I have been in Ireland and Belgium for most of this month, hence the lack of blogging.
We didn’t have internet access for almost all of our stay in Ireland. This sort of freaked me out for a couple of days, then it was kind of nice!
I guess that’s what a vacation is all about; forgetting about “the usual” for a while.
Ireland is a gorgeous, wild, nature-filled, friendly country. We had a fabulous time driving on the wrong side of the road, dodging sheep along bendy paths.
Ireland is chock full of the things I love: rocks, natural wonders, castles, family crests, medieval stained glass, ruins, graveyards, and stone-age forts. I really felt like there was something to appreciate visually around every corner- so now I have 1500 pictures to go through. In the meantime, I pulled “a few” of them out to post here- just some aesthetically pleasing stuff for all of you art lovers and makers…
Cool swirly stone-age art at the Brú na Bóinne complex at Newgrange.
Trim Castle, where they filmed Mel Gibson’s Braveheart!
Enchanted tree at Tullynally Gardens…in fact, every tree I saw in Ireland was enchanted.
Awesome family crest at Tullynally Castle (to which the gardens belong).
Crumlin Park House, outside of Tuam, Co. Galway. We stayed here for a week- loved it, highly recommended!
The seriously rocky moonscape of The Burren, on the West coast.
I was very fascinated by all the tenacious plants growing between the rocks of the Burren.
More of ’em.
Typical dry-stacked walls that you find everywhere in Ireland. I am still not sure how these vertically-stacked rocks stay standing, but they do.
Me as seen thru the Poulnabrone dolmen. Gosh, I love dolmens. Did I mention that?
Burren birds at a nature center near Aillwee Cave.
A random roadside castle. I love the fact that there are random roadside castles all over Ireland.
Street puppets in Galway.
Barfronts in Galway.
Purty boats in Galway.
As seen in the Kylemore Abbey gardens.
Enchanted woods near Kylemore Abbey. Really, they are enchanted.
The Magnificent Cliffs of Moher…a breathtaking sight.
The Heather on the Hill.
Gosh, I love heather. Did I mention that?
Traditional thatched house on Inishmore, the biggest of the Aran Isles.
Island kids playing for the tourists!
The view from the Black Fort on Inishmore.
The mysterious Dun Aengus stone-age fort- to reach it you have to walk about an hour straight up a rocky hill.
Cow enclosure on the island.
Sunset over Inishmore, as seen from the mainland.
The monasterial majesty of Clonmacnoise.
Me and a high cross- or a reasonable facsimile of it. The real one is indoors at a museum on the site.
Graveyard at Clonmacnoise. I love old graveyards- have I mentioned that?
Fleurs in the town of Cong.
Trad buildings near Bunratty Castle in the Folk Park.
Neato stained glass in Bunratty Castle.
An ol’ fashined scene at the Bunratty Folk Park.
The famous Rock of Cashel, from afar.
Stonework in the Rock of Cashel complex, from a-close.
More beautiful carved insignia. Sigh.
The monastic site of Glendalough. They sure knew how to pick a location back then!
Sally Gap in the Wicklow Mountains.
I was pretty shocked how wild the country is so close to Dublin.
Hooray- PEAT! I was bent on getting a picture of newly cut peat blocks, which they still harvest in this traditional way in some places.
Yes, that’s right…step right up! Get your tarts here!
We walked right into the scene of a film being shot in Dublin.
Dublin “Castle” where all the politics take place.
And also eerie, giant sand sculptures, at least when we were there.
Awesome flooring choice in St. Patrick’s Cathedral!
Yet more awesome flooring choices…Temple Bar, Dublin.
Tower house in Swords, very close to the Dublin airport, on our last day in Ireland.
We leave Ireland now with this cool crest from Swords Castle. Awwww.
All in all, a lovely place- I highly recommend going if you like this kind of thing!
Coming soon- scenes from Belgium!