A Travellerspoint blog

August 2016

Ireland Day 15: The Pilgrims' Road

rain 61 °F

90_A81AA8D69D6BED320BED60B776437D05.jpeg
Clonmacnoise is, in a sense, at the center of Ireland. The River Shannon flows by it, and the Pilgrims' Road (really a glacial esker) which bisects the northern and southern halves of Ireland runs directly to it. We stayed right off the Pilgrims' Road, and only had to drive a short distance to get to Clonmacnoise. This statue is outside the gate, and it depicts Aedh, the son of a king of Oriel who died during a pilgrimage in 606.
90_A84BFD9EDC75418DBBC72FA4883093BF.jpegA8526084F344CF4E692D1AFE80DDD221.jpeg90_A85D086FD0105F338DCC7DEF6FFD7E6B.jpegA8659302D24FE2E5669923A257FB47A6.jpegA86E860DA95739859A2F7EC4015C1C76.jpeg90_A876B4F4E79D79F2FDE9777FCCA666FB.jpeg90_A880D679F5514B0264AD54D1B56FB149.jpeg90_A88BBAFB99215E0317AFE9E9B644E3FE.jpeg
Clonmacnoise is similar to the Rock of Cashel, but was predominately an ecclesiastical site. It was alternately under the patronage of the King of Connacht or the King of Meath, as it is locate immediately between those two ancient kingdoms. Luckily we were here early enough to watch the informative video and get a guided tour. The monastery was founded by St. Ciarán in the 540s. It was sacked several times, by Vikings, the English, and other Irish kingdoms. There are several high crosses, including the scriptural cross in these pictures.
90_A8F64436D6513052CE1691B0A859F8E2.jpeg
One of the buildings (probably the pharmacy?) at Clonmacnoise. Our tour included a Franciscan priest originally from New York, but now serving in Limerick.
A90FEE63D3BEEFB4DB3B95F22E92E718.jpegA918921EE96AA27C7CF9F78F69014431.jpeg90_A9231412FA3D0A11BBA5B412891BA567.jpegA92E40789C8D42231AC6D42DCC9A183A.jpeg
Some views around Clonmacnoise.
A950C5C30DCD9C3829A8CE5AD069A6A9.jpeg
St. Dominic, St. Patrick, and St. Francis. The Franciscan in our tour was easily able to identify St. Francis by the stigmata and the cord.
90_A96F0EDC0958E9C98F736182DD34D5C0.jpeg90_A975DE7ABA02E997776875F3910C879A.jpeg90_A981AC849E20E60CA1E2BA6280607CA3.jpegA9913DE5EA8A8AEC87FF9D1AAC320C95.jpeg90_A99C5C12BAEFEA1F8736A0D5C70EBC83.jpegA9A5369B0DEFA332C65B99D15A34FEA7.jpeg
Some more of the buildings around the site. It has two round towers: a very large one and a much smaller one, as well as a cathedral.
90_A9BEC20FCB5C14FDC41780652088E0EF.jpeg90_A9C8E460A46003F793B52C0EA2857282.jpeg
The modern oratory, where Pope John Paul II said mass when he visited Ireland in the seventies. He was aware of Clonmacnoise and St. Ciarán before coming to Ireland, and wanted to say mass at Clonmacnoise, where thousands of local people appeared when he landed in his helicopter.
90_A9FBB146F2D3428EC7DCB00148B4AA8B.jpeg90_AA0A9A2CBAE67420C92AA0D8B4184983.jpeg90_AA18B937E6518269AB5BD6FC8AEE4488.jpeg90_AA263A2E0BCC64F81E023C204CE9DB95.jpeg90_AA44EB64B01EBED852A5B3CE9DFCA5B3.jpegAA668067FDB27BE4722BDF48C9183E63.jpeg90_AA6E65E60C4664662342729B1F84D848.jpeg
The nuns' chapel, which is a short distance from the main site, and has a sheela na gig on one of the arches. It is a fascinating little chapel, founded by Dervogilla, the wife of Tiernan O'Rourke who was abducted by Dermot MacMurrough, thus inciting the Norman invasion of Ireland.
AAA06E5EAD84C231179F679B2C08E057.jpeg
Us at the nuns' chapel.
AAB269F7C71C65B2E6DAF229DB44AA18.jpegAAB9947A9620280449A3A76DE2B69F83.jpeg
Some more pictures of the site.
90_AAD3216BA344C71956FE754C1CF47791.jpeg
St. Ciarán's chapel. The legend is that soil from the floor, if sprinkled in the corners of a field, ensures the fertility of the field. The walls are bowed in from all the dirt that has been taken from the floor, which now has stone pavers on it. Some people have left coins near a stone inside. We asked the tour guide what the stone is, and he said no one knows. Daniel suggested that the people who leave coins must at least think they know what the stone is.
90_AAE4CDF1B625A2042DCDA7E4EC76584A.jpeg90_AAF63645F3C43F17C59F78B72E573BBB.jpeg
Daniel in the scriptorium, and a view of a cross from inside the scriptorium. This is where monks would have copied manuscripts. There are several extant manuscripts from Clonmacnoise, which include historical records.
90_B1D1B717A529D7875E71270E643371C0.jpeg90_B1DADFE29F47CCE213DC07BC7B896857.jpeg90_B1E40260D791DF254095D9A92A0B352D.jpeg90_B1EE7A02C31172198F138652961E31F0.jpeg90_B1F94C8BD9F29B6BB966A6D0E2964642.jpeg90_B204E53C0754C71C2939C4FC60B80800.jpeg90_B20F18B4CC93C9963D30D129651FF8B0.jpeg
The real crosses, as well as other artifacts, are inside the museum. There was a large tour of nuns going through while we were there. It was kind of interesting to see priests and nuns touring an old religious site, but on the other hand it was sad, just like at Cashel, to think that if history had gone differently there would be priests and nuns living and working here rather than simply touring ruins.
90_B235DAADB76A05D14388D815B84911EC.jpeg
There are several hypotheses about this image. We thought it was probably St. Michael defeating the devil.
90_B24F49CFBD40C0DAEB78E5D42A533B51.jpeg90_B258FE29DA390308F2D33BEBE1EA513E.jpegB263615B978D6F74B496032FDD655E85.jpeg90_B26BBBBE0C9C65D543B854505AFF88BF.jpeg180_B2710DF9B84F3F851C0549FA62189298.jpeg90_B27AA481F2CAC75225D3007D8F3519C7.jpeg
When we drove through Athlone we texted Adrian, as we were planning to see him that night. Daniel said "I bet Adrian will have a food recommendation in Athlone." A moment later, we got a text urging us to go to Seán's Bar. It is the oldest pub in Ireland, and most likely in the world. It was built in 900, making it older than most of the buildings at Clonmacnoise. The original wickerwork of the walls is on display on one wall.
B2A4E9B9CA740DD96860690EB15E92DA.jpegB2ADDBBFAB832B84C88BC4902185FAE2.jpegB2B8840BA9FA5EFE940BF2A6133A4045.jpegB2C2D19600DA51638B9A75527BB8ADBC.jpeg
Athlone Castle and the River Shannon. After this, we headed to Kilkelly where we met Martina and Mary Kathleen. We had a conversation with them, then headed to Adrian's house in Knock.
90_B2F5A107903313A4040AD13CE46F2B0A.jpeg90_B3007084C45F363951339A53B0B9FD3D.jpeg90_B30C2669B90352EDBAC0F85B067CA491.jpeg90_B31282DCDF375777FD3F1B3CD4B3792E.jpeg
We picked up some food in Kilkelly village along the way: Shish kebab and chips to split. We went to Adrian's house and had a nice visit. We were there very late: somehow we lost track of time and it was 3:00 AM when we headed back to Kilkelly. We had an interesting night, particularly when Adrian's mother came to the door with two hypodermic needles in her hands (for the dog's bee stings) and expressed the opinion that Americans being bitten by a dog was far worse than Irish people being bitten (she meant that since we have to fly home soon, she wouldn't want us to have to deal with medical treatment or quarantines, but it sounded funny.) Adrian pointed out that this is the first time we've visited his house that there hasn't been a coup, which was very true. It was a great night.
90_B36B3838DAB841AF30991644C43087C6.jpeg
When we arrived back in Kilkelly we found these creatures that Martina had left in our bed for us. It was nice to have the companionship of stuffed animals.

