After the Burren, we stopped at Corcomroe Abbey, which was founded in 1194, by the the king of Thormond, Donal Mor O'Brien, who built many churches. It was a Cistercian monastery, and apparently the Cistercians often picked isolated areas for their monasteries. This certainly felt like an isolated area, and I'm pretty sure it was even more so 800 years ago. By the 1500s, it was too poor to sustain the monks, and was eventually dissolved.
By this time of our day trip, many of the people on the bus were either too tired or too wet to want to get out. I was one of maybe 6 people who ventured out to see the ruins, but that worked to my advantage, since I was able to take many pictures without a bus full of people in the way.
This is said to be Conor O'Brien, the grandson of the founder. He was a benefactor of the abbey.
It really was a quiet, lonely feeling place. I suppose that's what made it the perfect spot for a monastery.
I wondered about these two stoned-in areas.
After leaving the abbey, our very last stop before heading back to Dublin was the fishing village of Kinvara, which is located on an inlet of Galway Bay (and is also in County Galway). In the distance you can see Dunguaire Castle, built in 1520. Literary figures like William Butler Yeats and George Bernard Shaw used to meet there.
Someone obviously had a good sense of humor.
This was another place with beautifully painted buildings.
It was situated in a cool location, right on the water.
Kinvara also had a number of buildings with thatched roofs. The biggest hotel in town was also thatched - it was actually the largest thatched roof in Ireland, but my situation on the bus didn't really give me a good shot of it. But I did manage to snag one of a home with a thatched roof. They were so cool.