Friday, 4 July 2014

Another sneak peek into Rosie's adventures in Ireland.

Touring across Ireland to Westport. What happened when Rosie returned. Today - Further Afield.

Book stores in Westport, Co.Mayo, Ireland.
". . . The following day – Friday – we decided to set out for Castlebar. Firstly, we went into Westport town to browse the shops and try to catch the owner of the little specialist bookshop which carried unusual books. We hung around for a bit, as we thought it may be our last chance. Eventually he appeared, striding along with his dog at his side. He had e-mail access and had replied to my earlier correspondence. I had followed-up with a telephone call whereupon we had a lovely conversation, so I did not feel that we were strangers now. We had a small chat in the shop before making our way back to the car to start our calls for the day. It was still quite early; the town was just waking up.
Westport is such a pretty town with flower baskets everywhere. The river, flowing through the centre, is so tranquil. It was lovely to see that the shops had not lost their individuality even though they were modern and up-to-speed inside. The Tourist Office had moved since our last visit. Then, it had been housed in a small building on one side of the river in the Mall;   quite near what had been the Railway Hotel where I first started to recount our experiences in 1998 and where Just Us Two  was born. Now we found that the Tourist Information Centre was housed in a magnificent building. Very imposing it was with its white pillars and steps up to the door. It was very modern inside and much better suited to provide the variety of services needed, along with a gift shop for souvenirs. There was plenty of room to browse and queue if it was a busy time.
The Railway Hotel I have just mentioned was now a hotel no more. Instead, it had been converted to a suite of apartments. What a wonderful location in which to live, right in the centre of town with the river running in front of it and everything close to hand!  We noticed on one of the roads out of town that there was now a big supermarket. Now that was progress!
Heading to Castlebar, we just followed the signs. After the events of the previous day, we both agreed that we would just follow the signs, park up and look for information of the location of the bookshop we were looking for. Parking up as best we could, as by now the town was busy, we found an information board on the corner of the street. I was worried in case we would get a ticket as parking instructions were not clear but we took a chance. Finding our bearings, we headed towards the main street. It was nearing lunchtime by now. A little early but we had a lot to do. As we came from the car, we passed some very old buildings in what appeared to be a little ‘close’ with a grassed area bordered by railings, nearby. It was all very peaceful and pretty.
Castlebar is a lovely town; it has a very long main street with shops and pubs of all kinds. The street was thronged with shoppers strolling and people hurrying along as they went about their business. I looked around and reflected how vibrant everything was. Across the road, we saw a couple of pubs and thought that the one on the corner looked OK. It was painted black and looked very old and very much like a traditional Irish pub. Going inside we made our way to what looked like a back room but was really an extension of the bar where they served food. Squeezing into a booth, we caught our breath as we looked around in wonder, drinking in the uniqueness [to us] of our surroundings. . . ."
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Rosalie xx