Keen Bird Watchers have been known to wait a lifetime to photograph such a rare bird…
Between night and dawn
Another day, another pair. Even another colour. The same size though. Nearly every morning around the same time I lay down a different pair on the brown polished shelf. Pure pleasure it is for me to give them their nicely tugged in place. It is between the small but sturdy wooden tractor for the small children to play with and the freshly spun wool with its’ specific smell of lanoline from the sheep of Inis Meáin.
In full brightness they shine towards me. Their lively and bright colour attract straight away of course but there is more. Is it perhaps the material itself with her touch of softness; is it the way it is made? What is it?
Nicely tugged in
It was during the summer, not long after the cuckoo had left the island, that she was sitting on the stone wall in front of her house. Obviously she was waiting for me to pass for when we greeted one another and had enjoyed a little chat she asked me whether I would like to present them to the visitors. “Of course, I said, I feel it as an honour if I can do you this favour”. And so we decided. The next day a coloured bag was already waiting for me.
From that day on I actually have become friends with the dog because of my regular visits to the house. And yes, almost every night I go up and tell her where they went today. Then her lovely face on which there is always a smile, shines from one ear towards the other. Before leaving she reaches for her basket to present me with another pair and off she starts with her needles again…
It is the sharing of a vital part of how she has spent all her life up till the present day. Although the colours might have been changed in the cause of the years the reason “why” will not have been changed. It is her generousness in full brightness which shines towards us.
Slán go fóill,
Elisabeth from Inis Meáin
Summer is upon us here on Inis Mor (Inishmore). We recently asked several people what were ‘the three best things about Renting a bike on Inis Mor (Inishmore) Island’. Here are the three main conclusions.
1. Renting a bike on Inis Mor (Inishmore) and cycling around simply helps you have a great day.
There is just something about arriving on Inis Mor (Inishmore) island and cycling. The journey is not very long and is easy for most people to do. The route to Dun Aonghasa is relatively flat. Most people seemed to like the isolation the island offered and simply enjoyed being the fresh air. They also liked the range of things to see such as; The seal colony, The various monuments and churches, The wild flowers and birds, The stone walls.
2. Dun Aonghasa is the main attraction on Inis Mor (Inishmore).
If you were isolate one event of the day, everyone interviewed really enjoyed the experience of being at Dun Aonghasa and saw this as a highlight of the day. The whole experience of being at Dun Aonghasa includes, The Cliff views and the view of The Cliffs of Moher, The view of the whole island, The fort itself, The fresh air, The sea rolling against the cliffs, the wonderful view of the whole island, the Heritage center.
3. Cycling around Inis Mor (Inishmore) Island is not an expensive day out.
Simply put, for the price of renting a bike on Inis Mor (Inishmore) Island, everyone felt that is excellent value for money
The post 3 reasons to Rent or Hire a bike on Inis Mor (Inishmore) appeared first on Aran Bike Hire.
Source: bike hire
After finishing a day of cycling, A tour group practices Tai Chi on the beach after returning their bikes. There is always a small crowd of people gathered around waiting for the boat before it leaves in mid afternoon. Kilronan Village Pier is a magnificent sight on a sunny day with clear views of Galway Bay and what better way to take some time out and practice Tai Chi.
The post A touring group practicing Tai Chi on the Beach appeared first on Aran Bike Hire.
Source: bike hire
How did you begin writing? Did you intend to become an author, or do you have a specific reason or reasons for writing each book?
I have always had a love of writing , but of verses and would write verses about all kinds of things, Love, Life, Friendship and aspects of the world, mainly in English and one or two (Aran Related) in Irish. This however is my first Story.
What authors do you like to read? What book or books have had a strong influence on you or your writing?
I love reading and I use it as an escape from the “real world”. I love Cathy Kelly , Marian Keys and Claudia Carroll. I did read 50 Shades of Grey , I admire EL James , the book may not be everyone’s cup of tea.. but she took a chance and has sold 70 million copies worldwide. If that is not success, then nothing is.
Tell us some more about your book.
My Book is call “Fate, Hope & Love” it is based in Galway city and the Aran Islands. It is a modern day fiction, romantic story that follows life , love and everything in between.
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
My main character is a single girl called Jessica, She works and lives in Galway City but is originally from Kilronan in the Aran Islands. Jessica has been hurt in a previous relationship and is slow to trust anyone again. The book follows her story where she meets Sam Casey a stranger who’s act of kindness , might just be the start of happiness for Jessica.
Who do you see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
I could definitely see Kiera Knightley playing Jessica and possibly Channing Tatum as Sam Casey
Why do you write?
