Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Ireland: "An abiding sense of tragedy..."

"Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy."
 ~ William Butler Yeats (or maybe not)

"We have always found the Irish a bit odd. They refuse to be English."
 ~ Winston Churchill

Are these photos interesting enough to make a blog post out of? Hard for me to say - but they'll have to do. Jen and I are driving onto the ferry today, going from Rosslare, Ireland to Cherbourg, France. It's an 18 or 20 hour overnight trip, during which time we'll luxuriate in our reclining seats. Ah, what a life - the seats recline! The cabins were full, but we wouldn't spend the money anyway.

I really wanted to write about Irish Travelers, but ran out of time, darn it. A talkative olive vendor at a local market said to us, "I'll tell you one thing about them: they don't give a F*CK about anything. Not the police, nothing. They've got their own rules. And I like that." And when we saw the graveyard after the funeral in the last newsletter? Every pub in town closed for the entire day. We met a group of young travelers at a roadside parking lot. The 20-ish year-old father of two asked his reluctant three year-old daughter to dance for us. When she wouldn't, he said, "I'll give you a fiver [5 Euros] if you'll dance," which he did. Eventually, she danced - she swiveled and shook and ground her hips like a stripper. At three - wow. Fascinating!

Jen and I put together the video below of our encounter with Dusty the dolphin, the human-friendly dolphin from Clare, who spurns her own kind but loves to interact with people. Beautiful creatures - Dusty and Jen.

Love to YOU,

Beautiful natural erosion.

Ross Bridge - an impressive natural bridge.

When you see flat areas of rock at an angle like this? They've been formed when they were level, typically sediments. They harden over gazillions of years then get turned on their side from geologic forces. I hope that wasn't too specific and scientifically accurate for you!

But these curvy ones? I didn't go to class that day. Beautiful, though.

Thatched roofs in the village of Adare, County Limerick. The story is that the first Adair came from here. Grampa! According to my relatives who've done the research, it's true.

The ruins of a castle in Adare, built in 1200 A.D.

A sunny day. Almost "the" sunny day.

Notice the rusted wreck of a ship, wedged into the rocks in the lower part of the photo.

We went for a great walk around this peninsula on the Ring of Kerry.

Wildflowers, sea, and islands.

The sea was wild this day.

Sheeple are everywhere in Ireland.

There's an interesting story here, I bet. But my ship is getting read to sail... (Basically, it's old and still waterproof. Wiki info here.)

Some amazing traditional Irish music in Kenmare. Jen recognized the woman on the left, and it turns out she lives in Boulder, Colorado, same as Jen.

Wild camping in the Dunloe Gap, near Killarney National Park.

I told someone the other day that other people wanted to come with me to Ireland, but I chose Jen because of her size - the others were too big. But that's just a joke. Here's the REAL reason I brought Jen. She's a good cook!

In Derrynane National Park, on the Ring of Kerry, this ancient church has a cemetery with graves inside and outside the ruins.

Wildflowers on a ruined old house.

This village is referred to as one of the "famine villages," where the entire village was abandoned during the potato family in the mid-1800's. The houses have recently been restored for use as an artist retreat.

Sunset from our wild camping spot.

This kid loves that dog! And Jen and I love both of them.

This is the front room of an old pub.

These wildflowers are EVEN taller than Jen.

Our last night of music in Ireland, dagnabit. These guys were great, and we loved the old codger at the right, wearing a three piece suit.

(The End)