Thursday, August 15, 2013

A Week on the Beara Peninsula, West Cork, Ireland

by   Cecilia Lynch  ©  2013

July 2013  

I stood on the deck of the trawler facing the receding land.  Huge mountain peaks dwarfed the homes clinging to the lower slopes of the Mishkish range.  Ahead lay the Sceilg, austere and rugged, last outpost of the ancient monasteries.  The restless ocean  was alive with dolphins and whales.

View from Travara.           Photo © Victor Sullivan

I stood inside ancient stone circles, built as places of sun worship three to four thousand years ago.  The huge stones were weathered with age, some had fallen but they still pointed to significant solar and lunar events. They faced the rising sun and had also a view of the sun as it set over the ocean.  In the centre was the Altar stone, where perhaps dark deeds were done.

I explored rocky coves, unspoiled and untouched, where fish were plentiful and human presence had no influence.

I walked to isolated villages, where the houses were coloured in rainbow hues and no human was to be seen in the vicinity.  The mountains towered all around.

I watched the small fishing boats attend to the fish farms and oyster beds from my vantage point on the cliffs.

I attended the  Village Festival Country Show,  Irish dancing in the streets, set dancers in the Hall, stalls selling home-made bread, honey, cakes, wine, cheese, bric-a-brack, art and crafts, home knitting.

It is another world, a place apart from the grimy city.  It is a place of peace and serenity, unchanging, elemental and heartbreakingly beautiful.

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