"This blog is not necessarily for lovers of art, it includes a variety of topics and whatever. I'm a painter who likes to know what's really going on in the world today. So you might find anything from Shamrocks to Salmiakki mentioned here on my blog. There will of course be some boring, factual and informational posts, but I'll keep them to a minimum, I promise!

And I might get a bit nostalgic now and then.

So you have been warned!"

- Alan Hogan

Showing posts with label Aran islands. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Aran islands. Show all posts

Thursday, July 3, 2014

From Clare to here

I just found this impressive video online today which I have to share. It shows the western part of County Clare off Ireland's west coast, featuring the village of Kilrush, Loop Head, the Bridges of Ross and the amazing Cliffs of Moher.

This video is made by Alan Magner Photography and should be watched in HD quality. It's a fine example of good photography and a nice slice of Ireland's natural beauty. This is one big thing I really miss about not living in Ireland anymore. While Finland has it's own unique natural beauty, it does not have the same geographical aspects that Ireland has to offer. Living within the landscape of another country can often remind a person of the beauty of another land which they once took for granted for so long. It's great to get back to Ireland whenever possible, and even greater if one is lucky enough to visit places such as those in this video. Being a Dubliner this isn't always possible as family visits always come first and holidays can often be too short. So it's always great to find such wonderful videos on the internet to remind us of Ireland's magnificent landscape, especially when living so far away.

Last summer I had a fantastic holiday in Ireland including the west coast. The weather was amazing and I got some great photo shots of my own. You can check out my photos by clicking on any of the links below.

Share this blog!

Thanks for reading my blog and please feel free to share it with any of your friends.

You can receive my blogposts direct to your email or facebook profile by pressing the follow button at NetworkedBlogs  and you are welcome to visit my art page on Facebook by clicking the 'Like' button under my signature below.

- Alan 


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Artist on the edge! - Aran Islands

Part 4 of my summer holidays 2013 in Ireland, and a visit to the Aran islands was our next destination. From the day we arrived in Ireland the weather was great. But today was by far the hottest, reaching over 30°C. Our first stop was Doolin harbour were my friends and I tried to find a ferry-boat. Due to the good weather a lot of other people made the same plans. Luckily I had pre-booked our places for the boat. There were plenty of boats going over to the islands, all extremely busy the whole day. The Aran islands are made up of three islands, Inisheer, Inishmaan and Inishmore. I had planned on taking my Finnish friends to the largest of the three Inishmore, but due to the amount of visitors things got a little chaotic for the ferry owners and we ended up stopping on all of the islands. We did spend most of our time on the large island as planned though.

First stop was the little island of Inisheer, or as I like to call it 'Craggy Island'. It was a unexpected surprise for me to be on this island, even though we only stayed 20 minutes at the harbour waiting for the next boat. This small island with a population of only 297 is full of history and geological wonders, just like almost everywhere along the west coast of Ireland. But I like to call it Craggy Island for it's modern history and charm. It gets the name Craggy Island from a very popular tv sitcom 'Father Ted' starring the late Dermot Morgan. It was the island of Inisheer which featured in the program's intro.

The Father Ted series became so popular that it gained a cult following, and even after many years fans still come to visit the island and pay homage to the show. In fact they visit all three islands as well as the house where the show's main characters lived. The house itself is not actually on any of the islands as many assume, but is in fact on the mainland in County Clare. Anyone interested in it's true location can find it here on Google maps.

Here's a few photos I took while I was there. 
Click on each image to enlarge.

Inisheer or 'Craggy' island

One of the many small ferryboats visiting
 the Aran islands.

A 'Father Ted'-themed tour vehicle on Inisheer.

Ferryboat from Doolin to the Aran islands.

The Plassy shipwreck on the small island of Inis Oirr, just off the west coast of Ireland. The ship went down in 1960, and it's wreck has since become more famous for it's appearance in the opening credits of the popular tv comedy series Father Ted.

Next stop was the middle island called Inishmaan. There wasn't much to see while waiting at the harbour here. We only had a few minutes before our boat to the main island arrived. It's pretty much the same as it's sister islands. Here's a photo of the harbour wall and an old Guinness commercial made on the islands.

