Friday, May 20, 2016

Dingle to Doolin

We have experienced and seen so much in the past week: distinct geology, accents, styles of music (so we’re told, though my untrained ear can’t tell the difference), animal life, and all over the span of about 220 kilometres door to door.

Earlier I had written about the idyllic green pasture, blue ocean landscape that we had arrived to in Dingle. Little did I know we’d also meet bare limestone - moon walk - volcanic sneeze landscape in the UNESCO geo-region of The Burren. I’ve been continuously stunned and awed by Ireland’s beauty. A change of light changing a view I’d come to expect.

The Burren above our holiday cottage in Fanore

Sisters who climber together - Janet & Tricia

Cliffs of Moher from the sea - also an incredible seabird haven


Connor's pass in Dingle Peninsula

The only trad music the kids have heard because everything starts after 8:30

That time we hunted for standing stones in farmers' fields - Dingle peninsula

Dingle town
Mom, Tricia and I overheard locals talking in the pub in Fanore, speaking with their heaviest peer-to-peer accents and complaining about tourists. I can really only catch snippets of the local chat, lots of “feck” and laughter peppering a conversation. From what we caught, they were exclaiming over a tourist’s desire to drive unreasonable distances to see something new. Unreasonable to them was what we had called a pretty gentle travel day. I can see why, given that what we’ve seen in a short time, over a short distance is saturated with story & life.

Standing stones found through the most rudimentary directions. In a cow field in Dingle. 

We could not have guessed that we'd come to ireland and get a suntan (Inch strand)
We hit our groove last week, a pretty great feat given that we all have strong minds. We travel in two cars which gives us some flexibility, though we’ve spent at least part of each day doing something together (oooo family roadtrip tip: walkie talkies! They’ve been AMAZING!). Fortunately, enough of our interests overlap. Our little family unit (well, Brian and I) really like finding interesting places to eat & watch & listen, which sometimes takes some slowing down and meandering. This more or less works out with the kids since a reasonable expectation for them is to “do” one thing a day. Mom & Tricia are particularly energetic so they’ve shared stories and photos of their own wanderings, with the willing Hans in tow.

The boys have been overall really solid. Let me tell you – the difference between travelling with the boys last year and this year is ENORMOUS. There have been a couple days where Brian and I have had to remind ourselves why we’re doing this (remember how last year’s road-trip was hard when we went through it, but is now a really beautiful series of memories?). But I haven’t lost my cool, and we’re experiencing more high moments than low moments. That’s a win. It’s due in large part to three things: we have beautiful, willing & capable family with us who entertain, cajole, and cook; the boys are both a year older; and we’re staying in homes larger than 13 feet long.

We had an evening out at the local pub in Fanore 

Just couldn't help ourselves! 


Lots of playtime for Jamma and the boys!

Tricia left us yesterday to wrap up her trip in Dublin, so here we are – now in Sligo – a group of 6. Before she left we went to W.B Yeats’ gravestone and recited “The Lake Isle of Innisfree” in honour of my grandpa, a lover of literature. We continue to trip around and get absorbed by whatever catches our fancy. And actually, I think that’s a good way to describe travelling in Ireland, there’s something around every corner to absorb interest, and to inspire imagination & reflection. This place is made of magic. And people. And stone. And grass and sheep and cows and horses and sky and ocean! We are so privileged to be here.

Until next time!  


Joan B said...

I just LOVE your blog and writing style, Leanna, and all the pics - how wonderful to share with your friends and family. The wee Hills boys in the white knitted Irish sweaters is such a huggable pic!!

I am so curious about the different accents; also the gravestones - are there pics somewhere? ie, Yeats, Uncle Noel, and did the medals get repatriated?

Lots to explore on just this one Isle - Love you all, Auntie Joan

Anonymous said...

Hi Leanna and Brian (and family)! So excited to hear of your trip to Ireland AND it looks like the sun has shone (very very lucky!:)) That west coast is wonderful in the sun.
Hope to catch up with you sometime.
Monica (Hill)

Leanna Hill said...

Thanks Joan & Monica! We were SO lucky with the weather :) Loved every minute of the trip and would go back in a heartbeat (though the jetlag with kids, I could do without!)