The Aran Islands – Day Trip

We caught the 10:30 ferry from Rossaveal to Inishmore, the westernmost Aran Island, for a sightseeing excursion. Riding atop the ferry afforded us sea views and also the quickly changing weather. The wind whipped our raincoats and the raindrops began to splatter about as we set off on the 45 minute ride to the island.

Stepping off the boat, our chilled group quickly accepted the offer of an Inishmore resident to ride about the island in a cart pulled by Bob the horse. Our driver provided island info and history as we pattered slowly across the island, and all the while we noticed the numerous stone walls crisscrossing the islands (there is literally stone everywhere). Tourism is now the main industry of the islanders, whose fishing and farming enterprises were essentially squashed by EU regulations, at least according to our driver.

We eventually arrived at base of the hill below Dun Aonghasa, and hiked our way up to see the fort built in BC times.  It is surrounded by concentric stone walls, except for one side that is simply  a 300 foot cliff diving straight into the ocean with no railings.

By this point the rain was increasing, and we caught our ride back with hoods up. On the damp, cold ride back we concentrated mainly on keeping warm and chewing on the dried kelp that the driver shared with us (“It’s good for your teeth!”).  As we took the ferry back (indoors, this time), the cheerful, singing Irishmen who were serenading a newlywed couple warmed us up once again.

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