"Abstracted Feale" (a triptych) - mixed media on yupo, each 8" x 8". Inquiries.
Day three and I was up early and off on the first of many whirlwind adventures across the beautiful country of Ireland. Neither wind nor rain nor spilled Irish coffee shall deter me from touring!
Twelve hours of zipping along from one adventure to another. I am still catching my breath, but let's get started, shall we?
To my great delight, one of the first stops was my most favorite place, the Kerry Bog Village. Owner John was as welcoming and wonderful as ever, with warm Irish coffee and cake in my hands before I could blink. My favorite donkey, Bubbles, was out to pasture with the horses, but I met a new love, Dolly the pony. Also a new Irish Wolfhound pup who was all playfulness and kisses. We toured the newest edition to the village, an authentic shebeen (an illicit bar during the famine) which was moved from its original home and reassembled piece by piece at the bog village.
We pulled over along the highway to scramble up a slope to see old train tunnels in the mountainside. Then views of the Dingle Peninsula when we faced the other direction. The slick slope became a slip and slide, which was not in our original planning. Fortunately, Damian's touring vehicle is like a magic handbag and contains everything a person could need. More wine gums, anyone?
Down the winding roads in the rain we sped. The rain stopped just in time to climb this 2,000 year old fort, where the wind nearly shoved us over the edge! It was worth every heart-racing minute to catch the views from the top. Read more about Cahergall Stone Fort here.
Fast forward to the 1800's and the only cathedral not named for a saint. It was gorgeous. To understand why Daniel O'Connell is so revered by his countrymen, click here.
There was a lovely lunch in here somewhere. Next to a warm fire. Perfection.
Then we sped off for an experience that only happens in Ireland. For John at the Kerry Bog Village had mentioned a sculptor we should visit. We didn't know the man's address or even remember his name, but Damian Stack managed to find the man's house many towns away and we stopped in like we had an invitation. Which we did not. Alan Hall saw us pull into his driveway, came out of his studio, told us to go on into his house and wait for him. Where he promptly gave us a tour, served us coffee, regaled us with stories of art and international politics, posted for photos, showed us his own brilliant headstone (which he pre-carved for himself), gave Damian a piece of art he'd admired and sent us on our way 90 minutes later. Now if strangers showed up at my house wanting coffee and a tour, I'd be dialing 911! But Alan was the most congenial of hosts, and I was once again mesmerized by the kindness and community of the Irish.
Chasing the sun down winding roads toward the sea to catch the sunset over the water...I wish you could stand here with me, in this brilliant moment - swifts rushing homeward, sun falling behind wild mountains, wind and rain lashing our faces, a feeling of hush and awe and gratitude pricking my eyes with tears. This place, these people. There aren't words.