Posted by danielcatherine 10:14 Archived in Ireland Tagged cross adrian pilgrim athlone martina knock clonmacnoise kilkelly mary_kathleen st._ciarán river_shannon Comments (0)

Ireland Day 14: Cork, Youghal, Cashel

overcast 64 °F

90_731FBEC9098FD4C3CCCBB69E694808F4.jpeg
The view from the kitchen of the house where we stayed. A beautiful north Co. Cork landscape.
90_7339441DE479B1C0E1C06596A7FD2CF1.jpeg
We drove through Bweeng again on our way to Cork. This is the pub.
90_7363A45CA55AA6D9891234B485B69231.jpeg90_736B6C869BA8F255B99F4365442733BE.jpeg90_7374878BDA0FF87EE224A77EDF9B7CDD.jpeg90_737E5A72F3DB30F1A97CE9E6A11BEBE6.jpeg90_73881511F2E8DEBD0AC76E0722038992.jpeg90_73901457DC0012E651165DD312708B8B.jpeg90_73983F51A77F142D8E0466B8845820AF.jpeg90_73A1F09AACBA1C013510C1B08F8EC6F2.jpeg90_73AAC03CF61DC2A417FCF6B462B2C14D.jpeg90_73B47251C84EDE221B008D0FDA5D3805.jpeg90_73BD39F5EADFB6DF2F63CEA6386CF4D0.jpeg90_73C5F77FCE5C7C040C6885405A43BD9D.jpeg90_73CF18189325B6EAC5E4D21CED87532C.jpeg90_73D91285E11C7C220D456C6E39A52C88.jpeg
St. Peter and Paul's Church, Cork. This was an absolutely beautiful church. We went to a Traditional Latin Mass here. It was a low mass, and not very long, but it was beautiful and the building was so incredible. We also got an excellent parking space right in front of the church, and went to lunch right nearby. Cork City is a little bit crowded and hard to navigate, but it was pretty and we were glad to see it during our trip.
90_740BD071E3637FC4B3FCE6F88F2A38A5.jpeg
The outside of the church.
90_74330E51C82E605C8CD491DF3542DFA1.jpeg74498CD5D3630C9DB57B46CB34073B8C.jpeg90_7451171DEB5C065D3F2600FB104D47A1.jpeg
After leaving Cork we drove to the town of Youghal. Daniel's parents went there and highly recommended it to us. We went to the museum and drove around the town a little.
90_747BB010022C820440ED2A26BEC57879.jpeg
So is the group called Batty and they're playing tonight? Or is it called Batty Tonight?
74975C5C093DB08214A75C57BE48C255.jpeg749CF502E6877BAF2C1DE52C3E090B32.jpeg74A36CB8CBA1BF068827EF7BAFA11702.jpeg74AA0C370758C5DCBB40BA01040A9932.jpeg
More pictures of Youghal. It was once one of the most important harbors in Ireland. It reminded us a lot of New England, mostly because it had an intriguingly similar history involving puritans, witch trials, etc.
90_74FE0D45EF42209C9641D5427778B0D8.jpeg90_7508B6E1A229763FA49021B8DAD08189.jpeg90_751209D6BA4481075FA6E03E8CDD0EE9.jpeg90_751984CCC073D08E607E73E98CAAF0DF.jpeg
More of Youghal.
90_7530404CCC487F92D84B0A0FB5D94DFB.jpeg90_7548FDF4F4EDC824F79791FBA09ABCFE.jpeg90_7564AB5A0F6935DB1E55003769DB8211.jpeg180_756B98FAE2B55401DE432560220A9A3A.jpeg180_75717270C9F5E9326F480331851587D3.jpeg180_75785690EFFC0B145F2200D47875F302.jpeg
Some sights along the road to the Rock of Cashel.
75A1BEAE90B1B2058EAD12C9564E10A7.jpeg75A9A0A6BD0844371A1D4E71A3C71CD1.jpeg
We arrived at the Rock of Cashel just before it closed. The staff seemed eager to lock the doors, so we were lucky to get in. We went to the museum first.
75DA88F9CFFCEFF5840D3CAE68AADDBE.jpeg90_75E23AA6A3B335ACF5E66CF1C8D50DCA.jpeg90_75EB90FDDF29E15B7BD03738513273A2.jpeg90_75F38957DE5474B1450895FCDF2CD236.jpeg90_75FC99E5E0ADB76D65D49735DFD446AF.jpeg7603DF0BDE6B548C704FCA640C0677B1.jpeg760AA78D9D35C020A190B558714EC258.jpeg90_761351A30804C646E2AD18E4E8963A75.jpeg90_761A9477EA603B3DE4B3125A0A947824.jpeg
Cashel was both an ecclesiastical and political site. It was the capital used by Brian Boru, and before him, by the Eoghanacht rulers. It was also the site of a cathedral (to is day the diocese is called The Diocese of Cashel and Emly, even though the cathedral is in Thurles.) There is thus a great variety of buildings and artifacts here.
180_767468FC9CA84E80EAE55F2D734F14A3.jpeg270_767FFD68C444C3AEA334A0AC98CC270D.jpeg270_76877068B3ED5E3FB11C0017B4B01645.jpeg90_76906CBEC0A688914061E0EF1AA08F99.jpeg90_7699E5B5BFE749C718C8EA6207DFA9E6.jpeg90_76A14177F7640F9D6AFBCDC03724B090.jpeg90_76A91900C5662E20A7E3208A2028C1AF.jpeg90_76B16351B67C20175432F7C549179ECE.jpeg90_76BDEDA0FA763A10F43BB6219817C6C4.jpeg180_76C87A519BF6BBD44B27D2338A761826.jpeg180_76D531BBF3F4C4D5A87D679376F91968.jpeg
The saddest thing about these ruins is that they don't have to be ruins. If history had gone differently, this could still be a thriving cathedral, with masses being said and people traveling to see the historic church. It lasted for centuries being used that way, and churches just as old are still in use in other countries. These were part of a patrimony that was sadly stolen from the people.
180_77027969F0860613F68502A86495ECDF.jpeg90_770B1496A7DB80280AA5DA02A815112C.jpeg90_7712FDF6F9EEB0B6485335A875279A32.jpeg90_771A892FCC482661CCADE82A7C883A6F.jpeg90_77238E80D1D31BD8EDDC14020A0980F8.jpeg90_772B9C38AD7EAEC2DC09BE55F34E6ABA.jpeg90_7734B1D9A9F4C2EBD2863899561E8B4B.jpeg90_773C98A7B1804C9024A3E3FE4B9A0313.jpeg180_77434047C3ECA64B3D7C4A5B13CF3423.jpeg180_77491885B36746F2C1BCA4D7F094468C.jpeg
More pictures from the Rock.
90_776E247E0A32052E2433609B181944AB.jpeg270_777D994791813217C25851E9207088F4.jpeg90_7782D0C6BF055DAFA90BAA4DE026A709.jpeg90_778929F3EE6B1A1E54E131A302BFC2A9.jpeg90_779512A70EF8B95B071FC8B20A48FDD9.jpeg180_779D810BFCF61816104DE9A300142E6F.jpeg
And some more. It's a beautiful place.
180_77C11BF5B699E9CC4F2628F04FFD12EB.jpeg77C88C660FC344C3827A30C17D820491.jpeg90_77D99875B80496A4AF4FDADC668E430B.jpeg
Some pictures of us at the Rock of Cashel.
90_77CFD944B6696DD51096BFA6169D66D8.jpeg
It was extremely windy there that day. It was very difficult to walk around without being blown off-course, and it made Daniel's allergies really bad. Still, it was a nice day to see the ruins with no rain.
90_77FB8BDFDB431F2496A78342FDB57C50.jpeg
This monument is visible for miles around. It is only when you walk behind it that you realize...
90_7806FB60BC1732C88181A96CD3D53006.jpeg
...that it used to be a cross! It would have been incredibly huge as a cross. Unfortunately, without a guide we don't know if it was wind or human action that blew it down.
90_782C78D69BB9CB643E962E5DE318B247.jpeg
In the gift shop, Catherine tried on this cloak. She said she wishes that cloaks were a more socially acceptable thing to wear. Unfortunately, the €500 price tag prevented her from doing her part to bring back the cloak. (Also, she wondered if daggers were a necessary accessory with cloaks.)

