Aran Islands

Inis Mór Travel Blog

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Yesterday, I took a visit to the Aran Islands and the Dun Aongus, an ancient stone fort. Everything is green, so green, and stone. We hired some bikes and a group of us from Irish studies rode out to the fort. The ride was very relaxing and enjoyable. You can take a bus to the fort, but I prefer the bikes. You can ride next to the beach. There's quite a bit of amazing landscape with the water and that green, green grass. Oh, and cows and horses. Plus, there are a couple fun beaches!

The fort is right on a cliff edge. The custom is to crawl up to the edge and peer over while you lay on your belly. I did this, but the edge was really sturdy, and the wind was calm, so I went ahead and sat with my legs hanging over the ledge. The view is breathtaking, with the endless, endless ocean. Aran was very calming, and I wish we could have spent more than a day there.

Green. I love green. Ireland's so green. Green that's unimaginable. Green that you can taste and hear and feel. I stuck my head over the side of a cliff yesterday. I was hoping that I would be exhilarated, that my stomach would find its way to my throat, that I would have that sick feeling of slipping though nothing is moving. None of that, just the calm lapping of the ocean underneath. The long fall  in front of me. Morbidity as those around me speak tenatively about suicide and how this place, this ancient place, would be "a hell of a way to go out." They say, "I suppose if someone is to commit suicide this would be the place to do it." Who says such things? When they are faced with the endless ocean and the lofty cliffs that make men believe they can fly? This place: Dun Aonghasa, a fortress and the shining icon of the Aran Islands. Only stone, and green. So green. Send me an ocean. I swung my legs over the ledge after nervously crawling to the edge as others were doing, but this cliff did not scare me. The stone was sturdy. The wind was calm. I felt like sitting at the edge and feeling the breeze, swinging my legs close to sheer cliff wall, letting them taste doom, but none of that rollercoaster, thrill-seeker stuff happened. It was all just an overwhelming  calm. Calm for being, and calm for being alone. Send me an ocean.

I am not really alone. There are quite a few North Americans here at this school, but the time alone is good. Time for me to feel this peace and feel this calm.

I start class today. My first class is Irish Archaeology at 2pm this afternoon. The class seems interesting. We'll find out soon.

Odds and ends:
Travel: by ferry!
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Inis Mór
photo by: tigerkt