Wind made the camera desperate for a real (meaning very expensive) tripod – need to wait for my next visit.
Part of the trip was focused on participating in the annual “Irish Light Festival.” I found out that Irish “light” is often gray and dimmed. Or was that mostly. I also know that Ireland has some crime and drug wars. They struggle with suicides, especially in young men. The food in Dublin isn’t so hot. The roads are narrow. Rental cars need repairs, both before and after renting them.
With that out of the way, here is the reality: One of my all-time favorite trips, all-time favorite countries. Historic sites dating from 5000 BC! Wonderful castles and cathedrals, located near scenic waterways, from the middle ages and forward. The “Wild Atlantic Way,” especially along the west coast, including the marvelous Burren, carpeted with glacial-era limestone, and the glorious orange colored Connemara. An engrossing history from the first Irish to the Vikings to the British rule and Penal Laws, to the battles for independence, to the potato famine, the Easter Rising near the General Post Office in Dublin, and to the 1922 birth of the nation. Then the conflicts with the Northerners. I am not giving a history lesson – it is very complex, but a must read before going there. Famous for writers and poets and story tellers. Guinness beer, for which I am now a convert. Sites of famous movies, especially Ryan’s Daughter, filmed mostly along the Dingle Peninsula. I watched all 3 ¼ hours of that movie before leaving on the trip. I recommend the last 45 minutes, but it was very “cool” to visit all the beaches and the fabulous Minard Castle that were part of the first 3 hours. How about Trinity College, which was established in the 1500’s. Here’s a tidbit of info: 56 students total, from all 4 classes, are allowed to eat in the dining hall on campus – they are the top students, called “scholars.” Imagine thousands of “lesser” deserving students watching these 56 parading into the hall as the dining bell is ringing. At graduation the students are called up to receive their diplomas in order of class standing – 1st to last. No one knows the order until the moment he/she is called on stage. Very nervous parents? Or students? And there on campus is the Book of Kells, the illustrated/illuminated book written by monks in the middle ages – the 4 gospels. First in Scotland and then brought to Ireland and hidden from the Vikings. Beyond thrilling to see this wonderful piece of history and art.
But here is the topper: The Irish people – helpful and fun-loving is an understatement. We were enthralled with the pub action. Guinness, sometimes chardonnay (my favorite, sold in about ½ the pubs), fabulous Irish music in every pub, and it seemed as though no small combo of musicians played the same instruments from one night or one pub to the next. Our defective rental car shut down at stop signs and stop lights at least 25 times, and would only start back up after waiting 30 seconds with the car in park and the key out of the ignition. Have you ever calculated how many cars can back up behind yours in 30 seconds? Well, a lot! And never once did we get the expected honk of the horns – only the first-in-line car coming up beside and asking how they could help. “Just need 30 seconds of quiet time.”
And because of weather and time we missed Skellig Michael, Inishturk, the Aran and Blasket Islands, New Grange, Northern Ireland and lots more. Must return!
My dilemma now is what pictures to post. Any? A few? Never was the light, wind, color great. But the memories are. So I will put up a few travel photos and hope the next Irish Light Festival will bring this photographer some of that Irish luck.
See Pictures HERE