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Donegal in Donegal? - Page 2

post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by hpreston View Post

Thanks for the reply. Any more info on the spots in Galway? Clothing stores?
And yes, Aran islands!

Go to O'Maille. The absolute best aran sweaters in the world, no ifs, ands, ors, or buts. Pricetag to match, but absolutely worth dropping into when you're in Galway. Even though I wasn't in the market for one when I was there, the proprietor was very friendly and happy to show off her wares, and enjoyed talking about them. They've done a tremendous amount of work to preserve the skills at the top end, training new knitters and providing an outlet for the best knitters to sell their goods at a higher price. I was shown a sweater knit by a women who the store owner said was one of the best ever, and it was shockingly good. Incredibly dense, and even the ribbing at the bottom was cable knit- in three different braid designs in a regular pattern.

Seriously, even if you're not in the market for a 350 euro sweater that could probably sub in for a parka on most occasions, you need to at least feel one.

There are also a bunch of touristy shops both in Galway and on the islands selling the much lighter weight frame loom knitted versions for ~50 euros or the lesser hand knits (which are still kick-ass sweaters) for ~100 euros, along with tweed caps all through there. Even the cheapest versions around are all wool and pretty nice sweaters in their own right, don't be afraid of them and don't go home without at least something. And get a tweed cap, but be careful and try them on first. Different makers have different cuts, and some of the fuller cuts just looked silly on me. I wound up getting one from John Hanley & Co. Hannah Hats is probably the biggest name, but their regular cut was just too full and their closer cut had a ridiculously long bill for me. Whatever you buy, it'll form to your head a little better after a shower or two.
post #17 of 20

In before discussion of J's moustache.

 

There are a few shops in Galway that deal with smal local weavers and patterns exclusive to them. Can't remember off the top of my head (O'Maille?). Should be easy to find.

 

Did not see a single sheep on the Aran Islands when I was there, but I didn't make it over to Inis Meain. Great looking hotel though.

 

 

http://inismeain.com/suites.html

 

lefty

post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by lefty View Post

In before discussion of J's moustache.

There are a few shops in Galway that deal with smal local weavers and patterns exclusive to them. Can't remember off the top of my head (O'Maille?). Should be easy to find.

Did not see a single sheep on the Aran Islands when I was there, but I didn't make it over to Inis Meain. Great looking hotel though.

lefty

There's a reason for that- they bring the wool in. Most of the sheep were sold off when there was a crash in wool demand in, IIRC, the 70's, and they brought in cows, if they stayed with raising animals at all. In recent years, it's been economically viable to raise sheep again, but it costs a lot of money to build up a herd, so while they're coming back, it's happening fairly slowly. If you do go to Inis Mor, you'll see a lot of the weavers hanging out doing their knitting in random places- I think there were 4 or 5 hanging out in the little shop right by Dun Aengus, which is kind of neat.

Oh, and take one of the car tours. Biking would be a pretty way to see the island, but it's big, and a car gets you around faster. More importantly, the narration from a local gets you a whole lot more background on just about everything, far beyond the background on the various individual tourist sites.
post #19 of 20

Avoca is worth stopping for.  It is not in Letterfrack, but rather a stand-alone building on the N59 south of Letterfrack.

 

Hanna hats are great.  I wear one almost every day in the fall.  You don't have to go to Ireland to get one though -- you can get them through ebay.  They used to sell direct through ebay, but it seems they might not do that any longer.

 

Roundstone and Errisbeg are great, as is the coast drive.  I have put below a photo of the Twelve Bens from Roundstone harbor on a nice late summer day.

 

For food, buy some Connemara Smokehouse products -- can be had at many local stores.   This is the best smoked fish I've ever had, and I eat a lot of this type of thing.  You can also visit their factory outside Ballyconneely.  Nice drive there, past the castle at Bunowen (though you can't visit the castle, as it's privately owned). 

 

The Connemara Hamper is a nice little shop in Clifden selling local products.

 

Moran's Oyster Cottage on the Weir in Kilcolgan, just south of Galway, is a great place for local seafood. 

 

 

post #20 of 20
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