Dunguaire Castle

March 29, 2009




Situated near the town of Kinvara, approximately 20 miles south of Galway city, Dunguaire Castle can be found. The castle was built in 1520 by the O’Hynes clan on the purported site of the original stronghold of the legendary King of Connacht-Guaire Aidhne. In the 1920’s it was purchased by Oliver St. John Gogarty and became a meeting place of the literary greats of the day such as WB Yeats and his patron Lady Gregory, George Bernard Shaw and JM Synge. Now it is the venue for Medieval Banquets. On Friday April 24th at 5:30 pm we all have reservations to attend a banquet here! Originally, we were told that they would not be open on that Friday-it will still be quite early in the tourist season-but when they heard that there were 20 of us wishing to attend, they agreed to open for business! It looks like we’ll have the place to ourselves! The banquet consists of a four course dinner served with wine followed by entertainment with literary selections and song. Yes, its a bit touristy but should be great fun! The cost is 56 euro ($75 per person).

Keep an eye on updates here. We are working on finalizing plans for a private coach tour of the Burren / Cliffs of Moher for Friday April 24th during the day. We are also organizing the rehearsal dinner taking place on Saturday April 25th. More details to follow soon!

Weekly euro/weather update

March 29, 2009

1 euro=$1.33

Sunday March 29 48F/41F Rain
Monday March 30 52F/44F 30% chance of rain
Tuesday March 31 50F/46F 30% chance of rain
Wednesday April 1 48F/42F Mostly Cloudy
Thursday April 2 52F/48F Cloudy
Friday April 3 52F/48F 30% chance of Rain
Saturday April 4 53F/48F Rain

Aran Islands

March 25, 2009


I visited the Aran Islands while I was in college and loved them. Since our wedding is taking place so close to Galway, I thought some guests might be interested in checking them out. The Aran Islands are a group of three islands-Inis Mor (Big Island), Inis Mean (middle island) and Inis Oir (east island)-located 30 miles off the coast of Galway at the mouth of Galway Bay. These rugged, windswept islands are physically strange and starkly beautiful. The 1500 islanders who live there mostly make their living from farming and fishing. Being a foothold of Irish culture, Gaelic is the first language spoken there, though everyone speaks English as well. These islands were first populated around 3000 BC and many bronze and iron age wedge tombs and stone forts can be explored here. The most famous archaeological site you can visit is Dun Aoenghasa, which is located on Inis Mor. This iron age fort is located on the edge of a cliff, 300 feet above the sea.

There are several ways to get to these islands. Aran Island Ferries leave from Rossaveal, which is 20 miles west  of Galway city. There are shuttle buses which leave the city center 1 hour prior to the time the ferries set sail. The journey over by ferry takes about 1 hour. Aran Island Direct is another ferry company which is actually owned by Aran Islanders. Their ferries are the only ones which are outfitted with electronic stabilizers, which help to ensure a smooth crossing. They set sail from Rossaveal daily as well. For those who don’t like boat trips, Aer Arann Islands offers flights from Connemara airport, which is located 18 miles west of Galway city. There are shuttle buses to the airport from the city centre. This is the fastest way to get there for those who don’t mind traveling on little baby “plane-lets” (they are 9 seaters). If you happen to be staying in Doolin, there are a couple of ferry companies which operate from this port-Aran Doolin Ferrries and Doolin Ferries. The trip is quicker from Doolin, however these crossings are often cancelled due to the weather. Crossing times are also somewhat limited, so it may work out better if you plan to spend the night on the islands.

One final tip, make sure you have plenty of cash with you prior to leaving the mainland. As far as I know, most businesses do not accept credit cards and there are no ATMs on the islands.

One month to go!

March 22, 2009

I guess its just a little over one month til our wedding! Thanks so much to everyone who will be joining us in the celebration. To those who are not able to make it, thanks so much for considering the journey. We will definitely miss you. Please keep posted to our site. We’ll be posting information, pictures and possible updates from Ireland as they happen!We are hoping to plan a post-wedding celebration here in Falls Church as well.

From now up until April 20th, I will  be posting updates each week with the euro exchange rate and the 7 day weather forcast for Galway. So….here we go:

1 Euro = $1.36

Sunday 3/22         Hi 50F/Lo40F….90% chance of rain

Monday 3/23        Hi 42F/Lo38F….30% chance of rain

Tuesday 3/24        Hi 50F/ Lo46F ….Rain

Wednesday 3/25  Hi 51F/Lo46F…..Cloudy

Thursday 3/26      Hi 50F/Lo 42

Friday 3/27            Hi46F/Lo 41F…50% chance of rain

Saturday 3/28       Hi42F/ Lo39F…..drizzle

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