We were lucky enough to have the sun (it can be up until nearly 11 pm in the summer here), which cast delicious shadows through the ruins of a 13th century abbey. Visitors are allowed to climb the steps carved into the side of the tower, which I did, despite my fear of heights without handrails...
We drove along the Wild Atlantic Way, stopping wherever the photo opportunity was good. Damien pressed Irish crisps (potato chips) and a Cadbury Twirl into my hands at one stop. Things which his tourists are required to sample, apparently. Check out the candy here: Cadbury Twirl. I've been promised something called Winegum when I see him next.
We chased the sunset all the way to the top of the mountain, were we stood at an old stone which once held a cross, now small in the shadow of cell phone towers. Easter mass used to be held at this stone on the mountain. The wind whipped us soundly as we watched the twinkling lights of Listowel down below.
As we descended the mountain in the growing darkness, Damien played a recording of writings about Listowel, narrated by the brother of John B. Keane and written in the 1960's. The beautiful words described perfectly the scene unfolding in front of us as if we were in a movie.
As a last stop, when there was barely light left, we pulled into a famine cemetery and viewed the mound outside of it with a small placard of poetry. Under the mound were babies from centuries past, when the unbaptized could not be buried within the cemetery walls. A somber reminder of the huge toll of the famine on this country, and a place I plan to revisit in the daylight.
The piece of art at the beginning of this narrative was inspired by a view walking the streets a week ago, when a man on a ladder in front of a brightly colored building seemed to pose for a photo mid window repair. Another scene from lovely, poetic Listowel!