Monday, 11 July 2016

The Return to Innisfree - Day 3

Quiet Man Statue

Cong                                                                              Ireland

Sunday 8th June 2014

Thankfully today started with a later rise out of bed to the sound of rain hitting hard onto the window and the roof in my room. To be honest it was quite comforting to hear this whilst reading my book. A moment later I headed downstairs to get my breakfast with my parents and then to get ready to take the dog for another walk. I headed out to the peaceful farmlands in front us and decided to head down a different country lane to explore more of the area. Further down the road I came across a heard of cows which were constantly staring at me and the dog watching what we were doing becoming quite freaky. They had won the staring competition so we continued on exploring the farmland area. It was so tranquil with no one to be seen becoming the best feeling of peace I could ever imagine. Not realising how long I had been out, I headed back to have some steak and potatoes for dinner. I mean who needs restaurants when you have a good homemade meal. Anyway, it was finally time to leave and head to Cong for the rest of the day. We left immediately bypassing cars lining up to get through Ashford castles main gate and gatekeepers. It never became tiring to see the village approaching towards us. Yet again I could see the happiness in my mother’s eyes as we parked up behind the quiet man cottage museum and got out. The first location we went too was the monks fishing house which was on Cong River itself. It was a well preserved stone building with most of the outer walls still intact. At the centre of the building there was a hole where monks would fish from. However, nowadays people tended to fish the conventional way with a rod from the ruins. It was brilliant to see that it hadn’t changed one bit. It felt like only yesterday I was standing at this point with my sister getting our pictures taken. The river was a lot fuller than the last time too as last time the village feared a drought and were panicking about the wildlife and fish in the area. I still couldn’t get over how clear the water was too and the amount of fish in it was remarkable to see and I was eager to start fishing throughout my time here like the good old days. The next thing we did was to head to the film locations of ‘The Quiet man’ and let the locations bring back a flood of memories film wise and personally. The first place was the scene where Sean Thornton punches Squire Danagher in the river which was located next to the old abbey. It was so peaceful there and this was the area I used to do a lot of fishing and will do so during my time here. The next place was the reverend playfair’s house which was still in pristine condition. We then headed back towards the central area and we had come across something new that we didn’t see last time. It was a beautiful bronze statue of Maureen O Hara being carried by John Wayne to commemorate the film. There were a few tourists who would climb on the statue and pretend they were Maureen O Hara which was quite funny and I almost had a go myself but I knew it wouldn’t have looked right. Then we headed along the river flowing along the village and came across the dying mans house which again was in pristine condition with a new coat of paint. It was a wonderful feeling seeing film locations with the thought that these actors came to this beautiful model village. We finally sat down outside the quiet man café for a drink and a moment to rest from walking around still remembering the good old times. I had a lovely made mocha coffee just taking the sights all in and the fact that I was back in Cong with my family. I visited a gift shop next to a butcher shop afterwards and I bought a small shalaileigh for my world map and continued on down the bank passing more film locations towards Pat Cohan’s bar and cross. It was a great afternoon for memories and we thought we should take a visit to Ashford castle. So we headed back to the car and made our way to the main gates and we were all still overwhelmed with how formally dressed the gatekeepers were with their long emerald green overcoats, waistcoats and golden buttons. They were definitely dressed to impress the guests which were mostly rich Americans. It looked like something out of a fairytale to be honest and then we almost forgot about the extortionate fee of 5 Euro per person they charge to go through the gate. We were too poor and badly dressed to go through the main gate so we decided to head to our secret entrance into the castle grounds free of charge (I would love to tell you where the secret road is but it’s a secret). Anyway, as we passed the secret road we came upon the picturesque views of the castle. The castle was still an amazing sight to see with its monstrous towers and shear beauty especially with Lough Corrib right at its back door. The castle is now a 5 star hotel and as we got closer we could see there was no expense spared on the decorations as we could see through the large windows huge chandeliers, fine glass and again formal uniforms of the staff. The people arriving in there nice cars seemed as though they were billionaires where as we looked the total opposite. It was getting late at this point so we headed out of the grounds through the one way road back into Cong and then heading back to Corrib view villa. I decided to take my dog out for a walk with my mother and explore more of the area. Along the way, we came across a sort of petting zoo with cows, sheep and donkeys which were all staring at us. It was definitely becoming freaky at this point as it looked like something from a horror film so we decided to leave. Despite the rain pouring down hard on us, it was a brilliant walk with my mother laughing quite a lot which was good enough for me. The best site showed up when we arrived back at Corrib view villa. As the day ended the sun was trying to push through the rain clouds. As it did so there was a beautiful rainbow above the Irish landscape which was quite ironic with us being in Ireland. It was too late to see if there was any gold at the end of it so we headed in for a peaceful night.
Dying Mans House

Reverend Playfairs House and Film Image

Irish Farmlands

Irish Rainbow

Ashford Castle

Monks Fishing House

Ashford Castle
Rising of the Waters

Ashford Castle

 Quiet Man Fight Scene and Location

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