Exploring Western Ireland
Matador Goods editor and photographer Lola Akinmade leaves Dublin for the countryside.
Galway, Connemara, County Mayo
A busker strums classic Celtic tunes on his guitar along Galway's pedestrian drag - Quay Street.
All photos by Lola Akinmade
Irish Gaelic is still spoken around the countryside and many store names, addresses, and signs are written in the traditional language.
Cong, County Mayo
Fiona -- a falconer -- shows off Dingle the Owl, one of many birds of prey owned and flown by Ireland's School of Falconry.
Looking out onto a pristine Lough Corrib (Corrib Lake). It is the second largest lake in the country and spans 165.6kmÂ².
Sitting on over 300 hectares of land, the 780+ year old Ashford Castle was built in 1228 and was once home to the legendary Guinness family for generations. It also made our list of 25 European Castles You Can Overnight In.
Looking on towards the castle's newer wing. The older portion of the castle is said to be active with paranormal activity.
One of hundreds of islands that are contained within Lough Corrib. It is estimated that there may be as many as 1,200 islands dotting the lake.
The 12 Bens' lush green mountain range in Connemara National Park is said to have not one, but 12 peaks.
Connemara is known for its stone cottages as well as bright red fuchsias and other wild flowers that complement its greenery beautifully.
At the falconry school located on the grounds of Ashford Castle, you can learn to fly your own Harris hawks and Peregine falcons.
All over County Mayo and Connemara, you'll find centuries old ruins and crumbling castles dating as far back as the 13th century.
Killary Fjord Harbor is said to be the country's "only fjord." At 16 km long, its waterway leads directly to the Atlantic Ocean, and it is used for raising salmon as well.
Icons in Western Ireland, Irish sheep are known for their white fluffy wool. Here, a Suffolk ram poses for his photo op.
Driving through the rolling hills of Western Ireland's photogenic Connemara district.
The King's Head
Former patrons of this legendary Galway landmark were linked to the beheading of King Charles I in 1649. Be sure to check out the pub's intriguing history.
An old man strolls along cobblestone paths in Galway. The Irish, especially older folk, are known for their storytelling skills that suck you right into their winding tales.
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