It is fun to travel and fun to come home. We arrived late Tuesday night after missing a connection and hanging out for five hours in the Toronto airport before getting another flight.

Here are a few of the photos (out of hundreds). We traveled south from Dublin sort of following the coast. We were as far south as Cobh in Co. Cork, west to the Dingle Peninsula in Kerry, up through Galway, Mayo and Donegal before turning east into Northern Ireland. We stayed in Derry and then in Bangor, east of Belfast, before returning to Dublin and then home. The entire country was green, green, green.

We visited castles and ruins and a couple of museums but mostly enjoyed the beauty of the countryside and the friendliness of the people.

Dingle Peninsula

Dingle Peninsula

These rock lined fields are typical of this part of the country. We were told that long ago each field had a separate name. Note the road, it is narrow with little room for vehicles to pass. I was driving and didn’t want to meet a tour bus on one of these curves.

A stone house on the Dingle Peninsula

A stone house on the Dingle Peninsula

We would like to have gone into this building and asked about how a roof made of stone is constructed and works in the wind and rain of the area but it was closed.

Father Dyer's Folk Village in Glencolumbkille, Co. Donegal

Fisherman’s cottage in Father McDyer’s Folk Village in Glencolumbkille, Co. Donegal. It is one room with an open fire at one end with a hole in the roof for smoke to escape.

The Folk Village Museum is a cluster of several small cottages, called a ‘clachan’, perched on a hillside overlooking the sandy curve of Glen Bay Beach in the Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking area) of South West Donegal. It was started by a priest, Father McDyer. At the time of Father McDyer’s arrival in 1951 the parish of Glencolmcille was suffering from a long-standing cycle of unemployment and emigration. Over the next three decades Father McDyer worked to help break this cycle, lobbying for amenities, organising community projects and supporting the development of local industries, many of which, like the Folk Village, are still successful today. (quoted from website) It shows a glimpse into daily life in past centuries. It was a hard life.

We had never seen this kind of thatching before. The ceiling of the houses are bog wood (wood dug from under the peat bogs, left there eons ago when there were forests). Thatch is laid over that and secured with ropes made from twisting together local materials.

Open fireplace in one room cottage.

                                  Open fireplace in one room cottage.

 

 

 

Map of Ireland made of stone from each county.

                         Map of Ireland made of stone from each county.

This map is striking and the women in the visitor’s center were excited about it. It had just been dedicated two days before we were there. Each county provided the stone for their representation. Note the Gaelic county names.

 

 

A hedge school. When the English ruled the country it was forbidden to speak or teach Gaelic. It would be taught in these little hidden spaces.

A hedge school. When the English ruled the country it was forbidden to speak or teach Gaelic. It would be taught in these little hidden spaces.

 

 

 

Several areas along the west coast are Gaelic speaking. The road signs are in Gaelic and English. We were surprised to find that people living there speak Gaelic, or Irish as some call it, in their every day lives.

A field with drying peat. We kept seeing fields with mounds. It took us some time to realize that after the peat is cut, the brick sized pieces are made into little pyramids and left to dry.

A field with drying peat. We kept seeing fields with mounds. It took us some time to realize that after the peat is cut, the brick sized pieces are made into little pyramids and left to dry.