We went to dinner at a pub called Brian Boru's, where people were watching a darts competition, and the Italian waiter kept promising the owner that he would bring in Italians, then delivering on his promise (he must have brought in at least four Italians while we were eating there.) Only after we finished eating did we find out there was another side, which was a restaurant with live music. It was a nice dinner. We then set off on our drive to our next AirBnB, which was near Athlone and especially close to the ruins at Clonmacnoise, which we were very excited to see.
90_7863C0D5AEF8F642F25ECD67DCFC30FE.jpeg7868E0C9E5BFCC620DA90F2225C3C491.jpeg
Some pictures of the sunset along our way. We arrived at our AirBnB on the Pilgrims' Road, and met our hosts who also had large dogs, had a farm, and the husband was named Joseph. We had a nice conversation with them, then went to our room and went to sleep.

Posted by danielcatherine 12:53 Archived in Ireland Tagged history ruins church museum cathedral dogs farm cross latin wind athlone joseph cork mass cashel clonmacnoise rock_of_cashel bweeng dromohane youghal Comments (0)

Ireland Day 13: A Very Quick Tour of the Southwest

overcast 66 °F

90_3DF49280B6FAE979F1C66A6F3735AD19.jpeg
First, we went to a shop in Liscannor to buy some gifts for people. Catherine found a couple pieces of jewelry to buy. A shamrock necklace and a St. Brigid's cross. Here, she's wearing the St. Brigid's cross.
90_3E1CC433E7606EAD61ED11802681D2E7.jpeg
Classic-looking haystacks. Usually we see perfectly square or round ones, not ones that appear this "natural."
90_3E37EE8ED38B6E12C76401AAD611304E.jpeg90_3E4632C5B70991C0E8346FD57F9E2695.jpeg90_3E535EE5EE6565CA89940736CDDB68CC.jpeg90_3E61429BB0EF93CA409F83EE5EEEF2F5.jpeg90_3E729372080BA217FDEDACC6794501EB.jpeg
We stopped to visit the old cathedral of Kilfenora. This tiny diocese is run by the Bishop of Galway now, but is supposedly technically without a bishop, supposedly making the pope the bishop here. Whether this is canonically accurate is debatable. There are several High Crosses here, and the ruins of an old cathedral, part of which is now a Church of Ireland church. It was a very interested place to see. Daniel had seen it when he was here last, and wanted to show it to Catherine.
90_3F0EA1B2E2A6917496296E26AD16D207.jpeg
The village of Corofin. We were thinking of having lunch here, but there was a horse festival that day and the village was very crowded with nowhere to park.
3F4E005DA9B7CA581388BBB5321A0F17.jpeg90_3F601863FF8A42C5B847DD3C43CE9BB8.jpeg90_3F565E69A75C5D9BAD1BC65067951C1D.jpeg90_3F69710AA8509F893B823487EB0AEE64.jpeg90_3F722E8F008B718DE9EA8A40270F0EA3.jpeg90_3F7BC9B6081DDC6E8A4025263962E36E.jpeg3F83E2BFF8579A581A71441D8F678637.jpeg3F8AD8A6B80C9E38C2DC4DC4163A5011.jpeg3F91C636FF3B6F2190294259AA291368.jpeglarge_3F973C29E0D2C3D1B70C95A4C8C87963.jpeg
We visited Dysert O'Dea Castle. Daniel had visited some of the sites here, but not the castle which was closed when he came here last. These show the views from the top, as well as the workshop in the castle. This castle is intereting as it actually belongs to a member of the O'Dea family who lives in Michigan.
3FE86600026AC7C6ED070CC21D300E2A.jpeg90_3FF0E3ADB9A8A818F4AE0762465FBA4D.jpeg
There's a small exhibit in the castle of objects related to various risings, especially 1916. There are some weapons which were used in 1916, and letters and other documents of people involved. It was very interesting, especially as Catherine had been reading a book on the Easter Rising.
4017D531F9CCA8FA9D221283AAE8C2EF.jpeg90_40112B5A0935FFAE78B2E4DF4CE0A996.jpeg
This is a murder hole, where defenders could drop objects on invaders from above. Strangely enough, it is located in the chapel.180_404B1524AE2E8EAB367B98DCAE8B6C67.jpeg
A person risking her life by standing under the murder hole.
90_406133D305587332D5D46EE3E5FBC613.jpeg90_406C72ADCB729751E4D58CC34CF1F7AC.jpeg
More views of the castle.
90_408A7418AB41EDDDC000F4B16D3DA16C.jpeg4090B736F27C9B5B3B0F5A8393338DAF.jpeg90_409738EBEF800EB32C94E0B592E2749C.jpeg
We had lunch at a pub in Ennis called Dan O'Connell's. Co. Clare was playing Co. Roscommon in Gaelic Football that day, and the game was on. The pub was crowded with people watching the game. It was fun, but we didn't stay and watch the whole game as we had places to be. We wanted to visit Adare Castle, which was on our heritage card. When we arrived, however, they were closed for a wedding (which is impressive...we wondered whose wedding it was to close down a public heritage site.). We moved on from Adare and, since we had some extra time, headed to Killlarney to see Ross Castle before going to the place we were staying.
40C98EF9ED2D14BADEA4344F2ADE589B.jpeg90_40DFAF4EC2A3D5175B3509A5A8DAE485.jpeg90_40E81DCB0B4658AF3C4932A2A1BCD0BC.jpeg90_40EFF5CBE11F79288016EC1E5B82D482.jpeg90_41002A50E491E5697835ED9E9AA12E50.jpeg410AB47F94F20CD826B14017B2DA1708.jpeg90_41185AFA0456B3E7CECB6CAB70B10553.jpeg411E998CA0D63ED15767F8C23458553D.jpeg4126CFD4BAAD6EE213101F78C5B1E6F7.jpeg90_41341453D51AA9348591130F8A58C1D3.jpeg42123C87E9A525530427D9197115131C.jpeg
Ross Castle was closed by the time we got there, but it was still an interesting place to visit. We walked over to the lake and got as close as we could to the castle. It was much larger than most of the castles we have seen.
90_423F3EC790658C779463A1061E8B10EB.jpeg
A cute dog we saw on our walk back from the castle.
4256AEBBC6AD6E5A10B388E9F09C014F.jpeg42608ECD92705AED3CA816803F6D455C.jpeg426DBD60B70FB4B765B534734FE47BC7.jpeg427B865DCAC001A88E2E8971093F3E86.jpeg90_428256A8DE65D82BAF41DA299FC2FDD3.jpeg90_428D2E9AE8EC71675AE6AEDA199DD222.jpeg
Some of the beautiful hills of Co. Kerry. Catherine pointed out that the green is particularly green in Kerry, and started referring to the color as "green green."
90_42C3269AA2FADE138C1ACEB27C3E0654.jpeg
We stopped at a small pub/disco bar for dinner.
42F47AAD09E544B199A6D24F21160B19.jpeg42FBA8EFA74EAC3BCA02F2AAEE0746D1.jpeg43032FCEFB17EFB366502A4E2FA1EC34.jpeg430C2D65DEE0B6C0B0738DDD7B017E67.jpeg
Some more pictures of the beautiful scenery as we drove from Killarney to Co. Cork.
90_43415A61D1CD00A6376A2163EE294B45.jpeg180_43467234E5A96A308ACD463024BD2339.jpeg
When we were planning our trip, Catherine noticed that there is a village called Bweeng in Co. Cork. She wanted to go there, and looked forward to "Bweeng Day." Today was Bweeng Day. These two pictures show the metropolis in all its glory: a post office, and a selfie in the church car park. We didn't really stop in Bweeng because it was getting late and we had to move on to Dromohane where we were staying.
436DFE27A6A1EC49B3A67C50A0F4879D.jpeg4373ABA8B765F7F5B8065C6C232C3FAA.jpeg
The sunset over Dromohane. Our hosts there were wonderful. We had a nice tea and a lengthy conversation about Irish and American politics and current events. They were very nice and helpful hosts, and the room at their house was a perfect place to stay. It is a dairy farm, and the owner also has seven German shepherds. Also, the host had a very strong Cork accent. At first, Catherine thought he was from the Netherlands.

