Tag: County Cork

St Patrick’s day 2018

We did another trip to Ireland in March. Other than for seeing friends, celebrating St Patrick’s day, playing music and tasting whiskeys, my own personal goal was to escape snow and ice, and finally see some colour. The winter was terribly long with snow almost all the time, and during winters like that I feel like a prisoner in my house, because going out is so inconvenient and unpleasant. And my entire being long to see something else than white and grey.

Only two weeks before our trip though, came storm Emma along with the Beast from the East. Snow in West Cork, snow all over Ireland, and lots of it too. Imagine my distress! But Ireland eventually went back to normal with green fields. When we arrived to Dublin on the 16th of March the weather was good with 7 degrees, and driving south we met temperatures even nicer than that – West Cork greeted us with around 12 C.

Sadly, a mini beast came by and on St Patrick’s day morning, we had 3-4 C.. freezing cold but I was at least happy to see this outside the cottage that we rented..

Yes, cold and dull weather, but green fields! Colour! If you knew how much I miss colour during the long Swedish winter. We rented this cottage in Ardfield outside Clonakilty, and I highly recommend it if you visit these areas, don’t want to spend your money on a fancy hotel, and don’t want to eat out all the time. The same couple (one of them a musician we know) also owns this one. Ardfield is a lovely little village and offers a pub, a post office and lovely areas to go for walks. It is also very close to the beautiful Galley Head, as you can see on this first photo that I took from just up the hill from the cottages (if I remember correctly now):

As I’ve stated before, I need more peace and quiet in my life, and I can’t wait to live closer to the nature and see wide open spaces. When I saw this road I had the feeling of being in paradise.

Most of St Patrick’s day was spent in our second hometown, Clonakilty.

This is my husband and our friend Dena, fiddler and one of the proud owners of O’Donovan’s hotel. She and the other people at the hotel does a lot of good things for the town, like different charity events, music events and more. And of course, it’s a lovely hotel and bar – old fashioned but lovely. They have a nice and lively music session every week, gigs, and the front bar has Clonakilty’s best whiskey collection (at least if we talk about pubs!). Not to mention that they also own a well equipped Off Licence shop, a wine bar, and the nice little pub An Teach Beag.

The St Patrick’s day parade marches through the main street of course and it promotes local businesses, schools, organisations, events, activities and more. It was absolutely freezing that day and I did NOT envy people in the parade who – at least some of them – needed to be out in t-shirts etc. Still, it is always a beautiful parade and it brings tears to my eyes every time I see it because it makes so clear how many good things are going on there. Clonakilty is a very lively and vibrant little town, where people help each other and there are loads of local activities and things that help keep the town alive and keep it a good place.

The last photo shows a West Cork Rapid Response vehicle. West Cork is large, and has many very remote areas. West Cork Rapid Response is a charity organisation with volontary emergency service staff, that partner with and support the HSE National Ambulance Service. They are equipped to provide critical care support and advanced life support, and serve all of West Cork. It’s a fantastic organisation that saves lives and makes a difference for people out in the community. They are emergency service staff who do this in their free time – nobody is paid for doing it. Read more about them here: About West Cork Rapid Response and if you want to support them, you can donate here.

Note that I’m not paid by anyone to write this post… I simply have a passion for West Cork and Clonakilty, and will write more about the town soon.

Galley Head

I’ve posted photos from some other heads in Ireland, so I’d better continue and post about another beautiful head, the Galley head.
I love the sea, and open spaces. Maybe because I grew up in an area with extensive forests, I don’t know, but I’ve always had such intense feelings of freedom when I find myself on plains or other areas where you can see far away. And when I’m at the sea, I can’t get enough of it. I love waves crashing towards rocks, dramatic landscape, or just the view of water, rocks, boats. I love the Irish coastline, maybe especially because the weather there is so rough that it doesn’t attract mass tourism to the beaches, other than wind surfers, photographers, bird watchers, people who generally love the outdoors, and similar. The beaches there are peaceful and relaxing to visit. When I get to these places, like the Slea head drive in Kerry, and whatever coastal spot in West Cork, I want to just sit down and stay there for the rest of my life.

Galley head is near Clonakilty and apart from the beauty, it’s now an interesting area also because the future whiskey distillery in Clonakilty is growing barley out there.
There’s the actual Galley Head, the point with the lighthouse, and there’s the beach nearby (I don’t remember if this is Red strand or Long strand, but I remember Red strand as much more rocky and rough. However, if you know this area, please enlighten me!), and a nice area around the cliffs close to the lighthouse where you can walk around and have picnics.

It was a lovely day when we went out there. A bit too cold and windy to stay for picnic or the likes, but still lovely.

If you ever think about what season is the best to visit Ireland, I’d say – all of them! But if you go in August, you’ll see these orange flowers grow everywhere.

You can’t near to the lighthouse because the area is closed, unless you rent a cottage there. But who cares, when there is this?

You can’t get much closer to paradise than this.. (well, that would be Sheep’s head peninsula). Actually, next time we go to Ireland we’re actually going to live in a cottage in Ardfield, on the way between Clonakilty and Galley head. I’m really looking forward to it!