From Galway we drove west towards the opposite end of the European Union from Zamosc. At Leenane, the kids learned to card wool and we sat in an old pub at lunchtime with a pint of Guinness, a completely comfortable experience. Then we went to Connemara National Park and climbed Diamond Hill:

Just like they say, the Emerald Isle: yet not just green but sapphire blue, dun and purple heather and misty haze and blustering breezes:

On the way back, at Clifden, we had dinner in a pub, with traditional music; Kyria was transfixed by the young Irish dancer:

The next day we took the boat to Inishmore, one of the Aran islands:

we climbed to Dun Aengus, where the iron age people built a fort atop the towering Atlantic cliffs:

This tiny island may not have had much, but you can see why they chose the spot: they would have seen attackers coming for miles and miles and miles, all the way over to Connemara and right across Galway Bay. Summer favours the place; what it must be like when the gales come in and the rain turns horizontal – it brings a shudder. By then, we’ll be long gone, in our air conditioned offices in the Gulf, a place that the people who built this could never have dreamed of…

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