Posted by danielcatherine 19:47 Archived in Ireland Tagged castles wedding green pub heritage disco ennis ross cork killarney hay adare st._brigid o'dea corofin kilfenora diocese bweeng dromohane Comments (0)

Ireland Day 12: Moher To See

overcast 64 °F

7496D87EAA11603D81EB7B42063BFF35.jpeg90_749F51589CF47A0E08849F96438FD5ED.jpeg
We started the day by driving to the city center and finding a parking garage. We went to the Claddagh Jewelry shop and got a Claddagh ring for Catherine. While Daniel had purchased other jewelry for Catherine when he was living here, for some reason he hadn't gotten her a Claddagh. We got one today.
90_74A82D90B4496C9691D981B021884D58.jpeg
Then had a delicious lunch at Busker Brown's before heading to Co. Clare.
90_75356DB7B6265C09B78CEC6AD1D7333A.jpeg753F2DCEFDB03B62AFA90946B4C6EBDB.jpeg
On our way to Liscannor, where we were staying, we stopped at Dunguaire Castle, which is a restored castle that can be toured. It was built in the 16th Century and is a fascinating thing to be able to see. It is really more of a "tower house" than a castle, as it was not really intended as a strong fortress but more as a fortified home.
90_760B5990E3A4B2CB2C7EB70DF885EEE4.jpeg7614C0A6BCCBB82FA8B3BB2B53AE67CE.jpeg761E8E5AC812B931D72A1145F322DC4A.jpeg
Some pictures inside the castle. The different floors are arranged to show different eras: the 17th century is depicted by the banquet hall, and the 20th century (when an Englishwoman restored the castle as her home) is depicted in the top floor. The castle hosts a "medieval banquet" which the staff was preparing when we were there.
90_762A02B4B145C8308F24D8B9646F6330.jpeg
The passages on top are very narrow and difficult to get through.
76358B11E97BAD6200F25F236890BADB.jpeg90_763D6213CE0CD71ECBEF69ACED88E0D2.jpeg
But there are beautiful views from the top once you get out there.
180_7668EDA6ECD1D1B15E6B9792A90603DE.jpeg
Us at the top of the castle.
7673585FD7464B1DA171E2417724F949.jpeg767EFEDADA957D9AAE0575AA64113081.jpeg
More views from the top.
90_76B6F3500D6D7294B8F5461C7622D13D.jpeg90_76D33832CE585EFD83C849B8E3C004F4.jpeg
More pictures from outside.
76F04508055797428B0EC5B8B64B3B30.jpeg76F6CE8FCDBC8123EA5003A73E06157E.jpeg76FD84C7E02FFB97A997150D7D2644A3.jpeg7704B8B202E64BDA622D35B6A382A646.jpeg770C38B4A8A794C67893522362A4640B.jpeg
The burren, a barren landscape of limestone in Co. Clare. It is strikingly different from the landscape of the surrounding area, and seems to lend itself to the preservation of ancient sites, or at least make them more obviously visible.
776761B897D8AC1EEA5ED66BE05CC469.jpeg7772CABDB89422F476F6B963EA0B2CCA.jpeg777F075BE31D604D501EE1C79C314C04.jpeg77888238E5B16C2E40BBCA97F96A5C45.jpeg
Yes, it seems like something you would see on a postcard from a rural area: "Co. Clare Traffic Jam" with a picture of cows walking down the road. And yet, it happened to us in real life. These were dairy cows being taken to be milked, it would seem. We only had to wait a little: the farmers moved the cows fairly quickly. Of course, it was a frightening experience for Catherine after her run-in with the calf the day before.
77AA4A0FECAB68E5C68D2D51A4006458.jpeg90_77B38F4FE900BDC3CCBEB2A54E3A0EDC.jpeg
Some pictures in Liscannor, where we stayed. Our hosts there also owned a pub, and they have a house across the street from it. We drove to the pub, and our host had us follower her to the house and checked us in. It was a wonderfully comfortable room, and our host recommended that we go to the Cliffs of Moher (which were right next to the house and pub) after 9PM so that we wouldn't have to pay to park. We decided to go to the village for dinner, then go to the cliff.
90_786C5994E712C2A4FCB91D6E59A3A648.jpeg90_7874DF6DB65064A97F9B3DEBA76C3462.jpeg90_787D4DE8F9A56ABB0C1E6A253DA4C4F7.jpeg
Dinner in Liscannor before going to the cliffs.
90_78C26CEADE632A6FA7E6992F67F8376C.jpeg180_78CA48BDBDA15E11CACB71E7DD0285F1.jpeg
The O'Brien Monument in Liscannor, right near the pub. This was constructed to honor Cornelius O'Brien, who was a well-liked landowner in the area despite being part of the British power structure (the O'Brien family has an interesting history: they are descended from Brian Boru, and are thus native Gaelic nobility, but the senior heirs of the family embraced Anglicanism and fought for the English and against various rebellions by other Gaelic nobles like the O'Neills and O'Donnells). Cornelius, however, was known for building projects and other well-regarded projects in the area.
90_7947C7D7A64A3719218C0CBD164791ED.jpeg90_7951A0E5CE68BE800AD67F8DAE97A9E3.jpeg90_795D5D1F021D811655C960F83D68FC12.jpeg90_7969C9E9E5FFB25D0830C03C0E0CB8BA.jpeg
St. Brigid's well is right next to the O'Brien monument. It is unlike any of the other holy wells we have visited on this trip: less "polished" than St. Catherine's in Killybegs, but far more trafficked than St. Dymphna's and the others. There were rocks that people had written "thank yous" to St. Brigid, and a statue in a glass box.
90_79A07FD7A364FCE6BB22437B7BF88911.jpeg90_79AD5666F35112D86D32DF3C188A11CD.jpeg90_79B7C7FB03414A18F681312F03B61272.jpeg90_79C0E2A8FB00464B2E0817CCBE273D33.jpeg90_79CBB1AE0B466C546EC64D60B52ACDDF.jpeg
The upper shrine. There is a graveyard hear, as well as some more small objects that seem to have been left by people frequenting the wells. There were also ribbons tied to the trees, which apparently are left by people who have prayed for something there.
90_79722374E91A1A07F2D923B7BE776622.jpeg90_797B25BBE3D250FE0638648A430D5B7B.jpeg90_79829DD4F6B6DBD0E2E04605E62A4F53.jpeg180_79897640BAAF09E005B6CF89B82EAABA.jpeg270_79910D1FF706F2F465DCBBA1118CEB79.jpeg7997669EC22073350A568C834CF468EA.jpeg
The really numinous part of it is the lower shrine, where there is a tunnel leading to the well. The inside has all manner of offerings: statues, cards with prayers written on them, funeral Mass cards, missing person reports, stuffed animals, candles, rosaries, scapulars, icons, photographs, etc. It was an amazing thing to see, and a testament to belief in another plane of existence beyond the world we see around us. Most striking were the "thank you" notes: letters detailing how St. Brigid helped a person. Really a small, easily-missed thing but one of the most intriguing places we saw on the trip.
7A80A9E5073EBFAEC87A65516046868E.jpeg7A893BDFBCCC4378A9F685F5413F524C.jpeg7A8E7DD0CBCC9B4E6E5297369CEA64BF.jpeg7A96F043E30035E8459184C6ECD16CED.jpeg7A9CC11FFD8D665EAB426A6D57BFA53A.jpeg
Then, it was time to see the cliffs. The parking lot was now closed, which meant that we could park for free and walk to the cliffs. Unfortunately, it meant that all of the visitors' center buildings were closed, including the tiny "meditation room" which Catherine pointed out should probably be unnecessary, considering that a person who wants to meditate about the cliffs should probably do that...at the cliffs, and not in a tiny windowless room sort of near the cliffs.
180_AB8925259FC4EAC5F70BCF8D45AA41BF.jpegAB90A193E06122BFAD86FA7E50CE53CF.jpegAB966072AE7B5217D25BF0E60DE954D5.jpeg180_AB9DFC9CD882358A0075EF4207152E4B.jpeg180_ABA525E5D75BBA21ABF2382AE9E1D24F.jpegABADB86EE1A9876B6E60F7BCA19B1033.jpegABB77F6EB391B0AD48890CFA7B51ADE6.jpegABC09910F67065AAB11786739B715B64.jpegABCA0AE6FA264A8B6B85A4C6BB48AFEB.jpeg90_ABCD0597039685B48D3A4E624E10ECA5.jpeg
There's not much to say about the cliffs. They are stunningly beautiful, and the pictures sort of speak for themselves. It was nice seeing them in the semi-darkness: no crowds, and the light seemed perfect. Since they are on the west coast it was a beautiful sunset and a great way to spend the evening.
90_AC334FF8CF5D3D44C0F23EE38412B99E.jpegAC3D0A4BEE5EFA6190A98BC7EDED9401.jpeg90_AC45290FB763369888FF7207801ADC14.jpeg90_AC4ED1530124DFFF5DE3670FF3D20FE8.jpegAC55827FF5948B249D9FDAD5E3820ACE.jpegAC5E5A0EDDB7DBF06AA69522FD7A599C.jpeg90_AC66232F95AB70AF2F321D4E5543CFD1.jpeg90_AC6F4FABE238F58D776A19CB92E1B892.jpeg90_AC75E1870D3610CA094C120BEF356EFA.jpeg90_AC7E2B1BB0143683435C8EDB3B91D5C8.jpegAC879EC89E155563B71A6F2C5660C62C.jpegAC8A8151D5C5BCFE227BDA72C933EAD4.jpeg
More views of the cliffs as night fell. It was an incredibly peaceful night: we were the last to leave the cliffs as far as we could tell.
ACF3C511A1E97F7B42D651FDB5F3B397.jpegACFAB66CA2164AD2F005990651FDDDD9.jpegAD022275BECEB296F6E579C6404B46CC.jpeg
More of the cliffs after dark.
AD1A3749FC4858CB14363B988DE4C1D0.jpegAD21D2430F41CC67508D6A674AB2C3F4.jpeg
The twinkling lights of the village.
90_AD3839D0E55A6474F0BA4DC09F0DFAC8.jpeg
A drink at Considine's Bar, across from our AirBnB and owned by our hosts. It was a nice, small pub, not too packed but not empty. There is a house attached, but the Considines no longer live there, and apparently use it for storage, etc. The house where we are staying is rather new, having been built around six years ago. We loved our stay in Liscannor and would highly recommend it to other people staying in the area.

