Inis Mór - Ireland part 5
I seem to have completely forgotten to finish my blog posts about my trip to Ireland with Marita in September! There's just been so much else to blog about since then, that I completely forgot. Anyway, here are the last pictures I have from Ireland for this trip, taken on the day we went to Inis Mór, the biggest of the Aran Islands off the west coast of Ireland.
To get to Inis Mór from Galway, first we had to take a bus to the port at Ros a' Mhíl, then take a ferry over to the island. Unlike the day before, which had been so blustery I thought I would blow away, this was a sunny, calm and warm day, absolutely perfect!
As soon as we arrived on Inis Mór, we were approached by an old, pleasant-looking man who offered to take us all over the island in his horse-drawn open carriage. We accepted, of course, and were so glad that we did! Rather than sit inside a stuffy tourist coach or renting a bike, we were able to leisurely enjoy the lovely day and beautiful view with no effort at all. The old man, whose name was Patrick, offered light conversation and was genuinely interested to learn about Norway (even though he forgot that he asked the same questions over and over). The horse, named Charlie, was a docile, good-natured and patient creature.
I was so glad I didn't have to go anywhere by bike this time around. When I was there last time with my class at Uni, all the rest of them wanted to rent bikes. I detest riding bicycles. Naturally I got the one with the narrowest seat, and by the time we got back at the end of the day I was so bruised I could barely walk. So I much prefer this way of travelling, slow though it may be.
We went along the coast road, and the scenery was so beautiful!
As we went, we passed many cute little cottages such as this one.
I wished it was summer so I could have walked barefoot on this lovely white beach.
Typical Inis Mór landscape.
We chose to go to Dún Aonghasa, the ancient ring fort placed right at the edge of the cliffs. Both of us had been there before, but it is so magnificent it has to be seen several times! It dates back to at least 1100 BC, and is well fortified with four thick stone walls and a ring of spiky stone slabs outside that, making it very difficult to attack. in the middle of the fort is a huge stone slab of unknown function, but it may have been religious.
The cliff edge outside Dún Aonghasa.
Dún Aonghasa entrance.
The cliffs as seen from inside the walls of Dún Aonghasa.
The defensive system of stone slabs, which would make an attack very cumbersome.
We even got a private tour from one of the fellows who worked at the heritage site, named Bartley, and he had so much interesting and enlightening information about the place! I really appreciated that, history geek that I am.
After we had explored our fill, we went back to Patrick and Charlie, who had waited patiently for us all along. Patrick told us there was a ruined church nearby that we should go take a look at (understanding that we love such ancient places), so off we went.
The ruined church. Sadly I don't remember how far it dates back.
Votive gifts inside the church.
It was very beautiful and green outside the church ruins.
We then went back to Patrick and Charlie, and they drove us back to the port.
Patrick and Charlie.
We were really sad to say goodbye to Patrick at the end of the day, because he had given us the best day we could hope for, so we gave him a big hug and paid him a lot more than what he asked for (which he more than deserved for waiting around for us all day).
We then spent the rest of our time on the island in the Aran Sweater Market, where I bought my fantastic shawl featured in this blog post, before getting on the ferry back to Ros a' Mhíl and the bus back to Galway.
That concludes my posts about this trip to Ireland, as the interesting bits are now over, The remainder of our journey was spent packing, travelling to Dublin, then the day after that a very stressful journey home with very rude flight personnel. I was sad to say good bye to my favourite country, but also very happy to get home to my husband, a new computer, a redecorated working space, and my own bed, which was slightly less uncomfortable than the hotel bed (I say was because we now have a new, soft, wonderful bed).
I hope to go back to Ireland again soon, this time with my husband, because my dream is to rent a car and just driving all over wherever we want to go and not be restricted to buses.