I write as relaxation, I work in the Emergency Services and I have a young family , so reading and writing are my “down time”.
Who inspires you?
I get inspiration from lots of places in life , of course the people who surround me , from situations and everyday living. I also get inspiration from the beautiful country we live in and love photography. I also am a hopeless romantic and love music… so my inspiration is a combination of everything put together.
Describe your writing style:
I have a quirky sense of humour.. I don’t take myself too serious and know for a fact that I am clumsy , quite self critical but with a heart as big as anything, so I write from my own experiences too. I think it comes across as light hearted, and quirky .. like me I guess.
What is your favourite place on the Aran Islands?
It would really be impossible to pick one – But if you really force me – I will narrow it down to two. If you had to find me in Aran, you would find me either sitting on the wall overlooking the pier in Kilronan , watching life go by or I will be at the top of Dun Aengus, crawling as close to the edge without falling over !.. camera in my hand and wonder at the utter beauty of the place in my mind.
Why did you go to the Aran Islands in the first place?
My first ever trip to the Aran Islands was on a school tour , I went back after that to find summer work in a Bed and Breakfast. While I physically left to work in Galway .. my heart never did.
Mils Muliaina at Aran Bike Hire
Not only was the weather at it’s most glorious over this past weekend, the Rugby supporter staff at Aran Bike Hire were delighted to see a famous All Black Rugby Player Mils Muliaina from New Zealand hire a bike and cycle up to Dun Aonghasa to take in some of the views from the Cliffs and the sights of Inis Mor. Mils said he liked the place so much he will be back again.
The post Mils Muliaina at Aran Bike Hire appeared first on Aran Bike Hire.
Source: bike hire
The weather was great for the St Patricks Day parade on Inis Mor. Many people hired bikes and watched the local parade as it made its way towards the village of Kilronan.
The post St Patricks Day on Inis Mor appeared first on Aran Bike Hire.
Some of the stunning scenes of the Fort of Dun Aonghasa. This is the primary destination of most people who hire bikes on Inis Mor Island. The cycle takes on 35 minutes on gentle terrain.
The post Dun Aonghasa – The Aran Islands appeared first on Aran Bike Hire.
A couple peers over the Cliffs of Moher at the Atlantic Ocean below. (Photograph by Jim Richardson, National Geographic)
An innkeeper, a painter, a bodhran maker.
Almost 30 years ago on a chilly June night I stumbled into Ballinalacken Castle House Hotel in County Clare and came upon a gruff lion of a man with an unruly mop of hair who offered me a country welcome amid peat fires, heavy blankets, and flowing pints of Guinness.
Denis O’Callaghan has endured my comings and goings at all hours, my crashing into his car, my insistent requests for more of his wife Mary’s unmatchable soda bread, nearly every year since.
He has become as much a part of my visits to the west of Ireland as the nearby Cliffs of Moher, the traditional Irish music played in McDermott’s Pub just down the hill in Doolin, or my wind-whipped hikes across the Burren. His site on a bluff overlooking the sea and the Aran Islandsbeyond is a place I return to in my mind on a weekly basis.
A large canvas covered by a roiling blue-green sea led me to find Carol Cronin halfway out on the Dingle peninsula, a craggy finger of unmanicured land jutting out into the Atlantic in County Kerry. Carol’s gallery on Green Street in the town of Dingle is filled with a riot of seascapes—gray, golden, turquoise; some placid, some in turmoil.
She can be found there painting—usually barefoot, long brown hair yanked back off her face—on most afternoons. It’s Carol who pointed me to Curran’s, a Main Street pub where the owner/barkeep shared with me crumbling letters of gratitude sent to his grandfather by so many of the people who had fled Ireland during the Great Famine with a few pounds of the elder Curran’s money in their pockets to ease the way.
It was Carol, too, who insisted I go out to the Blasket Islands, the now deserted, treeless outcrops that were home to a few dozen rugged, Irish-speaking people until the mid-20th century. Alone on Great Blasket, amid the handful of derelict houses, under raging wind then lashing rain then burning sun, I spent a day in potent silence that I have never forgotten.
And it was out in Roundstone along the coast road in Connemara that Malachy Kearns told me, “I had a wild call to be by the sea and I couldn’t wish it away.”
It explains why Ireland’s premier bodhran maker has secluded himself far from the beaten path in County Galway, and why musicians make the pilgrimage to his seaside studio for his custom-made drums.
An outsize man in every way, with pale blue eyes full of mayhem, Malachy embodies much about this wild, merciless, untamable corner of an already wild and untamed west. Connemara is Ireland’s Ireland, “a different world out here, to be sure.”
