I imagined giant trolls roaming this treeless Ireland landscape. Big round boulders dot the bog land like a giant rock garden for the trolls. The sky was gray, and the fields were brown, and I was feeling an overwhelming amount of blah as I looked out my car window. This area in Galway County was so different than the flat Burren walking trails I had just come from. Fittingly a village named Roundstone was at the heart of this rock garden landscape.
I rounded the corner along the Wild Atlantic Way and drove into the village of Roundstone – all of a sudden my blah color palette came alive – pinks, blues, yellows, greens appeared as if my ‘movie’ had just been colorized. I immediately stopped as I felt as I was aching for a little color in my life after a few rainy days. As I walked around Roundstone with my camera shooting the radiating colors of the town a guy stopped me and introduced himself on the street. He told me he retired around Roundstone and he went on to explain why.
“This is the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen,” he said as he gazed out at the horizon
His comment made made me stop and pause – I loved the uniqueness of the landscape but not sure I would call it the most beautiful I had ever seen. It made me wonder about this man, what would make him love such a really barren, brown area? An area where I imagined trolls to live. I have often thought that the love of a barren landscape had something to do with what you are used to and where you grew up. My parents retired in Eastern South Dakota because it has a similar landscape and culture as where they grew up in northeast Nebraska. It brings them comfort. I wonder if this means that one day I’ll retire to a flat landlocked Midwestern town. After all, I am strangely drawn to ‘nowhere places’.
The guy invited me to coffee and as much as I wanted to go learn more about him and why he felt Roundstone Ireland was the most beautiful landscape he had seen – I had to decline and keep on driving. During my stay in the Roundstone area, I did really learn to appreciate and love the landscape – you can see why through these pictures.
What’s the most beautiful place you’ve ever seen and would you retire there? Let me know in the comments!
- Wild Atlantic Way Road Trip Guide
- Driving in Ireland on the Wild Atlantic Way
- Taking on the Wild Atlantic Way Solo
- 8 Reasons and Photographs to Fall in Love with Ireland
- A Day on Dingle Peninsula Hiking Through History
- Seeing Quiet
- Adventures in Connemara
- The Best Way to See The Cliffs of Moher
- Sometimes You Just Have to Walk It Alone
- The Most Beautiful Place You’ve Ever Seen
- What To Do on a Rainy Day on the Wild Atlantic Way
- Don’t Fence Me In
- Cork City Photo Walk