Tag: Ireland

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!

Mizen Head

Crookhaven at the end of the Mizen peninsula in West Cork has historically been the first and last port of call for ships going between America and Northern Europe. It’s also the area where the first wireless oversea communication system was developed. You can read more about it here.

We’ve been there a few times, first in 2008, when we lived in West Cork, and then in – I think – 2012, which was a real bummer because when we arrived there the area was closed for renovating the bridge, and they would open the day after we were there. ๐Ÿ˜€

So when we were over in August I wanted to visit Mizen Head to see the new bridge. That day, we could instead call it the “missing head” because it was a very cloudy and damp day, with a very thick fog out there. Still, it was fascinating. Fog gives a real drama to this kind of landscape.

Going out to, or from, the Mizen Head you pass this altar of Toormore, and some fantastic coastal views. I’m kind of obsessed by the sea.. as you’ve probably seen in other posts, and that you will see in following posts too.

It doesn’t get more grey than this, but the foggy weather gave a very dramatic feel when visiting the signal station. You could almost feel the solitude of the people who used to work there in the old days, or the people out at sea.
Next time though, I hope the weather will be a wee bit more clear so that you can actually see the sea as well. ๐Ÿ™‚

Dingle peninsula

I hope I’ll ever get to see Dingle in sunshine. It hasn’t happened yet.. I still love it there though.

Being the whiskey geeks that we are, one important spot we wanted to find was Dick Mack’s pub. It’s famous for its whiskey selection, and I only heard about it recently. We found it, after some walking around and looking at the iPhone map..

So what should you take when they have EVERYTHING and a few more? I think it was here that I tasted the 21-year-old Bushmills (highly recommended!!).

Other than whiskey, the Dingle area has these kinds of things to offer:

Yes, the sun was shining for a while there! But at the time that we came back to Dingle, the weather was back to rain and fog. ๐Ÿ™

County Clare in two days

I have mixed emotions regarding county Clare. It’s one of those areas that can be crowded mad with tourists. But it’s a very beautiful area, with lots of beautiful scenery, and lots of music too. We stayed in Miltown Malbay. I kind of regretted that I didn’t book in Ennis, because it’s a lovely town where we’ve had some great times, there’s also lots of music activity there, but it’s also nice to explore new places, and especially small places. I’m definitely no big city person, I prefer green fields, or roaring sea, peace and quiet.
We didn’t have lots of time so my photos from there aren’t great, I took shots whenever I had the opportunity but not with great thought or focus. At least a few nice memories of the trip.

Miltown Malbay is famous for its Irish music school special week in early July, named after the now deceased uilleann piper Willie Clancy. Actually, for music geeks like us, this monument was one of the highlights in the town centre:

And the trad sessions, of course.

We were in Clare for two days and managed to see quite a lot of it, I think. But I’m sad to have known afterwards that we were close to Father Ted’s cottage and didn’t know it, LOL! But we toured the main roads and some of the off roads. We visited Doolin, Lahinch, Kilkee, the Cliffs of Moher, Ennis, the Burren (maybe?) and lots of other places along the sea. Now, Doolin is an extremely famous and tourist crowded little town, and the port was absolutely terrible. But I always enjoy visiting, and doing some shopping in the knitwear shops and all that. And it sure is very pretty there. But it is very.. crowded.

There’s this nice view over the cliffs.

I’m not sure if this belongs to the Burren, but it’s a cool area however.

The area of Cliffs of Moher is magnificient but so over-visited and so commercialised and exploited. Since we were there the last time, they have built a HUGE visitor centre with shops, and a walking path to get to the top. In a way very nice because it enables everyone to get there safely and see everything without risking life, but I think the charm of the area is gone. It’s not that fantastic natural spot anymore, but rather like a huge museum. We even had to wait a few hours to get there because there was such queue to the parking. Such a pity!!
Still, the cliffs with surroundings are fantastic.

However, I don’t think I’ll go back there. I’ve seen the cliffs, and there are so many nicer spots if you want to visit scenic places.

Like beaches and the sea.


The folks in the last picture were kind of surprising. I thought only Swedish people would take a swim on an early October morning with 14-ish degrees. LOL!

Then there’s Loop head.

And so much more. But next time we go to Clare, I want to be a few days in Ennis to make music in the pubs.