Kindness and the ugly American…More museum photos…

An antique turnip cleaner.

“Fascinating Fact of the Day About Ireland”

“Only
about 9% of people in Ireland have natural red hair, contrary to popular
belief.”
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Traveling can be frustrating at times.  Service may be slow, venues may be booked incorrectly, plans may be changed over which we have no control, food isn’t hot or tasting as anticipated or there’s the complaint consisting of “there’s a fly in my soup.” 

Blue ribbons on display for events with Connemara Ponies.

Notoriously, airline and cruise lines have a tendency, based on the millions of passengers they serve each year, to make endless mistakes both human and technologically impacting travelers, leaving them in a wake of confusion and frustration.

These same issues may be prevalent in our “hometown” even when not traveling.  Based on the fact we have no home, our perspective is slightly different.  Perhaps, in some ways, and in some situations, our expectations may be higher.

A wagon filled with peat, a common product used for fuel in Ireland.

Tourism is the lifeblood of many towns, villages, regions, states, and countries.  Without tourists, the bulk of an area’s revenue and thousands (if not millions) of jobs would be lost.

The reality remains, not all employees and companies place enough importance and emphasis on the value of the customer and the vital role they play in keeping their business alive and flourishing.

A variety of antique items.

In the process of these types of inconveniences, we as the recipients of human or computer error, have a decision we can make as to how we respond to the situation.  


We can choose to enact volatile behavior and/or uncooperativeness to those we encounter in the process.  Or, we can choose to remain calm, although confident and assertive, tossing in a healthy dose of kindness.

A 100-year-old saddle.

The perception of the “ugly American” does exist throughout the world.  And even as Americans, in a prejudiced manner, we may hypothesize on what appears to be stereotypical behavior of people from certain countries.


I will admit on a few occasions, we’ve entertained such comments in a group of friends, stating that people from this country and that, generally react in a certain way.  And, no doubt, cultural differences can play a role in these behaviors, acceptable in their country but perhaps not so much in our own or others.

Parts of horse harness.

But, often times, our perceptions, right or wrong, may be totally changed when we encounter those who are kind, friendly and easy-going regardless of the circumstances that impact their travel.  They look on the bright side reacting accordingly.  


It’s not always easy to be diplomatic and kind and by no means are we examples of perfection in these areas, but somehow, we try to remember the words “ugly American” and simply…make every effort to be kind and play a role, however small, in dispelling this perception.

A two-wheeled buggy used over 100 years ago.

It’s easy in Ireland.  Everyone is outrageously friendly and kind.  We’ve yet to encounter a single individual who has treated us in any manner short, of being a long lost friend, who they revere and hold in the highest esteem.


For this, we are in awe and ultimately very grateful.  For this reason alone, we know we are in the right place, exactly where we should be at this time in our world travels.  We still have challenges to face with my health and ongoing recovery.  

One of the first types of marine radios.

But, this welcoming place has made living in Ireland for three months all the more meaningful and memorable.  


Be well.  Be happy.

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Photo from one year ago today, June 23, 2018:

An adult hippo needs to resurface every 3 to 5 minutes to breathe.  For more photos from Kruger National Park, please click here.

Visit to a museum…Connemara Ponies and more…First non-stop transatlantic flight…

View from the second story of the museum.

“Fascinating Fact of the Day About Ireland”
“Ireland
has mounds of dirt that are known as “fairy forts” Legend has it that
those who disturb one of these mounds will be riddled with bad luck. These
mounds are actually ancient dwellings from the Iron Age.”

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A few days ago, we decided to take advantage of our shopping trip to Clifden and visit the Station House Museum which was listed as an important place to tour while in Connemara.

We arrived at the Station House Museum a little too early and left wandering about town until it opened 30 minutes later. The entrance fee is Euro 3, US $3.42 per person.

Keeping in mind that Connemara, although with a small population of around 32,000, is a vast area covering many miles.  We can easily drive for almost two hours and still be within the region. 


Located in County Galway, its a point of interest for many tourists visiting Ireland for its scenery, history, people and cozy country feel with sheep, horses, donkeys, and cattle easily spotted on the narrow, winding roads, often only wide enough for one car to pass.  For “city” people this is a unique experience.

