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.