One of the highlights of my time in Galway was taking a bus out to Connemara and spending a couple of nights in this tiny lodge/hostel just above Killary Fjord. It definitely would have been a nice place to have a car to really wander, but I got in a good bit of walking and did about as much communing with nature as one reasonably could expect in the midst of winter.
The picture above is one of two panorama photos I took of Killary Fjord. When I first arrived at the hostel, it was already late afternoon, and in the winter in Europe, that means sunset is coming fast. Since it was a gorgeous day, I went ahead and started down the path to the Fjord, if in fact it is one. See, there’s a difference of opinion whether this is a fjord or simply a large natural harbor. The local tourism suggests this is Ireland’s only Fjord. I’ll leave it’s official designation up to others, but I’d gotten a peek at it from the bus and wanted to get closer. I sloshed down a mud soaked path through the woods and this was the sight that greeted me a the bottom! It was so incredible and such a vast view, that I had to try to do it justice with a panoramas. In fact, panoramas seemed to be the order of my time in this wide, wild wilderness! Just look at the blues in the sky which are reflecting along with the clouds in the water. There’s a warm yellow light across the hills and even a touch of it in the foreground. It wouldn’t look this bright again the next two days I was there, so I’m so thankful that I trekked down there first thing to take in this beautiful piece of art made by nature! Be sure to click through to see it larger – there’s a slideshow option which is full-screen!
This is the second panorama I mentioned – I’m hard pressed to pick a favorite of the two:
It truly was a breath-taking view and these two panoramas are just a small sample of the beautiful landscape in Connemara. I will always be haunted by this place and must return one day.
I noticed when editing my photos of Connemara that no matter how many I took of the mountains and streams and fjords, it was the pictures with roads in them that most struck me and most appealed to me even months later. And then I looked through my other prints and started picking up on that theme in a lot of my work. It was no surprise to me that open roads appealed to me. They are great leading lines in a composition, literally leading the eye from the foreground into the distance. But they are also symbolic to me, of the future. It’s unknown, but the possibilities are almost limitless and unimaginable. Let’s keep it that way!
This print also highlights the immense natural beauty of Connemara. There’s a burst of light over the rugged hills in the distance, winter vegetation everywhere, and the little white dots you see across the landscape are sheep! Be sure to click through for a larger view of this picture.
One more of picture those great roads in Connemara. With all those hills and twists in the road, you can never see the end of them! This photo with its bright warm light in the valley below illustrates well how I had to be on my toes. One moment the sun would break through the clouds and brighten up the scene like this. But the clouds were moving fast overhead, so it was never more than a few minutes and then you were off again hoping for another break somewhere within the view!
I’m torn for a favorite Connemara photo. The west of Ireland possessed a rugged beauty that reminded me so much of the highlands of Scotland from a few years earlier. Each picture has it’s own special quirk of light for that moment or memory for me while I wandered along photographing and enjoying this great place.
If you’d like to see more photos from Connemara and my time in the Galway area, please be sure to check out my Irish Art prints collections!