|Ruined cottages, perhaps from the time known as the Great Hunger or Irish Potato Famine.|
They have often been left as ruins because of the superstition or respect of later owners of the land.
With that background, I'd like to take you on a tour of some of these picturesque places as I saw them last week. The word "cozy" is very popular now -- including a whole genre of fiction called "cozy mysteries." I think the Irish have a special talent for this type of atmosphere. I have no idea of any such mystery stories are actually set in Ireland.
|Moran's Oyster Cottage at The Weir, Kilcolgan, in County Galway.|
|Moran's bar. We have enjoyed seafood here several times, and it's very cozy!|
|A small crafts center near Galway where basket makers, jewelers, potters, weavers, etc. have studios and shops.|
|Inside a restaurant in downtown Galway.|
|The Cashel House Hotel near Cashel Bay in the Connemara.|
|The glassed-in porch of the Cashel House Hotel where we had tea.|
|The hotel has many rooms furnished in a style that essentially|
defines the word "cozy." The building dates to the 19th century.
|Little collections of tea pots, plates, teddy bears, dolls, etc. are part of the decor.|
Elsewhere in the Galway and Connemara areas we saw more of this retro style along a winding tourist route called the "Wild Atlantic Way."
|Graphic indicating the tourist route|
Finally, Arny and Tracy's temporary home for the year is itself pretty cozy and comfortable.
|Arny and Tracy's TV room.|
|You can see Arny through the screen separating the living and dining rooms.|
Modern Ireland has lots of other things to offer -- including a vibrant high-tech industry and the university where Arny is working. However, these echoes of an idyllic and maybe imaginary past are very enjoyable.