Lego-like harbour wall at Inishmaan island

After a brief visit to Inishmaan we jumped aboard another boat and headed to the largest of the three islands Inishmore. This was where we spent most of our day. On arriving at a very busy harbour we tried to find one of the many horse-drawn carts set out for visitors. Unfortunately they were all hired out and we had to take one of the many mini-bus tours instead. In hindsight it was a better choice as we may have got too hot or sunburnt on the long cart trek. I was a little concerned about how the horses were coping with the heat and the hauling of tourists around all day. But I saw that their owners seemed to be giving them some rest and plenty of water. Anyway, 'sure it isn't every day the weather is this hot in Ireland. For a moment it brought to my mind the memory of a holiday I spent in Rhodes, and seeing the Lindos donkeys. A very upsetting sight to see if you like animals.

Horse and cart on the island of Inishmore.

A traditional Irish thatched cottage with a
matching leprechaun version next door.

One of the beaches on Inishmore.

Traffic chaos on our mini-bus tour of Inishmore. 
Thanks to our driver Rory for getting us back 
to our boat on time! 

The Man of Aran cottage which featured 
in the 1934 movie 'Man of Aran'

Old ruins

Limestone pavements on the Aran islands

During our visit to the island of Inishmore we went to see the prehistoric fort of Dún Aonghasa which is located at the spectacular cliffs overlooking the atlantic ocean. I have been to this island before wishing to see this unique location but was unable due to bad weather. Instead I ended up drinking Guinness and playing pool all day in the harbour pub with a good friend. I call that a social visit!
I was very happy about finally going to see this famous fort and it's cliffs, especially with the great weather! We also discovered a small visitors centre before walking up to the cliff edge. A small cottage setting can also be found nearby selling the famous Aran sweater and wools. There are also other craft-shops selling items such as jewellery, hats and t-shirts. Most of the t-shirts have slogans written in the native irish language of course. I did see one t-shirt which I thought was incorrectly written and complained to the old woman working in the shop. It wasn't long until she proceeded to give me a bollicking about it. I explained to her that I had been sent to learn the Irish language in the nearby village of Kilkieran on the mainland when I was a boy and this was the dialect I knew to be correct in the area. But the old woman told me off and said the Irish of the islanders is correct and all the rest are wrong. 'Being a meagre Dubliner, who was I to argue with this pleasant old lady. But I wonder was she ever taught by the Christian brothers or nuns! 

Craft shops near the Dún Aonghasa visitor centre.

Landscape of grass and limestone.

View over Inishmore from the prehistoric 
fort of Dún Aonghasa.

Cliffs at Dún Aonghasa

A Chinese tourist just lost his boat ticket!

Artist on the edge ... at Dún Aonghasa 
before my big splash! (not recommended)

Nice view!

Walking back down from Dún Aonghasa.

Village of Kilronan on Inishmore island.

Of course the weather isn't always as cheerful and sunny as we had experienced on the island of Inishmore. On the contrary, it's by far one of the harshest weather locations in Europe with rain and strong galeforce winds constantly arriving in from the Atlantic ocean. So local businesses have to make the most of welcoming tourists and visitors whenever good weather arrives. Tourism has become the islands main source of income in recent years.
Most of the people I have met anytime I have visited the west coast of Ireland have been great craic and for me it's the best place in Ireland!

The Aran island ferry owners
had a good day at the office! 

Finally here's a piece of music I like by the band British Sea Power. It's called Man of Aran and features footage of the 1934 movie 'Man of Aran' which was filmed on the island of Inishmore. The original movie in full can be found on YouTube here.

Share this blog!

This is part 4 of a set of 'Ireland' travel posts here on my blog. Click on the destinations below to read the rest!

Thanks for reading my blog and please feel free to share it with any of your friends.

You can receive my blogposts direct to your email or facebook profile by pressing the follow button at NetworkedBlogs  and you are welcome to visit my art page on Facebook by clicking the 'Like' button under my signature below.

- Alan 


There was an error in this gadget

The Art Garage, Finland

The Art Garage, Finland
Click this banner to visit my website!