Posted by danielcatherine 00:37 Archived in Ireland Tagged cliffs village meditation pub beautiful castle farm cows burren clare moher the_cliffs_are_closed st._brigid o'briens considine traffic_jam dunguaire_castle Comments (0)

Ireland Day 11: Adventures on Inishmaan

rain 70 °F

400221DC0395BE59FDA27A1766B5272F.jpeg
Our ferry to Inishmaan, or Inis Meáin in Irish. The ferry is Banríon na Farraige, which means "Queen of the Sea." Daniel thought we were safe from any kind of ferry accident, as reporters all over the world wouldn't be able to pronounce the boat's name.
40077B52BE1E9F0A00783F22408F50A2.jpeg90_400E7B09E26FA7A0103348783E1E7109.jpeg
The journey from Rossaveel to Inishmaan was beautiful, but a little bit rough. We were both extremely tired, and we had some coffee to try to wake up.
270_404C729AA4F6502D4ADC49CDC5CCA54C.jpeg90_4054EAD5AEC95817C27E2F865CE5852F.jpeg4065F674AE7F4D97FD42DD54F702FB4E.jpeg90_405ED028F927807D016826B2342E1A3A.jpeg
When we got to the pier on the island, there was no evidence of a village and no transportation to the sites we wanted to tour. There were only about five people who got off of the ferry with us, as the rest of the people on board were heading to Inisheer. Daniel had been to Inisheer and Inishmore before, and wanted to tour Inishmaan as he had not seen it. It is said to be the least populous and the least touristy of the islands, and thus far it was meeting both expectations. Soon, a man in a red van sped onto the pier and rolled down his window. "I'm the taxi to the village. Five euro each."
At that moment, a woman in a smaller car also sped to the pier, jumped from her car, and began speaking in Irish to the man. She then told us that she would take us to the village. We got in her car, as did an older man and an older woman. Indicating the other woman, our driver said "This lady will tell you all about the history of the islands. She's Dutch. I can drop you at her tea house if you want."
We were dropped off at the tea house and had a nice conversation with the Dutch woman. She lives on Inishmaan, having studied Irish in college and fallen in love with the island on her first visit. We purchased some tea and pastries, and a map to show us other things to see on the island. It was one of those surreal experiences where you are not quite sure if it is real, hence our confused expressions.
90_40E5546CCEE7CF1360043A1783ADFC5D.jpeg
A donkey outside a house on the island as we walked away from the tea house.
90_41183DB2A0C523C5400931D4E2FE45AD.jpeg90_4126D858B9F1D79CAD210F06F8B17613.jpeg4133FE3A0ED2B574175096BBC0D8A943.jpeg90_413BD5C00CE779CFB7DC13A32AF3A7F3.jpeg
Small fields, houses, and religious shrines: common sights around the village as we walked.
42886499FD7770BD4D34693FEE140A35.jpeg42962C57EB7181F1F623C92101ADB6ED.jpeg
Some of the island's scenery.
180_42B01485ED8113E9E12844A4D49281CF.jpeg
Us on the island. It was absolutely beautiful, and we were glad that we came to this island as it was incredibly quiet and peaceful.
4326071BB57488634F6390EBDC69AEC7.jpeg90_42DC1468DDFCA4C7A14544A60350FB6B.jpeg42EA0FC69A9EDBA57A69B48FA099D7E5.jpeg42FA53500EFCB08DE7D89A224160B493.jpeg430B3DA7AF124FB26A6DCD62B56273F8.jpeg431D21B7C1929C35AD61D37C520137CF.jpeg
The ruins of the Church of the Seven Sons of the King. The information plaque explains what it is. It was an interesting ruin that we would have missed or assumed was just part of the stone wall work if it hadn't been signposted.
90_43B50777FA94BD73F6CB2FD317448DD7.jpeg
A green water pump, similar to the one in Mountcharles but without any plaque about its history.
43C960050B6C48DAEF86C4584FE41F80.jpeg90_43D10077F03DC685B2D9BFD13E360E0A.jpeg
The Church of the Immaculate Conception, which is the current Catholic Church on the island. It has Harry Clarke Studio stained glass windows, and an altar made by Patrick Pearse's father (which was originally installed in the old church then moved to this one when it was built). The church is beautiful.
90_43E95D67CDFB2F558DA6402825B9B07F.jpeg90_43F08707CB32061446DC274BE614EBE6.jpeg90_43F7F6E9FB5B438322D6B9850D1C6B4B.jpeg90_44000F8DD9A92BE0B907E9F253BB1FF6.jpeg
Some of the Harry Clarke windows. They really look different from other stained glass windows.
90_4407DB63E9DA6C1BCD82D86FB618C7E2.jpeg90_44116E97E329E9C645796A3F552845FD.jpeg90_4419D757E34DA4CDC64B367D0917DF17.jpeg90_441EC9FDBCFD0BD6D5AB91CDBC2D5104.jpeg
The Pearse altar, some more of the windows, and the crucifix above the altar. This church is quite arresting: every part of it seems to draw your attention and make you think. It's amazing that such a beautiful church with such great artistry exists on such a remote and unpopulated island.
444D1D31A27AEB45A9E8A86F5E10A9FD.jpeg90_4457998EC1A652DEDED144E7D6BAF893.jpeg90_44612078FD98A35B874AA6CEABEB689B.jpeg446C1910D9E36E00A3E80AE61BFAC8CB.jpeg44765D4DE05B13B19201321E0B497A77.jpeg44805B05D096308F40922DA4EA9AACD5.jpeg
Some pictures near Teach Synge, a small house where John Millington Synge and other authors and notable people went to learn Irish. We had an excellent tour with the owner of the house, a woman whose family owned the house and hosted Synge and the others. It was where the Gaelic Revival began, in some sense, and from that house spread new interest in the language and culture of Ireland before the English conquest.
44A2F7499FD531987B2320880D38530F.jpeg
Us about to climb to the fortress.
90_44C24EA1924D22E5E6D384080553F511.jpeg44D611A9FB399474EDBC3ADCBB716374.jpeg90_44E31F18FBD40D7F87BD13685373917C.jpeg90_44F15E18C6A769205899D5A4628E090C.jpeg
Dún Chonchúir, the fortress in the background, is a huge ring fort and very similar to Dún Aonghasa on Inishmore. It has extraordinarily thick walls, and is almost perfectly circular. The huge mound of stone in the background of these pictures is the fortress.
4525A1FB9CF6343AFBA1FC98C0438A32.jpeg452F5B10D841A910D619EA62E588D99A.jpeg90_4539ECABE1A63F2DE16E3BBD612CF3BF.jpeg180_45412C1E0E3A28DDC5091F685E346D6A.jpeg
