Ireland: Aran Islands- Part 3

Part of the tour was the opportunity to take some day trips. The Aran Islands was a must. We took a bus to catch the ferry that would take us to Inishmore, the largest of the Aran Islands.
On the ferry
Shortly after this picture, the water turned rough and we looked like 2 drunk ladies trying to make our way back downstairs to our seats. After a short ride, we made it to this beautiful island. 
Celtic cross in front of "one of the oldest bars on the Atlantic"


I'm not sure what this is, but it had names of towns/villages and distances
I snapped the following pictures as we waited for our van to take us on the tour.




We had 4 or 5 other people in the van with us. We felt like we missed out on a lot of the history because one of the men was doing his stand-up comedy routine with the driver. 
The oldest house on the island
The scenery was just breathtaking:











 
This is the house from the documentary "Man of Aran"



Our first stop was "Seven Churches", although there is really only 2. It is the site of a former monastery.



































M & I were the last ones back in the van. We could have spent so much more time there...one of the bad things about being in a group. Our next stop was Dun Aengus. We had a nice little hike to the top (with some stops along the way!):

Don't believe the sign...I think it took longer than 20 minutes to get to the top. It was pretty steep!











Once we got to the top, the views were amazing:








 The exact purpose of Dun Aengus is not known. It is also not known just how old it is. Archeologists have found items dating to the Bronze Age. It has been approximated to be around 1200-700 BC.





 It is estimated that the walls below were constructed around 500 BC:



 This platform may have been used for rituals:










 It started raining on the way down, so we grabbed  a sandwich in this little cafe to stay dry and get warm:

 We had time to wander around just a bit before the ferry left to go back to Galway:






 I found out later that old buildings are not torn down because of the bats, which keep the mosquito population in check.







Our driver is a member of the fire dept. This is an old structure that used to house the fire equipment
A close-up of the stone fences. As the people would clear off their land, they would build the fences by stacking the stones. 
Kilronan Village



We had an excellent day!

The bus ride back to Galway was...interesting. We had to sit on the top section of a double-decker bus. We felt like it was going to turn over at every curve.
We visited the Aran Sweater Market before we left and I bought the boys a sweater...with free shipping! While the wool is not from the island (the soil is not conducive for sheep farming), the sweaters are made on the island.
Another interesting fact: our driver said there is no crime on the island. He said there is a police presence due to the tourists, but no crimes are reported. 
What we missed: 
The Worm Hole. We probably should have asked our driver about it. This is a diving spot made popular by the RedBull Cliff Diving.
Standing Stones. This is another monastery ruin.
The Light House. Until I googled the island, I didn't even know there was one there.
Dun Eoghanacht. Another fort much like Dun Aengus but without the views (possibly).
The Puffing Holes.
I'm sure we just didn't have enough time. I guess next time we need to book a room on the island and spend the night!
We have 1 more day in Galway...but we didn't stay in the city. Stay tuned to see our next adventure!

7 comments:

  1. Wow to those amazing views and I LOVE old cemeteries and old buildings! Too bad you couldn't go inside some of those old houses. It would be interesting to know what they looked like inside, being that old. Thanks for sharing your photos and this leg of your journey!!

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  2. It's just so ancient. It's hard for U.S. citizens to comprehend structures so old, because everything here is so relatively new!

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  3. Nice photos, thanks for sharing

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  4. Oh thank you for sharing your adventures. I love seeing all the cemeteries and houses too. Would love to go and live there for about six months and just travel around. Great pictures.

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  5. So fascinating, Mary! I cannot even imagine how difficult it was (is?) to survive on that island. wow! And the old cemetery. How far back does it date?

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  6. So very rich in history and beauty.

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  7. I love this post. This is the kind of beauty that I love to see and the cemetery stones are a must. I'm saving this one to my board on Feedly. It is a breathtaking!!! So glad you went to visit this Aran Island and that oldest house is stunning.

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