Replica of the biplane that made the first non-stop transatlantic flight by two British pilots from St. Johns Newfoundland to Clifden.

For us, and our world travel experience, it’s another interesting place to live with a number of worthwhile sites in the area.  Less interested in long all day road trips,  we strive to find the venues that appeal to us both that are within a reasonable driving distance.  Museums are often top on the list.


What an excellent way to learn about a community, its culture, and its people.  Such was the case when a few days ago, we visited the Station House Museum located close to downtown Clifden, the small town where we’ve found shopping to be enjoyable, with its friendly, often Irish-speaking population who’ve learned English over the generations.


A saddle from the early 1900s.

We arrived at 10:00 am as advertised online but when we arrived promptly, we found a note on the door stating they wouldn’t be open until 10:30.  No worries.  We busied ourselves walking around while we waited for the opening.


The Station House Museum is small but packed with historical facts and memorabilia that we found both refreshing and enlightening.  Here’s some information we found online about the museum:

Replica of Connemara Pony and cart.

From this site: “Located in a former train shed, this small, absorbing museum has displays on the local ponies and pivotal aspects of Clifden’s history, including the Galway to Clifden Connemara Railway (in service from 1895 to 1935) and Guglielmo Marconi’s transatlantic wireless station at Derrigimlagh, which was also the site of the crash landing of John Alcock and Arthur Brown’s first nonstop transatlantic aeroplane crossing in 1919.”


Additionally, we discovered the following information from this site:

“An international library of Connemara pony stud books and journals is available for research by enthusiasts. A video of the ponies in their native habitat filmed nearly forty years ago is shown daily. The ground floor is dedicated to Ireland’s native pony breed, the Connemara.
One hundred years ago, British aviators “John Alcock and Arthur Brown as shown in these statues made the first non-stop transatlantic flight in June 1919.  They flew a modified First World War Vickers Vimy bomber from St. John’sNewfoundland, to ClifdenConnemaraCounty Galway, Ireland.[The Secretary of State for AirWinston Churchill, presented them with the Daily Mail prize for the first crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by aeroplane in “less than 72 consecutive hours”.A small amount of mail was carried on the flight, making it the first transatlantic airmail flight. The two aviators were awarded the honour of Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (KBE) a week later by King George V at Windsor Castle.”

The high roofed interior, with tall shedding windows either side, is the backdrop for montage panels of photographs and documents. These are well supported by memorabilia and artifacts.

A sign posted near above statues.

All the latter have an intimate association with breeders and ponies from the Western Seaboard throughout the last two centuries.”

A buggy from yesteryear.
An upper gallery takes visitors step by step through the rich history of the region, D’Arcy early in the nineteenth century, to the building and life of the Galway to Clifden railway line (1895 – 1935).

A photographic exhibition of the Marconi Wireless Station at Derrygimla (1905 – 1925) and lifesize figures of Alcock and Brown who landed on this site after their historic flight (1919) complement the interesting range of exhibits.”

Replica of Connemara farmhouse with donkeys pulling a cart.  We see many donkeys in this area.

Nearby, only a few steps away from the museum is the popular Clifden Station House Hotel with two restaurants and a pub serving tourists and locals.  After reviewing their menu, surely during our time here, we’ll try the restaurant, most likely for lunch rather than dinner. 

(We’re avoiding driving long distances at night with a high risk of accidents on the narrow winding roads, especially after a few drinks).

A variety of winning ribbons for Connemara Ponies.

As shown in our photos, we found plenty of interesting information and artifacts in the museum and learned a lot more about this appealing area, country and its people.

We’re staying in over the weekend but after another outing yesterday, we have plenty of new photos to share.  A special thanks to all of our new readers for stopping by.  From whence you come…we have no idea but, we’re happy to see you here.  We have no access to your email or personal information but we can see we’ve had new visitors.

May your weekend be filled with awe and wonder!


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Photo from one year ago today, June 22, 2018:


This male was “standing watch” so the others could relax and nod off.  For more photos, please click here.