A Crazy Month

So it’s been nearly a month since we got back from Ireland, and I keep meaning to blog about it, but the entire month as been gobbled up by the work / life monster. We have had a bit of fun along the way. Thursday night we FINALLY visited the fantastic High Line park, and yesterday we had our first beach day of the whole summer (now that summer’s almost over)

Back to Ireland . . . After we said goodbye to Dublin it was time to head into the West. We headed out on our wrong side of the road adventure, driving to Galway. David did a great job driving on the left. Here’s a snap out our window.

After dumping our bags at the B & B we decided to head off to Leenane to the Sheep and Wool Museum. It wasn’t long before we had our first, sheep in the middle of the road sighting. Sheep graze everywhere, so they are spray painted (my first clue that these animals are not being raised for fleece!)

At the museum we met the woman doing the spinning demos, who is a local sheep farmer. She told us that they only get 90 euros a fleece and it’s not even worth the expense of sheering. They raise sheep for meat and the great Irish tradition of spinning, dyeing and knitting is all but dead. When I asked her why she explained that in the mind of the Irish people, spinning and knitting reminds folks of hard times. It would not be something people do for pleasure.

Here’s a great little homemade contraption from reused bicycle parts, made for putting yarn on bobbins

In addition to all the wheels, they also had some great looms

Here I am with the little sheepys

Later that evening, we headed into Galway for a night time parade. It was the Arts Festival, and they have an annual parade to usher in Pan. It was really fun.

Days were really long, so this is what it looks like at 9:45 pm

It didn’t really get dark until after 10:00 pm

We loved Galway. It’s a great little town full of winding streets, great shops and adorable pubs

and, of course, great pub music. We went out three or four times in the evening to listen to music, but the night in galway was our favorite. It wasn’t a stage, just some musicians sitting at tables drinking beer and playing music.

The next day we drove to the Spiddal Craft Center. It was pretty small, but it had a nice little weaving store.

Although it rained a bit everyday, our first day of pouring rain came the day we went to the Aran Islands. We took a ferry to Inishmore and it was a rainy, dark day, but we drank hot chocolate and looked at some sweater shops.

By the time we arrived by bus, to the fort, the sun had come out and it was a beautiful day. Here I am standing on the huge cliff at the fort. . . no railings, just common sense stands between you and death!

Here’s a few of the wonderful thatched roof cottages on the island.

David loved the yellow and red of this building

The next day we left Connomera to head into the strange, rocky beautiful Burren.

On our way we saw what looked like a white waterfall coming down the hill. As we got closer we saw it was a sheep dog herding a flock of sheep down the hill. I caught the tail end of the group on video.

Here’s one of the many unmarked “broken bits” (as David and I called them) scattered all over Ireland.

Another roadside animal sighting.

I loved their little faces poking over the wall

The Burren looked like another planet. Somebody said, of the famous rocky land “enough rope to hang a man, but not enough ground to bury him in”

Here I am at the pretty impressive Cliffs of Moher

Next stop is the charming Villiage of Adare. Your first sight is Adare Castle, followed by a street full of adorable thatched roof cottages.

We had a wonderful dinner and a stroll down by the river, we woke up and headed down to the Dingle Penninsula. This area was one of our favorites on the whole trip.

A pub in Dingle Town (a name that kept making David chuckle)

The next few days in the Dingle Penninsula and the Ring of Kerry were filled with too many hundreds of beautiful pictures to post here. A few . . .

I only started to take pictures of the Guinness signs in the last few days of the trip. I wish I had started sooner. Ah well, here are just a few great ones

Here’s the Kilo of yarn I got in the Aran Islands for 47 euro!!!! It’s pretty scratchy, so I’ll make an outer garment with it.

With all that driving / flying I did get a lot of knitting done. I made some decent progress on my do over tank top

and I almost finished Rachel’s tank top

Here’s a close up showing how unbelievably different my tension is when I pick v.s. throwing. For the strip I was throwing one color and picking (knitting continental) with the other. I then switched every row. You can see that the tension difference make this weird, curvy stripe.

Here it is all finished on my goofy niece who refuses to not make faces when you take her picture (so I cut off her head . . . so there!)

Our garden has not been doing that great, but we have had a few good garden meals. We didn’t have much food in the fridge when we came home. Michelle (my friend who was house sitting), left some mozzarella in the fridge, so we picked some tiny carrots, some tomatoes, basil & zucchino and we had a nice garden dinner.

Now that the eggplants and peppers are coming in, we have some more to snack on, but it’s not been a great food crop year.

Now that I’ve caught up on blogging what happened in July, maybe I’ll get around to writing about Aug by October!

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  • Michele A. Kay August 29, 2009   Reply →

    I love that part of the country. Heather Gilbert and I went to the Aran Islands and Cliffs of Moher when we were doing CUCKOO’S NEST in London. I loved it. We stayed in a town called Doolin which was the size of a postage stamp – but had three great pubs (with table musicians). We walked from Doolin up the coast to the Cliffs – but got there tired and freezing and tried to hitch hike back – we had to buy socks and things at the Clifs giftshop we were so unprepared. But the hike through the cow pastures was great.

  • dorina September 1, 2009   Reply →

    oooohhh your photos are just so beautiful. i love seeing the late night shots. ireland is an amazing land . . it’s history, it’s people . .i hope as time goes by the knitting tradition comes back and we see a surge in irish yarns and patterns. what a special visit!

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