Anne & Tom Visit Ireland travel blog

Dunbeg Fort

Rolling terrain in the fort

Thick wall fortification

The low entrance way. The people in this era were very short.

The surrounding countryside

Headland near the fort

This sheep kept bleating

A part of the film "Ryan's Daughter" was made here

The trail was grassy

We had views of the magnificent hills and valleys

Beehive structures

A small waterfall

Walls crisscrossed the countryside

An oratory beehive

A vast panorama

Sheep were everywhere

A beach near the end of our journey

Hello to you!

A spit of land

The Blasket Cultural Center where we had lunch

A huge tapestry

The Blasket Island that was evacuated in the 1950's

A scale model of the village that was evacuated

We pass through Springfield on our way to visit Audrey and her...

A reproduction of a room from a house in the evacuated village

A classic boat showing the ribbed construction

Stained glass window at the Culture Center

Back on the trail

A brief stop at a pottery studio

The shop had many pieces for sale

The famous Gallarus Oratory

Entrance and rear window

Back in Dingle at our hotel

The lobby

The pub that is part of the hotel

Anne and Tom ate at "The Old Smokehouse"

Anne's dessert

Tom had strawberry Pavlova

A river runs below the restaurant

Some scenes in Dingle

A colorful pub

The next stop was on the Dingle Peninsula. and before starting our walk at Slea Head, we explored an old stone fort called Dunbeg Promontory Fort, thought to have been built during the Bronze Age, about 800 BC and used up through the 10th century AD, if not later. It may well have been used for defense - high on a cliff with stone walls around the land side of it, and even a subterranean passgeway for secret entrance.

Most of the group started their walk at this spot, but Anne decided that this walk might "do her in", especially the last stretch of it which was all downhill, steep and rocky - by that time she might have been tired enough lose her balance after the long hike. So she opted to say in the van with John, the driver, who is a delightful and knowledgeable person himself and meet the groups at the endpoint parking area. The walkers stopped along the road at several vistas, and arrived an incredible vista overlooking the beach where some of "Ryan's Daughter" was filmed in 1970. Now Anne got to do what she had been missing - watercolor painting - while she and John waited for the group. Meanwhile, the others walked by many "beehive huts" similar to those at the old monastery on Skellig Michael the previous day.

Once the group was back in the van, we drove to a beautiful place, the Blasket Island Heritage Center. The Blaskets are just off the west coast, - and visible from the heritage center- but had such a small population, and life was too harsh and unsafe there, that the Irish government evacuated the remaining people to the Irish mainland in 1953. Over many previous years, many of the Blasket Islanders ahd emigrated to America and settled in the Springfield, Chicopee, and Holyoke Massachusetts area. We took the time to explore the museum and memorial to these people, and also ate a good lunch at the Visitor Center.

After lunch, we visited a potter's workshop followed by the Gallarus Oratory, a relatively large and well-preserved beehive-style place of worship - built without mortar about 1200 years ago.

Back in Dingle, we had a "night on our own" and chose to dine by ourselves at the "Old Smokehouse" where we had a wonderful meal and for dessert, Tom had Strawberry Pavlova which we had been introduced to in New Zealand. The meals in Ireland were very upscale and continental. Irish stew or corned beef and cabbage were hard to find on a menu - except in an occasional pub.

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