Thursday, September 28, 2017

A Horse and Buggy Ride on Inisheer

One of the traditional ways to get around Inisheer, the others ways are bicycle riding or walking.

We chose a horse and buggy and my husband (left) was asked to be co-pilot.

There is our ferry still docked in the small harbor. It eventually went back to Doolin and returned during the two hours we had to enjoy the sights.

A boat in the grass...something a little different!

The three Aran Islands are essentially big chunks of rock, littered with millions upon millions of small rocks. Over centuries, islanders have created grazing land, a few square feet at a time.
(Atlas Obscura)

They cleared from a small area, piled the rocks elegantly into dry stone walls, enclosing a small patch of ground. Sheltered from the wind, the small scraping  of topsoil stayed in place and began to accumulate -- a process helped by the islanders drying soil-enriching seaweed on the walls.
(Atlas Obscura)

MV Plassy, or Plassey, was a steam trawler launched in 1940 and named HMT Juliet in 1941. She was renamed Peterjon  and converted to a cargo vessel in 1947. She was acquired by the Limerick Steamship Company in 1951 and renamed Plassy.

On March 8, 1960, while sailing through Galway Bay carrying a cargo of whiskey, stained glass and yarn, she was caught in a severe storm and ran onto Finnis Rock, Inisheer, Aran Islands.

A group of local islanders, the Inisheer Rocket Crew, rescued the entire crew (11) from the stricken vessel using a breeches buoy — an event captured in pictorial display at the Bational Naritime Museum in Dún Laoghaire.

Several weeks later, a second storm washed the ship off the rock and drove her ashore on the island. 

The wreck still lies on the shoreline and is a tourist attraction. In early January 2014, Storm Christine shifted the wreck's position on the coast for the first time since 1991.

Tourists likely built this small cairn.

Detail of a rock wall.

A stone house house on Inisheer, Aran Islands.

The instability of the walls make them good barriers against livestock that are reared in the area. Animals who have learned from experience that they collapse rather easily keep themselves away from the walls.

An abandoned rock house is covered in vegetation.

This thatched roof house belongs to the driver of our horse and buggy. 
He told us if we got stranded on the island because of 
weather and a wild ocean we could stay overnight here! 
We made it back but it was one wild ride!

The tourists on this island are often Irish from the mainland.

St. Cavan's Church and Graveyard
St. Caomhán (Irish)

A Row of Celtic Crosses

A Sunken Church
St. Cavan's Church Ruins
St. Caomhan's (Irish)
St. Cavin's Church is a ruined church, built in the 10th century, at the location of the saint's grave. The entrance is now below ground level, as the church was nearly buried by drifting sands. It is now excavated and is kept clear of sand by the islanders.

Celtic Crosses With a View

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