June 02, 2008

irish countryside

Well, my plan worked.

Even though the Celtic ruins here are the most impressive thing to see and do on the island, I didn't do them when I got here. Instead, I waited a day, and took off early this morning. My theory was to get there before the first ferry arrived from the mainland,
and before the subsequent tour buses and fleets of rental bikes could make it to the road. It worked great.

First, can I just say that I am really lucky Inishmor is so small? I mean, clearly there are not exactly gridworks of roads here, right, for the 800 inhabitants? There are essentially two roads, both unnamed: the main road and the coast road. You can tell if you veer from one of those because it is no longer paved. Fair enough.
I found the coast road easy enough, but was unable to find the main road yesterday. I got directions, but still couldn't find it heading out of town, but there was the sea right there, so how could I complain? On the way back yest
erday, though, I did find a different road, much more suburban, so I could safely say I had found the two roads on the island.

Yeah, no. They were the same road. But the fog had come in yesterday afternoon to such an extent that I couldn't see the sea right there, so the entire place suddenly looks very different. I am very directionally challenged.
Also, it turns out that those two roads were both the main road; only today did I successfully hang a right and find the coast road.

And this cool, foggy, overcast morning was a lovely one to be tooling down the coast road in the Irish countryside. I passed the seal colony and rock w
alls and old stone ruins and loved it all. And when I got to Dun Aengus, I was literally the only one there. It is perched at the top of some cliffs, these Celtic stone semicircle that drop off on one end to these sheer, sheer rock walls to the water below. It's oddly quiet up there, and the wind sort of stops once you are inside, and being all alone meant that it became sort of otherworldly quiet and solitary. It was a magnificent morning.

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