A Crazy Month
Back to Ireland . . . After we said goodbye to Dublin it was time to head into the West. We headed out on our wrong side of the road adventure, driving to Galway. David did a great job driving on the left. Here's a snap out our window.
After dumping our bags at the B & B we decided to head off to Leenane to the Sheep and Wool Museum. It wasn't long before we had our first, sheep in the middle of the road sighting. Sheep graze everywhere, so they are spray painted (my first clue that these animals are not being raised for fleece!)
At the museum we met the woman doing the spinning demos, who is a local sheep farmer. She told us that they only get 90 euros a fleece and it's not even worth the expense of sheering. They raise sheep for meat and the great Irish tradition of spinning, dyeing and knitting is all but dead. When I asked her why she explained that in the mind of the Irish people, spinning and knitting reminds folks of hard times. It would not be something people do for pleasure.
Here's a great little homemade contraption from reused bicycle parts, made for putting yarn on bobbins
In addition to all the wheels, they also had some great looms
Here I am with the little sheepys
Later that evening, we headed into Galway for a night time parade. It was the Arts Festival, and they have an annual parade to usher in Pan. It was really fun.
Days were really long, so this is what it looks like at 9:45 pm
It didn't really get dark until after 10:00 pm
We loved Galway. It's a great little town full of winding streets, great shops and adorable pubs
and, of course, great pub music. We went out three or four times in the evening to listen to music, but the night in galway was our favorite. It wasn't a stage, just some musicians sitting at tables drinking beer and playing music.
Although it rained a bit everyday, our first day of pouring rain came the day we went to the Aran Islands. We took a ferry to Inishmore and it was a rainy, dark day, but we drank hot chocolate and looked at some sweater shops.
By the time we arrived by bus, to the fort, the sun had come out and it was a beautiful day. Here I am standing on the huge cliff at the fort. . . no railings, just common sense stands between you and death!
Here's a few of the wonderful thatched roof cottages on the island.
David loved the yellow and red of this building
The next day we left Connomera to head into the strange, rocky beautiful Burren.
On our way we saw what looked like a white waterfall coming down the hill. As we got closer we saw it was a sheep dog herding a flock of sheep down the hill. I caught the tail end of the group on video.
The Burren looked like another planet. Somebody said, of the famous rocky land "enough rope to hang a man, but not enough ground to bury him in"
We had a wonderful dinner and a stroll down by the river, we woke up and headed down to the Dingle Penninsula. This area was one of our favorites on the whole trip.
The next few days in the Dingle Penninsula and the Ring of Kerry were filled with too many hundreds of beautiful pictures to post here. A few . . .
With all that driving / flying I did get a lot of knitting done. I made some decent progress on my do over tank top
and I almost finished Rachel's tank top
Here's a close up showing how unbelievably different my tension is when I pick v.s. throwing. For the strip I was throwing one color and picking (knitting continental) with the other. I then switched every row. You can see that the tension difference make this weird, curvy stripe.
Here it is all finished on my goofy niece who refuses to not make faces when you take her picture (so I cut off her head . . . so there!)
Our garden has not been doing that great, but we have had a few good garden meals. We didn't have much food in the fridge when we came home. Michelle (my friend who was house sitting), left some mozzarella in the fridge, so we picked some tiny carrots, some tomatoes, basil & zucchino and we had a nice garden dinner.
Now that the eggplants and peppers are coming in, we have some more to snack on, but it's not been a great food crop year.
Now that I've caught up on blogging what happened in July, maybe I'll get around to writing about Aug by October!