Tuesday, May 12, 2009

inis meain

our day spent on inishmaan ending up being a bit of a bore; however, the beauty and ancientness of the island made a huge impact on us.

the island felt eerily deserted, and the glimpse of "traditional irish life" we were hoping to find (according to our travel book) had obviously been lost to time. however, we could not doubt the serene beauty of this place.

the island consisted of miles and miles of rock walls, rock structures, grass, and the occasional weeds and/or flowers blooming in overgrown fields.

most of the enclosed rock walls seemed abandoned, which left us wondering what this island was like when it was teaming with life. what did these deserted rock walls once hold on inishmaan?

however, we did find some life behind these walls.

what amazed me about these rock walls was how precariously they were put together. they were simply rocks stacked on top of each other. they looked so fragile and ready to crumble at any moment. however, we found them to be surprisingly sturdy.

a simple, yet ingenious structure.

i came across one particular section of rocks that had a single flower growing up through the stacked rocks. beauty, indeed, can be found anywhere.

also to be found within these walls were these very interesting water collectors.

we weren't sure how long this simple technology had been around, but i can only imagine how many 100s of years the irishmen on inishmaan used this simple system to collect water.

i came to inishmaan with the memory of adare and its beautiful (and i thought mostly traditional) thatched-roof houses. i was completely taken aback when i arrived to find houses like this.

the island was teeming with truly traditional irish homes made of stone and thatch. and a little bit of color thrown in for good measure. i love the irish.

i was fascinated by the structural methods used to build and keep these homes stable. as you can see in the above picture, the thatch is being held down with rope which is then weighted down by stone and wood weights. how awesome!

while our inishmaan trip didn't turn out the way we had hoped, this island and its beauty has surely stayed with us, and we certainly don't regret our time spent there.

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