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Posts Tagged ‘Ireland’

South of Kilkee

 

The weather was beautiful, unlike anything we expected when we began planning our trip to the Emerald Isle. My sister and I flew in to Dublin and then drove across the country to Kilkee in County Clare. We stayed at a lovely B&B in the center of town; it was our base camp for the remainder of the trip. To be honest, we did not do as much as we had scheduled. There was a bit of a kerfuffle with the rental car and our budget was quite tight. But this was Ireland–beauty and serenity were within a fifteen-minute walk.

Our first couple of days in the country were spent exploring Kilkee and its surrounding area. It’s, apparently, a top-rated holiday destination. We had no idea about its popularity when we booked the trip. Also unbeknownst to us was the fact that the weekend of our arrival was Whit weekend. Needless to say, there were loads of people about the area and quite a few events staged. North of the town, beyond the beach, is a walking path up to a bluff. It’s not very high, but it was quite beautiful. It was drizzling that day and overcast; my sister started back almost as soon as we reached the top. I sat for a bit and just listened to the waves beat against the base of the cliff.

North Kilkee Cliff

The next day (or perhaps the day after) we went to the Cliffs of Moher. I know it seems silly to pay for access to a natural site, but it was worth the €6. Instead of walking the northern path, towards O’Brien’s Tower, we headed south, to Hag’s Head. This path is probably the less traveled of the two. It is not difficult to imagine the early occupants of the island coming to this place and standing at the edge, marveling at the sight–which is precisely what we did.

Cliffs of Moher

The southern walk is probably an hour and a half long. Thanks to our compulsive need to snap photographs and to our pensive tendencies, we took close to two and a half hours to reach the Head. Nearly halfway there, we stopped for a small lunch of blackberry jam and Nutella sandwiches and apples. Yes, we were very pleased with ourselves. Upon arriving at the tip, we took more pictures and then sat down to gawp some more. We resolved to not take so many pictures on the way back and reached the car in a little over an hour and a half.

Hag's Head

The next day, both of us were feeling a bit cranky thanks to our sunburns. We whiled away our time in the room and on the beach. Our next adventure took us to the south, towards Loop Head. A five-minute drive brought us to a beautiful spot that looked out on a piece of land that could have been torn from the coastline. We could see the stones of an old foundation on the top. Our imaginations being what they are, we spent a bit of time theorizing about what kind of building it had been and who had built it there and how they had managed it.

South Kilkee Cliff

From there, we continued southwards until we came to Ross and its bridges. My sister was not feeling well, so she stayed in the car while I wandered about for a while. I enjoy casual rock climbing and this spot was a good bit of fun for me. It was less fun for my sister. It seems that when she spotted my orange backpack lying on the ground near an edge, she thought the worst. She walked out to the bag and commenced looking for me, even calling for me. She did this for close to fifteen minutes by her account. Meanwhile, I had finished exploring a sort of double inlet and was making my way back towards my pack. I popped up over a rim and spotted her. With a ridiculous grin on my face I’m sure, I called her name and waved her to me. She was not amused. I was duly instructed to keep my backpack on me at all times. It was a couple of hours before she would speak to me willingly.

Bridges of Ross

Needless to say, we turned round after that and went back to Kilkee. The following day, though, we resumed our journey to Loop Head. We bypassed Ross. Loop Head was gorgeous, the pod-like grass and flowers lending themselves to our imaginations. Off the western edge, there’s another strip of land on which a variety of birds were nesting. My sister and I sat nearby and listened to their calls echo up the chasm. We watched them fight over prime locations, hearing a fair amount of name-calling in their cries. I went down to the southern point where there is a nice ledge looking out over the open sea. A few ships passed and their occupants waved to us. Otherwise, it was just the sound of the waves, the buzz of a hundred flying insects, the squawks of seagulls and guillemots, and the hum of my own thoughts. Not too shabby, Eire.

Loop Head

Z.

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Home, Again

Ireland was amazing. I have many photographs and memories, a few that I will be sharing here in the coming days. It took a few days for me to detox; next time I go, I’ll stay longer to better take advantage of the scenery and the sea air. Ironically, I was sunburned. The day before I left, the forecast said that it would be in the mid-sixties, overcast, and rainy the entire time. There were only two days of such weather. The rest of the time it was in the low seventies and hardly a cloud in the sky. It made for beautiful pictures and spectacular views.

I do have a couple of different stories in the works, thanks to the trip. One of them may show up here in an abridged version for the sake of a contest. An author is giving away ARCs in exchange for ghost stories. If any of you are interested, here’s the link: http://www.jaimeleemoyer.com/delias-shadow-arc-contest/.

Well, that is all for now. As soon as I move my pictures to the computer, I’ll put a few of them up here. If I can figure out how to make my own theme, I may use them for the blog. I hope you are all doing well and enjoying your summer.

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Eire!

One week from Thursday I will be on my way to Ireland. That’s right–Ireland. The plan is to do a bit of writing whilst I’m there. I’m not sure that will happen, but an effort shall be made. The weather is a balmy sixty degrees. I am a-tingle with anticipation. I won’t be posting anything while I’m gone and probably not for a few days after I return. Unless something strikes me between now and my departure, this will be the last upload for a couple of weeks. So, here’s a poem about dreaming…

Black as night and blacker still.

A growing emptiness I cannot fill.

Blind and unseeing, I stumble on,

Hoping and waiting for the dawn.

Terrors before me, fear behind,

Pulling, pushing me out of my mind.

Neither up nor down, near nor far –

Lost without a guiding star.

Falling then for time untold,

Rushing water, brisk and cold,

A sudden light before my eyes,

The sound of loud and desperate cries.

I hear the words as a gentle stream:

Awake! Awake! It’s just a dream!

 

Z.

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