Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Aran Islands

One of the most stunning places I've ever visited. We all were thoroughly charmed.

Why all the walls? Behind the horse's head is a "field" of limestone bedrock. According to Thomas Joyce, one of the locals, all the fields were like that until they hauled in sand and seaweed to create the soil - an ongoing process as you can see in the next shot. They broke up some of the stone and built up the walls as boundaries for different plots and to enclose the animals. The walls are higher here than in any place I've seen in Ireland, or anywhere for that matter, and I live in New England.

It all makes me feel lazy. It's even more stunning when you think about what went into making it all.

I promised to get some horse pictures for my daughter Annie

It rained in the morning so we almost cancelled, but then the sun came out and we bought ferry tickets. Joe said it was one of the best days of his life and he's had a lot of them. Let's see . . . ninety times 365 is what?

The sun stayed out all day. I had two pints of Guinness for lunch. So did Joe and Ma. Roseann had a Heiniken. I think I'll have the same tomorrow in Connemara. Very nourishing.

I've taken 410 shots so far. Even Roseann took some. I hate posing and smiling on que, but today I obliged. It was that good a day.


SboroMA said...

Wow... IT LOOKS BEAUTIFUL!! Glad you all got to go to the islands. Have a pint for me tomorrow. =) Hope Dad took out his camera, too. Looking forward to the stories.


Anonymous said...

Keep the pictures coming!


Anonymous said...

...silly question though, but why all the walls of stone? Meaning there is a lot in the first photo. Are they small garden plot type things or just optically they look very narrow and close together.

Tom McLaughlin said...

Not a silly question at all. While I'm waiting for breakfast here in Galway City, I'll edit to add some shots and an explanation above to explain.

BienvenuJDC said...

I also find it interesting that there are so many walls. It makes me to think to a time before the walls were built. What would your picture have revealed if you could have taken it pre-wall construction? How long ago were the walls built. From where did the stone come? How much effort was required to cut or break them to their current shape and size? My first inclination was that they were merely gathered with minor tooling applied. Then I thought that they were harvested from what I'm going to call surface quarries...still with minor tooling. I have an "internet" friend who lives in either Ireland or Scotland who has done some archaeological digs. I will ask her about it.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the gorgeous photos. Seeing those first thing in the morning made me smile.

Seeing all those rocks reminds me of a line from The Quiet Man when John Wayne is trying to plant something (paraphrased): "Now I see why it's so hard. You have so many rocks here," as he's throwing another one onto an ever growing pile.

Enjoy your visit and I'm glad to see that you're relaxing because you deserve it.


Anonymous said...

You sound like me when it comes to taking photos. A week's visit with my daughter, son-in-law and two year old granddaughter can yield upwards of 300+ photos. Thankfully my granddaughter is very willing to have her photo taken-she sees the camera and instantly becomes a little ham.


SboroMA said...

Oh my gosh, a sea of walls!Stunning! Keep taking those shots, Tom. You're doing a terrific job. I love them. What history...


Anonymous said...

What great pics! I'm so envious, but I'm glad you're having a great time. Thanks so much for sharing. The walls and what must have gone into building them are fascinating.

Please keep posting pictures and sharing your travels with us. Glad you're enjoying the local fare. Like my husband says, "Guinness, a sandwich in every can!"


dave said...

Wow, you captured some graet shots of the aran islands. great blog. dave