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...a glimpse into life on Vancouver Island, needle felting, photography, food, gardening, etcetera...etcetera
"Happiness always looks small when you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and at once you learn how big and precious it is."
Maxim Gorky

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Dingle bound...

Along the Ring of Kerry are so many gorgeous views to see and it reminded me of what my brother Dan had to say about Ireland.
He's been there a few times and as a teacher knows bits of info that we mere mortals don't. So I says to him after our trip "...the light in Ireland was so beautiful and the greens really are innumerable.." and he says to me "...well it's not just the magic of the place, it's the geographical location of Ireland..." and for some reason, because of the location of the island , it is the reason painters, poets, musicians and artists of all genres find Ireland such an intriguing place.
 On the way into the village of  Dingle, are many rugged, fertile farmlands pearched on sloping hills with little houses dotting the countryside along with those oh so lovely narrow Irish roads..have I mentioned the narrow roads here???
Anyway, coming into Dingle was such a treat with its light filled harbour, colorful buildings and friendly, welcoming residents. P.S...all those little white dots on the hillside guessed it...sheep...oh that gorgeous Irish wool!

Friday, September 4, 2009

When in Ireland....

Heading out into the Lakes of Killarney we were now experiencing driving the Irish way...
The Ring of Kerry is notorious for its VERY narrow, winding roads and high speed limits...when we told one Dubliner that we were renting a car to do The Ring, he said..."thats probably not the best place you want to first drive in Ireland..." oh we were. I decided that I would just pull over if anyone got on my arse and kept to the most comfortable speed I could handle which was about 65kmh in most places. PLUS I wanted to see the incredibly gorgeous scenery along the way...Dad was right there too, pulling out the movie camera at every turn around the bend.
As we tootled along, we saw a sign for Blackwater Bridge so I say, "lets go check that place out." So off the road we went down a seriously narrow country lane where we passed one other car and both of us were in the high grass on both sides to get past each other...after about 10 minutes we finally came upon this incredible, stone bridge guessed it...Blackwater river.

 So we spent a while there enjoying the power of the water flowing through the arched underpass and then saw a sign for The Ring and thought we were going back the same way...oh no...nothing looked familiar but magically (as sometimes happens in Ireland) we ended up on the right road toward the Dingle Penninsula.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

On the road in Kerry

The morning after our singalong and a good full Irish breakfast, we headed out to drive the Ring of Kerry. This loop around the Iveragh Peninsula is full of the most incredible scenery of rivers, mountains and the wild west coast of Ireland.
Our first stop was not far out of Killarney. Muckross Abbey was founded in 1448 by the Franciscans and burnt down (surprise, surprise) by Cromwellian forces in 1653.

Luckily most of the Abbey and all of the old tombstones are made of stone so needless to say it still stands today on the shores of the Killarney Lakes.
The walk in is lovely along a wide road with expansive lawns leading into the woods where the abbey stands.
 Once again we were fortunate to be the only ones there for most of the time until a noisy bunch of older teens hit the scene...oh well..we poked around and had a good look at some of the ancient headstones, my favorites being the white lady and the Gabriel angel one with the snail curled up near his horn. I loved how it was overgrown and wild with valerian and ivy.
 Another quiet, meditative place.