Travelling through time

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.

DSCF9891 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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A little further along the road we came to Gallarus Oratory, a solitary stone building believed to be an early Christian Church.

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Cold and mysterious, the place spoke of silent contemplation and a life of austere devotion. DSCF0034

The headland beyond it reared up as if in defiance of the approaching storm DSCF0036

then, as the rain began to drizzle down we clambered back on board the mini bus and careened back to the town of Dingle.  ‘Back to the twenty first century,’ as Tim the tour guide put it.DSCF0125

 

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6 thoughts on “Travelling through time

    1. Ireland’s a complicated country. I too have a family connection to the place that causes me to feel troubled and dissatisfied. There is magic there but also there is deep sorrow.

  1. Noel has just invited me too! These are gorgeous photos. I didn’t have a digital camera when we visited Ireland, many years ago, but I did take quite a lot of photos. I loved the oratory too and the weather was no better for us than it was for you, in August too

    1. I’ll look out for your entry. A traveller like you – where will you take us to this time? I’m sure it will be exotic. As for Ireland – it does rain like nowhere else that’s for sure but I do love the magical history there.

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