Our first attempt to reach the fortress. We followed signs towards it and then cut through fields and pastures to the wall. We reached the wall, but there was no entrance. Daniel climbed the side of the wall, and saw how thick the walls were. It is an incredible fortress: reaching it is difficult, and once you reach it the walls are extremely difficult to get over. In an actual battle, we imagine that it would be nearly impossible to conquer if defended: it would be impossible to reach if there were archers or javelin throwers on the walls.
457251A9BD04F17592228961D5E799B8.jpeg457A1D42BE53152DC143525CD6182289.jpeg
Of course, the fortress does still have some fierce defenders: this mother cow and her calf! We found the correct path: there were small yellow arrows that are easy to miss pointing the way. The path cut through one pasture where a mother cow was with her calf. Daniel thought there must be another path: they wouldn't advise people to get that close to a mother-and-baby animal. Catherine thought that it would be fine: after all, cows are domesticated animals. We started through the pasture, and Daniel reached the next style before Catherine. He saw from there that the calf was chasing Catherine, and told her to hurry. She ran, and the calf continued to chase her. Unfortunately, now we were closer to the fortress. The vicious creature was between us and the village!
45B2EED7FF772E06C57FE51BA2C44A86.jpeg45A690E2C77748BE89209F65A5B0DC67.jpeg
Information and a close-up of the fortress.
45C1730DF7330FEBBD908DE4E64B5EA6.jpeg180_45C71960B2A8691E679659A9B0275789.jpeg90_45D13B039EF43FF0202860EC2C7C2B2F.jpeg90_45DC7BABB4CCD0A588EA1D58D1E85F84.jpeg45E7FF33A008227A11B9137CD799BFA4.jpeg
Inside the fortress! It is a huge area within, and feels very protected from the outside. The design almost makes it so that the outside world seems far away: it is quiet and sheltered. It was getting late and our taxi back to the pier was going to meet us at the pub in the village at exactly four, so we had to head down sooner than we would have liked.
461AB5E9A4D0B0A1A23FBF9F469051AE.jpeg90_4625B67095DC92873AE5ADAA99A81268.jpeg462D9FBAF12E87577EF7ACF590FEB055.jpeg
Views from outside the fort.
464B2997EFF6B6C3F2BEA90ECD6EECCF.jpeg90_465B33069A2E6DF6C74D495D0C84A27C.jpeg
Teach Synge, photographed as we walked back to the village. The owner didn't want pictures taken inside, and she explained that people are often disrespectful in their picture-taking on the islands, acting as if everything is so intriguing and quaint and different and photographing people who are just going about their lives. She said it was okay to photograph the plaque and the outside of the house, so we did.
90_467FDD21ABED4362F7878DFE61F6F836.jpeg90_4689DD6DCAAC53CC3658429CB43AEADC.jpeg
Journeying back to the village.
46A4E092FEE5E0A2549C9947718B34F2.jpeg
The pub. We arrived here a little earlier than expected, and were able to order a lunch and a couple drinks before the taxi arrived. Everyone in the pub seemed to be facing the same way, having quiet conversations in Irish while eating or drinking. We sat near two men who engaged us in conversation, though it was quiet and somewhat halting. We learned some interesting facts about the island and its history. Eventually the taxi arrived: it was a different person we hadn't seen before, but he said that the cost was still five euro per person. We got to the pier and waited in a small enclosure as it was starting to rain. We struck up a conversation with a woman who was keeping a blog and walking the Wild Atlantic Way, and waited while several other ferries came before Banríon na Farraige arrived. Finally, our ferry came and we got on our way back to Rossaveel.
90_46D7E979E4A7897A806A705CF9334D58.jpeg46E0149DF62A7F9D419071CCC7F89E53.jpeg46E920C906E8EB1ADBB2BE9EF5CACEDF.jpeg180_46EE62F30534E9BA031CF21800FAD3BC.jpeg
The Claddagh, where we started our Galway Pub Crawl for the evening.
90_47081168B7AEC0EBDC57F9947F1A37F1.jpeg90_4710CEDBD4BD2825B2B9582CD1828906.jpeg
Dinner, including margaritas, at Seven in Galway's Latin Quarter.
90_47548846C7A0C5D560246681424C30B3.jpeg90_475AD3D0BD050D7F372DAA7EBA142D0A.jpeg
This street performer stood on a board balanced on a cyllander, juggled axes and machetes, and put a tennis racket all the way over his body.
47782344EF89C56462A216794AA8AB8A.jpeg477FADBCF946F42774F7E182340B7494.jpeg47878B52E742EADACAB7EB407E610DD3.jpeg180_478B91510B26C66AB60F20C616C1C6A2.jpeg180_478F75BB9500EE744F20C39D458AE431.jpeg
Walking around Galway after dinner, we come upon this large square which is well appointed and nice looking. It is Eyre Square, but Daniel doesn't recognize it because last time he was here it was completely under construction, and a chain-link fence surrounded the entire square area. Only the streets were open. Now it has several small kiosks within the square, and banners of the "tribes" (Anglo-Norman families) of Galway. It was wonderful to be here together.
90_480685BD9D1023E0B49406870A69037B.jpeg47F4B202012BFE03A348B34DCB4AB65B.jpeg90_47FCE2E6E3B894B30ED152072AA80ACC.jpeg
Some drinks at John Keogh's-The Lock Keeper pub. The bartender was an expert on Irish beers and whiskies, and the drinking habits of the Irish people. It was an interesting place and a nice conversation about social trends. And also, some good drinks.
90_483921F8EFBBE46733E5AF1A87F8BFEF.jpeg180_48313A18E5AEE0B15D3A229E1CC6430D.jpeg
We ended our night at The Crane Bar. Daniel went here as well on his 21st birthday, so it seemed like we should go there. They have traditional music every night. When we went in, there was no music, but there was a persistent thumping coming from above. We went upstairs, and there was a woman doing Irish dance while the band played a song. We found a place to sit with an Irish couple and two Danish men who were touring the country. We listened to the music and had a nice conversation: the Danes were quite interested in drinking, and were planning to go to a beer festival in America later this year. The band played a mixture of Irish, American, and British songs, and we had a wonderful time.

