Saturday, October 5, 2013

A Day on Inish Mor

Today we took the ferry from Galway to the Aran Islands. It was a 45-minute ride. When we arrived there were several drivers with minibuses ready to give tours. You could also rent bikes or ride in a pony cart, but both of those options limited the amount of the island you could see (it's about 15 kilometers long by 5 kilometers at the widest). The tour took about three hours altogether, leaving us with a little over two hours to wait for the return ferry. We found a bar in a hostel and nursed our tea (me) and whiskey (Dan) as long as we could.

Goat farm

Sample of rock walls -- 4000 kilometers of them on the island!

Looking up at Dun Aengus -- about a kilometer

Typical rocky field

Dun Aengus

Inside the wall

The edge is the top of a high sheer cliff

View across the edge

Real Aran sweater shops at Dun Aengus

Old house covered with ivy

See the little leprechaun house!

Monument to native who died elsewhere--there are many of these

Old and new houses juxtaposed

Part of the seven churches monastic center

More at seven churches

Lonely house

Very old building

View across the island

Fuchsia along the roadside

Tables in the bar were all old sewing machines

Waiting for the ferry, we saw these crazy people go in the water!!
The old places on the island were very old -- Dun Aengus probably dates from around 1000 B.C. The seven churches monastic center was perhaps 9th century. There are now about 750 residents, down from a high of 1400 or so at one time. The residents speak Irish (Gaelic) as their first language. It was a very interesting and informative day.

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