Best of Ireland 2015

July 10, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

 I spent a few weeks in Ireland this summer.  What follows are the photo highlights of that trip.  I'm much more into photography now than when I lived in Ireland, so its a lot of fun to revisit it with a camera.


"The Gap"

This was taken in a pass through the Ox Mountains in north Mayo.  I love the barrenness of the landscape here, and the ominous clouds.  Weirdly, I had to step through a field of dead mackerel fish to get this.

The GapThe GapThe R294 road winds its way through "the gap" between the Ox Mountains in County Mayo.


"Dockside"

A little bit of people watching on Dublin's south quays.

DocksideDockside


"ARM Cuauhtémoc"

This Mexican naval boat docked in Dublin during my stay there.  It was very hard to get this shot.  I had to balance a very narrow aperture (to get those star points on the lights), requiring a relatively long exposure, with the fact that the boat was moving ever so slightly in the river.  It took a lot of attempts.

ARM CuauhtémocARM CuauhtémocI was fortunate to grab some shots of this vessel while it was docked in Dublin recently, just a few short steps away from my hotel. It was very difficult to time the exposure for this just right, as I needed a small aperture to capture the lights as pointed stars, but inconveniently, the boat was moving ever so slightly, even as it was tied up to the dock.


"Bonfire Night"

There is a rather odd tradition in the west of Ireland, whereby on the 23rd of each June, everyone takes the opportunity to build and light giant bonfires.  This was HUGE when I was a kid.  We would spend weeks gathering stuff to burn - and there was huge rivalry between groups of kids in different neighborhoods to see who would have the best bonfire.  I've no idea if that sort of thing still goes on, but based on the evidence, the bonfires are certainly still burning.

BonfireBonfire


"Granuaile's Tower"

Standing guard on the Achill Island coast, this place is like a reverse Tardis... huge on the outside, absolutely tiny on the inside. 

Granuaile's TowerGranuaile's TowerThis place is like a reverse Tardis... huge on the outside, absolutely tiny on the inside.
"The Tower at Kildavnet, in the south-east corner of Achill Island, is a perfect example of a 15th century Irish tower house. The Gaelic Chiefs of the time copied a Norman design and constructed many such tower houses. The tower at Kildavnet is thought to have been constructed by the Clan O'Malley in about 1429, but is associated locally with a descendant of the original builders, Grace O'Malley or Granuaile. This legendary pirate queen is thought to have been born around 1530 and died in about 1603. The Tower at Kildavnet is one of a series of such strongholds that Granuaile established along the western seaboard (she is said to be buried in a similar tower on Clare Island) as she dominated the waters during the 16th century.
Granuaile's Tower, Kildavnet, Achill IslandThe Tower House at Kildavnet, known locally as Grace O'Malley's Castle, is some 40ft (12m) in height and has three storeys. The strategic importance of its location, at the mouth of Achill Sound and protecting the passage that connects Clew Bay with Blacksod Bay, is underlined by the fact that the present-day Achill lifeboat station is situated close by." (From <a href="http://www.achilltourism.com/granuaile.html" rel="nofollow">www.achilltourism.com/granuaile.html</a>)


"Rosserk Friary"

When I come back and visit from America, one thing which really strikes me is how much history we have in Ireland, and how accessible it is.  This is a 600 year old ruin of a Friary right beside my home town.  Its extremely well preserved - you can still climb stairs to the upper levels.


"Monument"

An interior view of the crazy Achillhenge on Mayo's Achill Island.

MonumentMonumentAnother view of County Mayo's "Achill Henge" - this time from the inside.


"Keel Beach"

So many beautiful beaches in Mayo.  This is Keel Beach, on the coast of Achill island.

 


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