS and vans making it impossible to enjoy what is left of a one-time beautiful, easy-going thoroughfare.

[Above: Main Street, Clifden, Connemara (www.travelireland.org)]

Times change and populations increase but that's no reason to forfeit the beauty of an area when all that is needed is some good common sense planning. I was heartbroken to discover that the holiday chalets (where we spent that wonderful week in 1972) with the remains of the old railway station building in the background have all been replaced by a shopping complex and apartments. If I had been in charge of planning my main requirement would have been that all those buildings be just two storey in height with similiar brickwork. I'm amazed the Galway County Council didn't insist on it but then I'm no expert on such things.


(Above: Holiday Chalets/Railway Station Building in background, Clifden 1972)


(Above: Beach Road towards Clifden, August 1972)



(Above: Another view from Beach Road towards Clifden, August 1972)

Overall, development disasters apart, we had a most enjoyable holiday in one of Ireland's most scenic locations and to add to the joy we were blessed with five continuous days of glorious sunshine, almost unheard of in these parts. Hopefully we won't wait another thirty seven years to return.

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Tags: clifden, connemara, galway, holidays, ireland, spiddal

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Comment by sigrid on October 12, 2009 at 8:37
remember I was lucky enough to visit it once! what can I say... it's a dream come true of a place!:) remember also how I prepared for the trip (used to look for any information possible about this wonderful place, downloaded lots of pictures and guides by rapidshare , tride to read and get to know more) but I should say, no matter how much theory you know, when I found myself there I it was pure happiness!
Comment by Carole Dunphe on July 5, 2009 at 20:53
I was there two years ago now, and I love Spiddael.. But, my favorite is Carna. I love the rocky coast it reminds me of the rugged live my family must have lived there.
Comment by Zaxor on June 30, 2009 at 7:40
Fantastic pictures and story...progress does not always mean improvement.
Comment by Siobhan on May 28, 2009 at 18:25
I visited this area in 1975 in a horse-drawn caravan. Thank you for posting these wonderful photos, a great reminder of an unforgettable journey.

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