For more than a quarter of a century I’ve traveled this coast, up from the filigreed fringe of west Cork, along the lakes of Killarney, to the world-class golf links of Ballybunion and Lahinch, to Yeats country in Sligo, meeting people like Denis, Carol, and Malachy.
Next year, I’ll meet still more.
Celebrated travel writer, actor, and director Andrew McCarthy is an editor at large at National Geographic Traveler magazine. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewTMcCarthy.
A delighted Eoin Mullen has added his first international sprint victory to the bronze medal he took in the European Championships during the summer, once again underlining his progress towards the top against the biggest and most powerful men of the bike game.
Eoin Mullen has taken his first international win on the track, storming to victory in the sprint at the Three Days of Aigle meeting in Switzerland at the weekend.
Tourism season in full flow now as hundreds from all over world flock to us daily at Dún Aonghasa. Cliffs look magnificent in this great weather.
Did you know that the Aran Islands are planning to augment their clean-green image in the next ten years by getting rid of the use of fossil fuels altogether from the islands. At the moment, it is not possible to buy petrol legally on Inis Mor. This is because the health and safety regulations and the insurance costs associated with its transport and storage make it uneconomical for anyone to import it legally. However, instead of trying to get it back, we are going the opposite direction and planning to get rid of diesel and kerosene as well!
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
From the solitude of Inis Mór, the largest of the three Aran Islands off the Galway coast, to the UCI’s World Cycling Centre in Aigle, Switzerland, 20-year-old Eoin Mullen could be forgiven for thinking this is all just a dream.
TOUGH ROAD: “I realise every tenth-of-a-second from now comes from months of intense training and from sticking with the programme and lifestyle,” says Eoin Mullen. Picture: Andrew Downes (more…)
The Aran Islands are located just 20km off County Galway in the West of Ireland. Inis Mor which has a population of 800 left me thinking I not only had an island escape from the kaos and distractions from day to day living on the mainland, that I had been somewhere very beautiful, very unique, and very Aran.
A ferry goes to Inis Mor island from a picturesque port in Connemara where you will see the local fishing boats as you board the ferry surrounded by connemara’s 12 pins. The double decker bus trip from Galway is equally as scenic with its coastal views of Galway Bay and the introduction to the region of Connemara. A boat also leaves from the cliffs of Moher each day. And one can also fly there in 7 minutes if they wish.
Once at the pier of Kilronan I hired a bike. The cycle to Dun Aonghasa is the most popular way to view the Island which could be described as an outdoor museum of stone monuments, churches and forts.There is a place called ‘The Seven Churches’ . Churches seem to be everywhere. There are monasteries, pagan standing stones, beehive huts, and The bronze age fort of Dun Aonghasa (there are three forts on the island) sits on a 300 ft cliff that stretches along the 8km western side of the island. Not only am I on the island of ‘Saints & Scholars’, The view is spectacular, the scene is angelic.
A simple feature, and a sight that lingers is the island itself, the dominant rocky limestone landscape full of small paddocks bordered by walls made of stone that had be stacked by hand. This has a maze like complexion, many of them have different shaped rocks and patterns from which they were constructed. Each one with its own story. It simply inspired my imagination and took me on a journey where I was at one with myself. I took a lot of photos of these stone walls. And it isn’t just me, books have been written them.
The Islanders also speak Irish. It took me a while to understand their english accent and vocabulary which is poetic, expressive, and metaphorical. Irish itself is full of stories and metaphors so there seems to be a lot interpretation involved, and where a lot of phrases in english are derived from. It adds to the charm and authenticity of the experience.
Aside from my highlight which was Dun Aonghas and the cliffs, I discover an eclectic mix of interesting things. There is a beautiful seal colony, stunning beaches, and exotic wild flowers. A famous film called “Man of Aran” and its cottage. The Aran Sweater Market. The Worm Hole which is the venue for the Red Bull Cliff Diving. There is 3 lighthouses, There is great traditional Music and lots of musicians. The food is superb such as Aran Cheese, and there is the Island Energy co-op!!.
The island has you leaving it thinking you had been somewhere special. Not only that you had left the hussle and bustle of the mainland; You get that “island” energy!!!. Rarely do I feel ‘effected’ just by being in a certain place.
Inishmor is the largest and most accessible of the Aran Islands. You can reach Inishmor by plane from Connemara regional airport at Minna, near Inverin, about 35km west of Galway or by ferry from Rossaveal about 40km west of Galway.
I love to visit the Aran Islands when I am near the west coast of Ireland. The three islands are Inishmore, Inisheer and Inishmaan. Inishmore is the largest and most popular for tourists. Inisheer and Inishmaan are less developed and also fun to explore.