Day 140: Aran IslandsJuly 5, 2017 in Ireland
Much busier day today! We'd booked a day trip to Inisherr, a small island just off the coast. So we grabbed our breakfast and headed off, thankfully only a short drive to the pier in Doolin.
Inisherr is the closest of the Aran Islands, a low-lying and sparsely populated group of islands just off the coast. I'm not entirely sure how they were formed since they definitely aren't volcanic in origin! The ferry across took about 40 minutes and we passed the time by watching the island slowly come into view.
Docked at the pier and hopped off around 11:30am, with the entire island to explore ahead of our 4:45pm return ferry. Decided that we'd make an early lunch our first stop, since there were a couple more ferries coming in behind us and the island's population was probably about to treble. There aren't many food options either, so we sat at a random pub/cafe place and had some quiches which were quite good.
Sated, we headed off walking across the island. It's fairly small, probably only a couple of kilometres in diameter, and best of all there are no cars on the island (minus a couple of cars belonging to the ~200 locals). So you could walk pretty freely along any path or road without worrying about ongoing traffic which was quite nice!
We started heading towards a seal colony on the western coast that was marked on our map, but we went about 20 minutes down the wrong road! They all kind of branch out from the main town, and don't loop around or anything which was a bit annoying. Eventually we found our way back, but there was no real sign of the seal colony or the seals themselves. Oh well.
Wandered back around through the main town which was now very busy with loads of school kids hovering around. Turns out it's school holidays and this is where they go for summer camp to learn Gaelic. It certainly explained why kids approaching us to pat Schnitzel would ask first in Gaelic, which we both initially thought was odd!
Kept walking around and eventually headed up to the 16th century fort tower, and the 19th century signal tower which were both fairly interesting. Also had a brief look at the church, some holy wells and a few other various points of interest. The only thing we didn't actually bother with was probably the most famous: a shipwreck on the far southern point of the island, known for its starring role in the opening credits of Father Ted. Go figure!
By around 3pm we were pretty tired so we bought a snack and headed to the pub, where we had a pint and watched life pass by. It's fairly peaceful once the schoolkids are back in their classrooms, but it's far too remote to entertain ideas of living out here.
Headed back to the dock in time for departure, though we only just made it as the boat left 15 minutes early! There were other boats coming, apparently. We'd bought a "combo" ticket, so the boat made a detour past the Cliffs of Moher - nice to see them again from down below. Apparently they're 200 metres tall, which is double the height of the enormous Forth Bridge in Edinburgh (that was 100m exactly which is why it sticks in my mind), but I guess on a boat underneath enormous cliffs you don't have any sense of scale or perspective.
The light wasn't too great as it was overcast like usual, so my photos look fairly poor. But it was definitely good to see them from the water as well, particularly since they're right next to the pier in Doolin.
Back to the car where we stopped at a restaurant for dinner on the drive back to our house. We both ended up having burgers which were quite tasty!Read more