The Neale Pyramid, a 10 metre high stepped pyramid located in the hamlet of Neale about 4 km from Cong is really strange. I'd never hear about it before visiting Cong this time. As far as I can find out it was built in the 18th century by a local landowner as a memorial to his brother. However there are also suggestions that it was built as a famine work and its possible that both stories are true. Ireland had a lot of famines some of which were almost as severe as the great famine of 1845-48 and it was normal for the local grandees to provide work to those who otherwise would not be able to earn their keep at such times. Of course such work had to be avoid displacing useful activities and so was usually of some utterly pointless nature (a road to nowhere, monuments, mad follies etc) The important thing was that people had to work for their bread and weren't simply given charity.
However I'm rather curious about the actual age of the structure as it looks like it was put up last week!
Find the outlaw's hideout
There is a beautiful wooded walk that begins rougly opposite the entrance to Ashford Castle. Justa short walk from the village, the wooded path leads to Kelly's cave. It Only takes about 10 mins to get thee.
The natural cave is supposed to be padlocked, but it rarely is. It's quite safe, at least in the initial chamber if you take a torch, or take time for your eyes to adjust.
It is said that it was once used by 'Kelly' the outlaw to hide from the authorities.
P.S if You do venture in - and you find a small beachball, can I have it back plaese ?
If you continue past the cave for another 10 mins or so, you come to a little lake that is wonderfull for a picnic, or if you are feeling brave a spot of skinny-dipping.
Cong is a small village in western Ireland, in County Mayo on the border with County Galway. There is not a lot there, but it is rather pretty and has interesting, scenic ruins of an old abbey with forest grounds, a ruined "Monks' Fishing House," and a cave.
Those who love the Cinema will probably remember this place. Is the famous Cohan's pub of John Ford's"The Quiet Man". Probably, the best film ever. I have seen this film nearly 60 times, and everytime I watch it I like more. It is perfect the perfect film in every detail: The actors, the script, the soundtrack, the set, the casting, the direction, ... Most of the film set of "The Quiet Man" was in Cong and getting there was a whish come true to me. One can imagine John wayne getting into the pub to have a beer in a time out of the most famous fight of the cinema's history.
Well, the pub as such I understand never was a real pub and today it is souvenir shop and petrol station. However it deserved the trip.
"Landscape near cong"
If you have seen the film, you will certainly remember Maureen O'hara running and jumping accross the fields, similar to these of the picture, and John Wayne chasing her, and finally both kissing each other in the cemmetery of Innisfree (Indeed, one of the most romantic kisses ever seen in the cinema).
If you haven't seen the film I strongly recommend you to do it and you would long for coming here as I did.
"Landscape of connemara"
This region of Ireland resembles very much to the Scottish Highlands.
It Smelled of Leprechans!
Day 2 in Ireland…couldn't have been less predictable! I know what I had planned to do; take a brief tour of the Connemara coast north of Galway and then take a half-day excursion over the to the largest of the Aran Islands, Inishmore.
I enjoyed my first B&B breakfast with a group of Polish travelers who'd been staying at the home. Then I headed out of Galway north (got confused again and had to head of out town twice…damn roundabouts!) to the little village of Cong, where "The Quiet Man" with John Wayne was filmed.
Cong was one of my favorite spots of my whole trip! This is a tiny village with a few claims to fame beyond the Duke and Maureen O'Hara: There is an 11th-century monastic ruin, which leads to a little stone fishing hut on a river (Ireland has more rivers than I could count). For some reason it made me want a beer. I hadn't packed one.
I continued over the bridge despite the sign saying "Nature Trail" (you all have met me, I know), and happened upon a fork in the road. Of course, I took the fork that did not say "Nature Trail."
I remember the mossy, earthen smell on this little trail beside the river was so powerful it brought tears to my eyes. I just kept walking, already mentally lopping the Aran Islands off the afternoon schedule because I was just so enamored with the morning. Behold! The trail ended at one of the finest castles in the country…Ashford Castle, which is now a luxury hotel where dignitaries stay. What a pleasant surprise because I'd passed the entrance to the castle some two miles (or 3.5 kilometers) back before entering Cong. Surely I had not been walking for miles (again…you all have met me). I decided against stopping for tea, though, because I just wasn't dressed the part to step inside. I spent what turned out to be several hours in Cong.