Friday, July 06, 2007
We stopped at this bridge because it's on the Quiet Man tour. The bridge will be there long after the Quiet Man is long forgotten and this reverts back to being a beautiful bridge.
We took a tour of the countryside around Galway- mostly Connemara
Besides being wild and forsaken this peninsula has the honor of being the locale for a movie done sometimes in the last century. As historically aware people, and seeing that some American (UnitedStatesians?) have some weird attachment through sentimental movies to this place, they quickly provide cogent tours of their great homeland.
Cong - charming monastic town with an uncharming castle/golf course lurking behind the river.
Bridge from town to castle.
Ah the sign that Cromwell has passed through : a ruined church building.
We were there around noon, our driver dropped us off and after showing us the area - let us wander about.
The town of Cong is where part of The Quiet Man was shot, with John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara.
A guide, crying in to a megaphone "The tour for the quiet man fil-em will start at noon" into a quiet street. No one seemed to be buying, and we were bothered by the naked buskery of it (having come from Istanbul where naked buskery is a way of life, perhaps we were shocked into realizing the stark lack of it in Ireland. Even when it would have been appropriate.) As we ambled around the grey ruins - the man would repeat the call, and we were struck everytime by that word "Fil-em" it took me a little while to realize that it was "film".
Anyway as we're walking back to our bus, there under the awning of a tea shop stood a small group of men and women, with the busker. These folks filled me with filial shame: they were fellow Americans, barely 10 years older than us, the men in shorts and high socks stuffed into "walking" shoes stood with their women in that confused mode that tourists stand while waiting to be guided to the sights. That busker had succeeded in snagging a few fish for his noon tour.
Ashford Castle here in Cong is hideous - heavy, long, grey. There is something deeply colonial about its placement in relation with the rest of the area. Hidden from the ruin-strewn town and within sight of a ruined monastery it presides over a golf course, a lawn, a forest, a parking lot, a shallow river and a heli-pad.