Cheery Galway flowers on a rainy morning here in SW France.
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Sunday, September 28, 2014
|Monk's bed at St Benan's oratory.|
|Standing between St. Benan's oratory and the hermit monk's bed|
marking it as a very important place. The Tower was initially 35 meters tall, but was struck by lightening in the early 19th century partially destroying it and leaving only 4 meters remaining. It's thought these round towers served multiple functions as look-out towers, bell towers, places to store relics, places of refuge in times of danger and as the centering point for the community.
Friday, September 26, 2014
|Looking seaward from Teampall Bheanain|
(St. Benan's Church)
The island itself is an extension of the Burren and is made up of rugged limestone, littered with rocks. Good for building, but not so good for crops or even livestock. Life was, and remains, hard here. It's almost tree-free and is battered year 'round by the winds and waves of the rough Atlantic Ocean. Inis Mor is not for the faint-hearted.
|View from the Round Tower|
Yet, it's a landscape that calls to me. Of all the beautiful places I visited during my 17 days in Ireland, this is the place I'd like to return to. Inis Mor called to the ancient Celtic monks as well. I'll be sharing some of their churches and monasteries in my next post.
Monday, September 22, 2014
|The Newgrange mound|
|Entrance to the tomb|
|Light window above entrance|
|Neolithic art on the entrance stone|
|Neolithic art on kerbstone|
There is definitely a feeling of being in the presence of antiquity at Newgrange. Its peaceful and idyllic setting seems a perfect resting place for the ancient souls buried here. Even the cows share their fields with the ancients. Everywhere you look there are signs the dead
as well as the living!
|A nice Japanese man took my photo at the mound.|
Sunday, September 21, 2014
|Pilgrim at the threshold|
|Arched doorway & the 10 saints of Lough Corrib|
|Holy water font|
On the other side of the doorway, this hollowed out stone served as the church's holy water font.
I was rewarded by this fellow's sweet song....
Friday, September 19, 2014
|On Lough Corrib|
|St. Patrick's church|
The inscription reads 'The standing stone of Lugna, son of Limanin'.
Next time we'll visit the more modern church on Inchagouill Island. It's positively new compared to this ancient ruin!
Thursday, September 18, 2014
Monday, September 15, 2014
|Thatched cottage at Cnoc Suain|
|Irish soda bread|
After spending time with Charlie learning about how peat is formed, cut and dried for fuel and what Bog Bodies are all about, we gathered in the music room where we heard traditional Irish music, learned how to do Irish 'lilting' and also learned a country dance much like an American square dance.
Saturday, September 13, 2014
village of Cong is as charming as its Abbey is beautiful. It's full of quaint cottages and interesting shops. The village name in Gaelic is Cunga Fheichin which means 'St. Feicin's narrows.' The village is built on a narrow limestone strip of land between Lough Corrib and Lough Mask. The village's other claim to fame (besides its lovely Abbey)is that it was the home of Sir William and Lady Wilde, parents of Oscar Wilde. Although Oscar was born in Dublin, he returned frequently to his parental home just outside Cong saying 'it is every way magnificent.'
But what about Cong's American connection? You'll find it right here on the corner of main street. Cong was the site of John Ford's 1952 film, 'The Quiet Man.' starring John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Ward Bond, and Barry Fitzgerald. As you can see, Cong is very proud of that! Not only is there this life-size bronze statue, but you can also visit The Quiet Man museum which is located 'round the corner in the very cottage that was used as Mary-Kate and Sean Thornton's home in the movie. Of course, I had to buy the DVD when I found it in a Galway bookstore. It's your typical boy-meets-girl movie. True love is thwarted by Mary-Kate's nasty brother and a old Irish tradition regarding her dowry. But in the end, Sean beats up the brother, secures the dowry, and they all live happily ever after. You won't be watching this film for its plot! But do watch it for the stunning scenery (filmed on location in and around Cong) and its thrilling horse race.
|Maureen O'Hara and John Wayne|
Thursday, September 11, 2014
Co. Mayo, Ireland
|Monks Fishing House|
There's more to see at Cong Abbey....but that's for next time.