Posted by danielcatherine 11:57 Archived in Ireland Tagged taxi cow tea pub ferry fortress dutch pub_crawl calf inishmaan aran_islands irish_language synge Comments (0)

Ireland Day 10: God Bless Our Daniel

overcast 67 °F

90_0367BC70940279A58653EB53DEC1E62B.jpeg90_038A9F2BB32D0A578D3C414DE2263258.jpeg90_03920103CA0C1D868185C4E501B7307C.jpeg
First, we drove to Gort na Coiribe, where Daniel lived when he was attending National University of Ireland, Galway. The houses are student housing during the college terms, and holiday rentals in the summer. We had thought about trying to stay there but their minimum stay was slightly too long. However, it was nice to see it again. We took some pictures in front of the flat where Daniel lived, and then went over to Dunne's Stores across the street.
90_03C08483B6228E55445C52BDFACE6FFF.jpeg
Years ago, Daniel had told Catherine of a brand of juice called Fruice. She never believed it was real for some reason. At Dunne's Stores, the truth was revealed.
90_03D6E076A2B4072166C1081BD6AFC8EF.jpeg
We turned down a side street while trying to find a place to park, and encountered this banner. We have no idea what the actual intention was of the people who put it up. But it seemed like a nice "welcome back" from the people of Galway.
03F15EC1CF59D282C4183246C005B8EE.jpeg03F985069451E7289FB974D8C70F6272.jpeg03FE906D01ACE8FAC234161E36661ED0.jpeg
From Dunne's Stores we walked to the University, along the route Daniel would take when he was here. These are a couple pictures of the River Corrib from the bridge.
0428A21BEA43EBA09FA64920BDF26DC4.jpeg90_0431E918A8ADED9A753218FB6DFA7408.jpeg043DBC1CB537F31232BBE011C575E8D9.jpeg90_0442D84CC9C8CB67CC022504036538B0.jpeg90_044A76B5EE9C20AD3101B3ED2EA70C3D.jpeg
The old Quadrangle building at NUIG. THis is the most photogenic building on campus, but Daniel didn't actually have any classes there when he attended. However, it was a nice spot to take some pictures and look at the historic part of the campus.
90_0484EF6BF19FA771BE090ED4F46859F9.jpeg90_048F6C8EB20827A27ED20511D3546CCE.jpeg180_0495ECD1E92E1097A88DD875075985AC.jpeg
Just past the campus, a canal that runs beside the campus and a view of the cathedral. This was the route Daniel would often take to go to lunch.
90_04C2210AB476D7CD769C28E2AE7366B3.jpeg04CC11E0AB62BB6DB6549C53EB8A8870.jpeg04D5DFA6D4E78F41CFA70D559BC987AF.jpeg90_04DEEF99C18406009B04EF2A32C3E1C5.jpeg90_04E90E45BF7F0AAAD70DFCECD9ADEF79.jpeg04F2029CEB3F4B7C8CFDD55F3F1CF3AD.jpeg90_04FB539EA8080220B8E6CA9B04F9007A.jpeg90_0504DFEA0C3E25D152A9DE2F2385B3FA.jpeg
The Galway cathedral. It is not as old as it looks, having been built in the sixties. It is a beautiful building, deliberately built as a sort of Irish-Mediterranean (especially Spanish) hybrid to emphasize the historic links between Galway and Spain. It is quite large and has a variety of artwork, including stained glass windows and murals on the walls. We used a paper "self-guided tour" booklet to tour the cathedral, then went on to lunch.
052F26AAEF5BDB146947977E1714355A.jpeg
On our way, we saw this evidence that someone doesn't know how to read a sign.
90_055D3ACEE19C96AC0ACEE531B308A795.jpeg90_05693050F5947A58D2E3FD98CA46BF0C.jpeg
When Daniel was here before, he and his friend Adrian would often visit An Tobar Nua, a small cafe in Galway. We went in to have lunch there. It was started by an American, and the food seems to reflect that, as some menu items that are not particularly common in Ireland are available here.
180_05987294FB97D0EC06AA646E1E9C4FF6.jpeg
Us at An Tobar Nua.
05AB8D8A01BD5CE1D0C6E605224CBCA2.jpeg
Ran into one of Adrian's friends and heard some amusing stories.
90_05D04966ABDD1FF0C542210F5CE6A1AA.jpeg90_05DA8348EC69AF48D4F03AC2FEB7CBA8.jpeg
DInner/snacks at Monroe's Tavern, right across from An Tobar Nua. It's one of the places Daniel went on his twenty-first birthday, and we were happy to go there now.
05FF211ED4C25305F9F4AC3A4303C5EC.jpeg
Catherine tried a beer called "bogman" in commemoration of her adventures in the bog in Glencolumcille.
90_060402E1F3BEDBD0F27F13EAF5548A4A.jpeg
The beginning of our "pub crawl" in Galway.
90_061B391EF585119310A1F8434B2EC10B.jpeg
A view towards the cathedral from the Claddagh.
0623716BB7C19270E5984A3918CA8B65.jpeg
Some buskers playing the song "Wagon Wheel" as well as some traditional Irish and American songs.
064E6DD3E6A8DAED92F06D1415AD3987.jpeg
Drinks at The King's Head, a popular pub in Galway.
90_0672A6BBB9B15A56DFB7FA5FB9301D81.jpeg90_067B0E7B9A7FB2D882149D2AD5A66122.jpeg
From Breaking Bad?
068A18EEC806AE3BD2CD011AB7970269.jpeg
Drinks at Sally Long's at the end of the night. Pubs seem to close fairly early here.
90_06A7EADDA9D13F630E8581995C9D312E.jpeg90_06B1004EB2B19399C56E07B046DB816A.jpeg
Capital Turkish Kebab House for some chips to finish the night.
06E60A82E2B884621D363C1B1FCBB3F9.jpeg
The relatively empty and quiet street late at night. From here, we got a taxi back to our room and headed to bed to rest for our trip to the Aran Islands!

Posted by danielcatherine 16:05 Archived in Ireland Tagged rain clothes college chips laundry memories galway kebab pub_crawl irish_pubs monroe's king's_head sally_long's Comments (0)

