Day nine: The magnificence of Ireland all in one day

Ireland to me is just beautiful. The famous green land, (or as they now say tongue in cheek “50 Shades of Green”) the coast line, the profusion of every color of hydrangea. But the other beauty lies with her people. Their music, their personalities, their poetry. Today, I got the best of all of it.

I had a day with sunny skies and no outlook for rain, which turned out to be rare in Dingle these days, so I grabbed it. Took two absolutely magnificent walks — one from Ballydavid along the cliffs and another around the Great Blasket Island Heritage Center. I was actually giggling to myself along the first cliff walk. This was just the epitome of stunning Irish scenery, complete with quaint farm cottages, sheep and cattle, ancient ruins, dramatic crashing of the waves against the cliffs, fishing boats in the water and many shades of green along the distant shores. The second walk had big shoes to fill after the first, but it was glorious as well. Saw my cliffs from another shore, and had the fun of climbing ladders (about 6 of them) over fences along the way. It was still wet from previous rain, and I was nervous about slipping on the thin rungs.

Returned back to B&B, showered and changed for the night. Had rack of lamb at a lovely restaurant, then came upon fantastic music at a hardware store that may or may not still sell hardware, but definitely sells plenty of alcohol. The music was courtesy of Theresa Hogan with guitarist Matt Griffin and a mandolin player whose name I didn’t catch. A big tour group or two came in as well (may have been arranged by one of the tour groups, operated by Rick Steves’ company). Got a laugh when an obvious local walked into the hardware store/pub, saw the crowd, said “Oh, Jaysus” and walked right out.

More music, more Irish conversations, more fun. Walked home under the same blanket of stars I see at home — the big dipper, Cassiopeia, etc. How funny to be so far away from home and see that same group of constellations. Must have been a comfort to travelers for centuries. A great day in Ireland and yet comforting to think of Home.