Feathered Fun

Sunday, October 09, 2016
Ennis, County Clare, Ireland
The fog was thick when we woke up on Sunday, but lessened as the morning progressed. This was good as we had a 9:30 am appointment to go "Falconing". The Irish School of Falconry is located on the grounds of Ashford and is about a 7 minute walk from the castle. By the time we reached the school the foggy mist was just clinging to the treed areas, giving a lovely, peaceful atmosphere to the grounds.
Our guide Anna could not have been nicer as she showed us all the birds that they work, and hunt with at the falconry . One of the large grey hawks was free flying when we got there, and she called him down in a clearing, using food as bait. After he was safely back in his enclosure we were introduced to Beckett, the Harris Hawk we would be flying. He is a handsome fellow, as can be seen in the pictures. We went walking in the woods with Anna and Beckett where we learned how to "cast off" to let the bird fly, and how to signal him back. each time he landed on the glove he was rewarded with a bit of raw chicken. These birds are full of strength, agility and grace, and it was truly a privilege to work with Becket for an hour or so.
After our falconing we checked out and said goodbye to Ashford Castle. We headed away from Cong and on to Galway for the afternoon.
Galway is located on a bay on the west coast and is a pretty little city. We parked by one of the docks and walked the streets of the city centre for a few hours, stopping occasionally for some refreshment (coffee and water as this was a driving day). We then set out for the last leg of the days journey arriving in Ennis about an hour later.
We checked into our hotel and went for a brief exploration before dark. After a quick clean up we went to Brogans Pub for supper. This pub has been appointed distinction as a "true traditional Irish pub" by the Joyce society, meaning it has the atmosphere and character of a pub from the novel "Ulysses".
We were both tired so called it an early night.
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