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Following in the Footsteps of Maureen O'Hara and John Wayne: Discovering "The Quiet Man" in Cong, Ireland

Following in the Footsteps of Maureen O'Hara and John Wayne: Discovering the Quiet Man in Cong, Ireland | CosmosMariners.com


As someone who's a sucker for history, I'm always on the lookout for a fun, quirky, historical spot to add to our vacations. On our Ireland road trip, I discovered that one of the Maureen O'Hara and John Wayne movie locations was just a few miles from the Galway castle AirBnB we were staying in, so I decided to add it to our itinerary. 

After all, when you get the chance to wander a real life set of one of the most famous American movies made in Ireland, you make a detour!

When I told my husband about it, he got so excited since "The Quiet Man" was one of his favorite John Wayne movies. He gave me a quick refresh on the movie's plot since I'd only seen it once, and off we went to the main "The Quiet Man" film location, Cong, Ireland, in the hopes of immersing ourselves in the Hollywood of yesteryear. 

8 Historic Sites in Dublin Every History Buff Should Visit

8 Historic Sites in Dublin Every History Buff Should Visit | CosmosMariners.com

Any trip to Ireland must include some time in Dublin, the country's capital. Dublin is a thriving city, one that is easily walkable yet big enough to keep you busy for several days. There are many ways to approach Dublin, but my favorite is (of course) through the history--and, thankfully, history buffs will find plenty to see and do in Dublin once they've sampled that first pint of Guinness and gotten their first glimpse of the River Liffey.

Here are my favorite historic spots in Dublin, so brush up on your Irish history (this book is hilariously effective--and it's illustrated, so it ticks all of the major must-read boxes), strap on your walking shoes, and dive into this incredible city.

The Best of Ireland in 1.5 Weeks: A Road Trip Itinerary

The Best of Ireland in 1.5 Weeks: A Road Trip Itinerary | CosmosMariners.com

When I'm planning an itinerary for a new trip, I try to include a driving portion whenever possible. Not only is a road trip often more time-effective than relying on transportation, it can also be cost-effective since you have more flexibility in where you're staying.

For our trip to Ireland last year, I knew we had to see Dublin--but I also wanted to explore the rest of the country as well. We didn't have a terribly long time to stay because of my husband's limited vacation days, but we managed to put together what I think is an incredible road trip that takes in the best of what Ireland has to offer!

Newgrange: Ireland's Mysterious Neolithic Site

Newgrange: Ireland's Mysterious Neolithic Site | CosmosMariners.com

Castles, bridges, and cathedrals: Europe's got them in spades, and they're all historic. That's one of my favorite things about visiting the other side of the big pond. Here in America, you'll find a historic downtown that might date back to the late 1600s if you're lucky; in Europe, the "new" side of town was probably built around the same time period.

My exploration into Europe's history has taken me to many places: to Roman ruins underneath one of London's political centers, an Iron Age fort on the cliffs of Ireland, and a German city that has impressive remains of a 2nd century aqueduct.

Inishmore, Gaelic Trivia Night, and Iron Age Forts: Why the Aran Islands Must Be a Part of Your Ireland Trip

Inishmore, Gaelic Trivia Night, and Iron Age Forts: Why the Aran Islands Must Be on Your Ireland Trip | CosmosMariners.com

As the itinerary for our Ireland trip came together, I knew two things had to happen: 1) I had to stay in a castle while we were there, and 2) we had to visit the Aran Islands. Everything else was negotiable as long as both of those stipulations were satisfied.

Thankfully, both experiences ended up being just as fantastic as I'd hoped they'd be. I knew that I wanted to visit the Aran Islands in some capacity because they are isolated from mainland Ireland (something that's always appealing since I love to get off the beaten path!) and because they kept popping up as one of the must-do items in everything I read about Ireland.

Wild and Wonderful Connemara, Ireland

Wild and Wonderful Connemara, Ireland | CosmosMariners.com

My husband, Landon, and I have found that some of our best times traveling occur when we've got nothing planned. When we went to Scotland a few years ago, we scrapped our entire itinerary one day on the suggestions of one of the hotel staff; we wandered around the Trossachs for a day and that remains one of our favorite travel days ever.

Castles and Cottages: 5 Incredible AirBnB and VRBO Properties in Ireland

Castles and Cottages: 5 Incredible AirBnB and VRBO Properties in Ireland | CosmosMariners.com
Our home away from home for a few days while in Ireland! Just call me Queen Natalie.

My husband, Landon, and I love to find new ways to explore the world. Whether we're trying somewhere for the first time or we're going back to a favorite haunt, we'll look at ways to personalize our visit. Neither of us had been to the Emerald Isle before this time, and in an effort to do something different than what we'd done on our other British Isles visits, we decided to plunge in the waters of AirBnB and VRBO while in Ireland.