Noel of Travel Photos Monday invited me to join his travel blogging challenge. Trying to find photos of places I’ve travelled to but haven’t previously posted about on this blog proved to be a challenge in itself. Searching through my archives I came across a series of photos I took out on the Dingle peninsula on the far west coast of County Kerry, Ireland in June 2012.
The photos were taken on a half day archaeological tour I joined. Tim Collins, the tour leader and bus driver drove a disparate collection of tourists from across the globe out into the wilds of the peninsula in his mini bus. Our first stop was in the grounds of an old Victorian mansion where we viewed a collection of Ogham Stones.
These mysterious stones were carved with the earliest form of writing in Ireland by people living in the remote mountains around 1500 years ago. Tim informed us the Victorians delighted in going out into the wilds and dragging the stones back to the gardens – this explained why several were lined up along the driveway of the stately home.
Beyond the mansion we wound up into a beautiful landscape where Iron Age dwellings, old stone farmhouses and modern buildings stood in close proximity to each other.
The road we took followed the coast, the sun shone and we were rewarded with a tantalizing glimpse of the distant isles known as The Skelligs.
Tim stopped the mini bus and we tumbled out to marvel at the beauty of the Blasket Islands just two miles off shore. People lived here until the mid twentieth century. These days the islands are a nature reserve.
As we stood on the cliff top the wind grew chill and the clouds out to sea suggested the weather was about to take a turn for the worse.
Sure enough by the time we had journeyed on to Reask Monastery, a Celtic Christian ruin from the 6th century, the temperature had plummeted and the mists were closing in.
A little further along the road we came to Gallarus Oratory, a solitary stone building believed to be an early Christian Church.