Ireland Day 9: Patrick's Footsteps

sunny 80 °F

90_D378AD33F37538C45ED57C137B9D9DC0.jpeg
Croagh Patrick is probably the most climbed mountain in Ireland: according to legend, it is where St. Patrick fasted for forty days and forty nights. There is an annual pilgrimage on "Reek Sunday" (a "reek" is a mountain), which is in July. People climb it at other times as well, particularly in the summer. Since we were heading to Galway, and Croagh Patrick was so close to us, we decided to try to climb it. Daniel's parents had tried to climb it when they were here, but had not finished the climb. Thus, we were prepared to only go so far.D386910EDDF5E69DA47E171996245A54.jpegD397747DFD80EF89208FD4BCBBA5FE7E.jpeg90_D3AFD373C7E7141FD01EF774363B9737.jpeg90_D3BCA456E6D0CC2E8D0178D9D8A3DC0F.jpeg90_D3C9AF8CEBF0A0E761CFAEB531CCF97A.jpeg
Some pictures of the low part of the trail. There is a beautiful stream that runs down the side of the mountain, and the path at this point is mostly rock and dirt.
90_D4234E6209D2C5DDC430290517E96CBA.jpeg
When we had climbed some of the way, Catherine started to feel like she needed to turn back. We had a discussion about what we should do, and she said she wanted Daniel to climb the rest of the way if he wanted to. She said she would go back to the visitors' center and wait, read a book, etc. Daniel continued on his own.
90_D445A2C3F0DD587F2805E8ACA0986086.jpegD452889C03EB293962930F33D8244B21.jpeg90_D45D1C54A547FE63AF0B19A8C3E79693.jpeg
Daniel: I will write this part in my own voice since Catherine wasn't with me for most of the climb. The pictures show some of the beautiful scenery from the climb towards the ridge. It was actually a very warm day: the warmest of the year, and fairly sunny. In some ways it was a perfect day to climb, but it was uncomfortably hot. Catherine is actually in some of these pictures, making her way down as I climbed. I can't find her in them but I know she would have to be.
D499879609F340C9F2E107B627AE06AC.jpeg
One of the cairns along the way. There are prayers that are traditionally said at these "stations."
D4B05B94E64D55A629BF3CB023047070.jpegD4BB31BDEF86EB4AEEF9A96E17F17249.jpeg
More views from the mountain.
D4CBD516AA745EE4B82D4032585E21A8.jpegD4D97432A0988FEED510A4B1A83EC7EB.jpeg
People seem to have climbed down to write messages using rocks around the pond here. Many messages are unclear, as if people have removed stones from them. I didn't see anyone climbing down to add messages, either.
D54A51A5BEF891F4A0E5D5B19A952427.jpeg
There are a couple of small buildings with toilets and sinks. They aren't particularly clean but it is good they are there.
D585FB47AEC803DB6A25D41EA4F290E1.jpeg90_D5901965E23FB2063A755FB48E06CF1E.jpegD5965AD3CA09B3339CBC34BE98004029.jpeg90_D5A5ED21EB0E63A7597F014633DE3880.jpeg
Some more views of the climb.
90_D5C2DC01F6F10771DF54B0629D64B38F.jpeg90_D5D1A12DA48EFA9CD29BF1DA2F4DC367.jpeg90_D5E1702EB138117D47ED6CAA4191876E.jpeg
Some graffiti on the rocks. Advice, encouragement, and Eastern European rivalries.
90_D6138EDFFA5C60222130C827B659C147.jpeg
I took this picture with my camera exactly at eye level facing forwards. It shows how steep the climb is at this point. This is the cone, the final part of the climb.
90_D5FA8532D097ACF324859BDA13EA063C.jpeg
A glorious moment: my first glimpse of the chapel on top of the mountain. I was there!
90_D63B422AC1812A9329CC73EBE7E240DE.jpeg90_D64BFE08D8F7916CDF564CE0E230BFC5.jpeg
St. Patrick's bed and a cairn. Both have many small objects (rosaries, crosses, ribbons, etc) that people have left.
D66547F5B29926CEC44374BC8A6A94A1.jpegD66EE5ACA6072309DA65E894B1FA4932.jpegD679AD43FF940223FA5899A9F5CD7D4D.jpegD687EB02DDF311C77645C6BB43E55126.jpegD6968479998B0E0E8A493B19B3A726A9.jpeg90_D6A1184DC51A0E2606A696D78484F0D1.jpeg
There is such an incredible view from the top of the mountain: I am very glad I decided to go to the top. It is beautiful in every direction, and there is a great sense of accomplishment.
D6BE14D4EAA2B93C838B9C976B1AE8D6.jpeg90_D6CC2A11D4A23C24CB8307D12E3CE8C7.jpeg90_D6D7F313D00B749E3491C180526B2024.jpeg
The beautiful chapel at the top, where I lit a candle for a variety of intentions.
90_D6C41DBEB4BC1D6FFBEB73B37B3F552E.jpeg
I have to prove I was there, and didn't just download these pictures online.
90_D6E1DF92F0EB2C520B63C852329DDC6B.jpeg
This appears to be some prayers in Cyrillic writing. Perhaps the Russians that graffitied the rock? It is nice to see the wide diversity of people who come here.
D7024846AA4C3C4DDEA10447DCAE3F9B.jpegD70E551F0B9BF925D3D2DD16F92A53DB.jpeg90_D719F80AC6E600CB616AE6DA516C00E0.jpegD72490B693C5F7280B1D6947DCD08DD2.jpegD72BECEAEF41EC0F46B74028811CD534.jpeg90_D731A8BE95C80F2AA2373E40C9181FC6.jpeg
More pictures of the church, including another selfie.
180_D762AD03F0A2CD970D0BA06E9F858D62.jpeg
And another.
90_D773B9C9B181AFCA7D9AD8E9820C1E78.jpeg
I took this picture accidentally, but it was a good picture to show what the trail is like.
90_D78DD4DB0FD26BB7E20838C18A82EF81.jpeg90_D79B2DB4072C7BB47275E68E01161A3A.jpeg90_D7A75342C8F3249B5D340687B1E7EB6D.jpeg
From the path going down.
90_D7C19490DE78B574C37CAFE3D35CB7FC.jpeg
I took this picture also at eye level straight up and down. It shows how steep the path is.
90_D7DA1CA40DDA5C38EFE5FAF352FA4C28.jpeg90_D7E5A561ECC868C66C6B0343E8751C9D.jpeg90_D7F1ED1200266E01662639D8A7E551B2.jpeg90_D7FE5E6AD7CB491BBE565B0043EA7AD3.jpeg
As I went down it seemed both easier and harder. It was quicker, but more painful and more frustrating. It truly is a "whole different muscle group."
90_E04B3B9FDD80960E37E54B6AFE28450B.jpeg
Back to the statue.
90_E056415DB45404F8B9AD2B490B48196F.jpeg
Catherine had waited at the visitors' center while I climbed. She purchased a book about the 1916 Easter Rising and learned some Irish history. At one point, a man came down from the mountain bruised and bloody. Is frightened Catherine, so when she saw me she was very happy. We took this picture of us with the mountain in the background. I bought an "I Climbed Croagh Patrick" T-shirt, and thought about buying the one that said "'I Climbed' Croagh Patrick" for Catherine. I was happy to have achieved it, but exhausted from having done such a long climb.
90_E08579B0AC8906937F9FBAFC8608BBFB.jpeg
Both:A delicious dinner at an Italian restaurant in Westport.
90_E099E7F6EC57A9DA367FDE90C72A6C88.jpeg
We drove through Connemara on our way to Galway. It was getting dark so we didn't take many pictures. However, when Daniel was studying in Ireland eleven years ago he took a picture in Connemara that was published in a magazine called Dappled Things. The picture is called A Connmara Landscape and is one of the first Google Image results for "Connemara landscape."
E0DCC29EC3CA3FA8F43C3F3730C4267B.jpegE0E4F8CEE333D9B8235742152289587D.jpegE0ED90D5FC4DACF88E741934C40DD9F4.jpegE0F5BD650DBCA7FAD5D086BF78089A00.jpegE0FE6BC59B73DBFCE19E8B40D66C0147.jpeg
Killary Fjord, the only fjord in the Republic of Ireland. It is a beautiful spot and we took several pictures even though it was starting to get dark. From there we went to Galway.

Note to Readers: we are now back in California, where we have our own internet connection. It was often hard to blog from Ireland as we would get in late, and also sometimes have spotty internet coverage when staying in rural locations. We plan to finish the blog, as we have pictures from each day and would love to share them with all of you. We also use this blog as a kind of photo album, and often use it to show people what we saw on our trips. Stay tuned for updates: we should be posting one or two posts per day.

Posted by danielcatherine 23:00 Archived in Ireland Tagged islands history statue views book stones climb chapel fjord shirt connemara westport saint_patrick 1916 croagh_patrick reek killary a_connemara_landscape Comments (2)

(Entries 1 - 7 of 7) Page [1]