Inishmore Slideshow

An Aran Island Revel

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Imagine yourselves in an open cart exploring the island. Here are the photographs from my Inishmore exploration posts. Enjoy!!

Thank You Veterans — remembering them on Veterans Day

Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Click for another great Island post, “Inisheer Welcomes the 2014 Gaeltacht Irish Football Champions.”

Island Shrine

part of the Irish landscape

Modern stonework borders the 1/2 mile path to the inner Dún Aonghasa walls, keeping tourists off delicate plants, maintaining the integrity of this ancient site. 

The view north, northwest over the walled path to Dun Aonghasa (Dun Aengus) looking across karst landscape, walled fields, farms, the North Atlantic Ocean, coast of Connemara and the 12 Bens (12 Pins) mountains. Aran Islands, County Galway, Ireland.ng lintel) in the surrounding wall, to left of center in middle distance.

Click the photograph for a larger view.

Click the link for my Getty IStock photography of the Aran Islands

A roadside shrine on Cottage Road, Inishmore. The faith brought by the saints has deep roots here.

A large crucifix set with wet stone walls with cut flowers. The walls are the native limestone.

It is a spring (early June) afternoon and there are fern and wildflowers. The white flowers are Greater Burnet saxifrage (Scientific Name: Pimpinella major).

The existing dry stone wall was interrupted by the shrine. In the distance are dry stone walls around fields, a stone shed, feeding horses and the sea, being Galway Bay, storm clouds with distant rain.

Aran Islands, County Galway, Ireland.

Click me for the first post of this series, “Horse Trap on Inishmore.”

References: search google “Wet Stone”

Copyright 2019 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Modern Drystone, Dún Aonghasa

a season of wildflowers across a karsk landscape

Modern stonework borders the 1/2 mile path to the inner Dún Aonghasa walls, keeping tourists off delicate plants, maintaining the integrity of this ancient site. 

The view north, northwest over the walled path to Dun Aonghasa (Dun Aengus) looking across karst landscape, walled fields, farms, the North Atlantic Ocean, coast of Connemara and the 12 Bens (12 Pins) mountains. Aran Islands, County Galway, Ireland.ng lintel) in the surrounding wall, to left of center in middle distance.

Click the photograph for a larger view.

Click the link for my Getty IStock photography of the Aran Islands

Click me for the first post of this series, “Horse Trap on Inishmore.”

References: search wikipedia “Dún Aonghasa.”

Copyright 2019 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Galway Bay View from Dún Aonghasa

a season of wildflowers across a karsk landscape

Another aspect of the gradual 1/2 mile inclined path to the central ring of the prehistoric Dun Aonghasa ruins of County Galway, Ireland.

The view north, northwest from this way to Dun Aonghasa (Dun Aengus).  In early June, looking across wildflowers, karst landscape, walled fields, farms, the North Atlantic Ocean, coast of Connemara and the 12 Bens (12 Pins) mountains. 

Note the doorway (with long lintel) in the surrounding wall, to left of center in middle distance.

Click the photograph for a larger view.

Click the link for my Getty IStock photography of the Aran Islands

Click me for the first post of this series, “Horse Trap on Inishmore.”

References: search wikipedia “Dún Aonghasa.”

Copyright 2019 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Yikes

…this defensive structure evokes the enormous scale of the struggles around this place of defense. 

A span of 10,000 years spreads between now and the first possibility of settlement on the island of Eire, then swept clean to bare rock by the weight of ice.  Current scholarship of the Dún Aonghasa ruins place a settlement within the inner of the four dry stone rings after 6,500 years (1,500 BC or 3,500 years ago).  By way of scale, the first settlement took 30 times the duration of the U.S. Constitution ratification through 2019 and 16 times from 1,500 BC until 2019 ( 6,500 / 219 = ~30 ; 3,500 / 219 = ~16.  The last state, Rhode Island, ratified the Constitution 1789).

By 700 BC, 2,700 years ago, a series of upright, closely placed stones, were erected between the second and third rings called a cheval de fries field (“Frisian horses” in English) today, this defensive structure evokes the enormous scale of the struggles around this place of defense.  

This is a portion of that field, I believe, taken as Pam and I approach the inner ring entrance, walking a wide path cleared of barriers.  Click the photograph for a larger image with caption.

Click the link for my Getty IStock photography of the Aran Islands

Click me for the first post of this series, “Horse Trap on Inishmore.”

References: search wikipedia for “Dún Aonghasa” and Google “cheval de fries definition” and “Dún Aonghasa.”

Copyright 2019 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Arrival

Touchdown at the Iron Age fort.

A plus of our carriage rental was the round-trip fare.  Upon arrival, our driver waited for us with no time restrictions.  

At the foot of the hill-top ruin was a pleasant gravel paved courtyard with low slung, metal roofed venues.  The cafe serving local fare and shops of local handcrafts.  

Click the link for my Getty IStock photography of the Aran Islands

We enjoyed a leisurely lunch, shopped for presents, and began our approach to Dun Aonghus, a half mile of gentle incline on a well maintained foot path.

This is the plaque on the fort entrance.

Click me for the first post of this series, “Horse Trap on Inishmore.”

Copyright 2019 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Stiffed

The bicycle rental place got the short end…unfortunately.

Admittedly, I over-planned the Ireland trip.  For every day possible the venues were pre-booked and paid.  In theory planning provides more flexibility when life interrupts.

For the Inishmore planning, a perfect day, for me, was tooling around on a bicycle stopping where we pleased with welcome exercise in between.  That was unrealistic, the day worked out otherwise. 

Click the link for my Getty IStock photography of the Aran Islands

Upon disembarking from Queen of Aran, our ferry out of Doolin, onto the Kilronan quay we walked toward the bicycle rental and Pam refused to bicycle. Her objections were many, safety, impending rain, time. She did have a point about time, the ferry leaves at a set time leaving errant tourists to fend for themselves. We were unused to cycling, still Dun Aonghasa is just over 5 miles from Kilronan, less than an hour round trip. With our starting time of 11:30 am there was 3.5 hours slack for returning to the quay before the 4 pm departure. Plenty of time for wandering the ruins and stopping along the way.

We followed Pam’s advice. Still there were the many bicyclists. Perched on our horse drawn carriage, on the uphill runs, each bicyclist we passed was proof positive to Pam of the wisdom of our choice. I was silently envious of their freedom and overlooked the many mini-buses on the narrow road.

When the day comes to mind, not often, I am left with the guilty feeling of not stopping into the bicycle rental office to cancel the reservation. An email was waiting for me the next day, asking where we were. Thus, the title of this post, “Stiffed.”

Pam’s Response to this post.

Pam’s reasons for not wanting to ride a bicycle around Inishmore:
“I hadn’t been on a bike for approximately 20 years.  However, if it wasn’t going to rain (it did), if the narrow road was larger, if there weren’t any minibuses loaded to the gills or horse traps sharing the same single lane, I would have considered it.  Sitting back and enjoying the beautiful view on our private horse trap and listening to our very knowledgeable tour guide/driver was the highlight of this adventure for me. I am sorry you felt like you didn’t have a choice.”

Pam’s correction of my statement about her being concerned about time:
“Time wasn’t a factor in my decision making.  I also didn’t have a problem with you biking but there was no way I was going to do that.”

Click me for the next post of this series, “Arrival.”

Click me for the first post of this series, “Horse Trap on Inishmore.”

Copyright 2019 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved