The Fair Isle of The Gael, Landscapes and Vistas

July 27, 2017  •  1 Comment


The coast at Cushendum, County Antrim 

I thought I would post a collection of some of my favorite Irish landscape images as a more tranquil contrast to the images of the sectarian politics of my previous post. We spent nine days driving from Dublin through the north counties of Ireland and then back to Dublin from Sligo town. During that time, we had a pretty good sampling of Irish weather. It was warm and sunny for the first couple of days we were there, with a few of the locals jokingly telling us that we had just experienced about all the summer that they expected to get for the year. The following days alternated between mixed clouds and misty rain. The constant through it all was the beautiful quality of the light that illuminated the landscapes we passed through. This combination of exquisite light, the vastness of the space, and the rolling and sometimes craggy contours of the land, all of which were carpeted with the legendary variants of Irish green, evoked within me a kind of mystical and ancient connection to this tiny windswept island that had been home to generations of my forefathers. 

Larne Lough, County Antrim

Torr Head, County Antrim. This is the most easterly point of Ireland, facing the Irish Sea. That is the Mull of Kintyre, Scotland on the misty horizon. It is about twelve miles away. In the foreground are the ruins of a British barracks and coastal defense post that were active during WWI and WWII.

The Antrim Hills near Torr Head

The winding road to Ballycastle, County Antrim

The Giant's Causeway, County Antrim

The Giant's Causeway, County Antrim

Benbane Head, view from the Giant's Causeway

A proud guardian of the remnants of an ancient hearth in a stoney field near Ballycastle, County Antrim 

The rugged north coast view from Donluce Castle, County Antrim

Wild flowers, Donluce Castle, County Antrim

Donluce Castle, County Antrim

Fanad Head Lighthouse, County Donegal

Fanad Head, County Donegal

A spiritual rest stop along the highland road through the Derryveagh Mountains on the way to Falcarragh, County Donegal

The narrow and winding road In the Derryveagh Mountains on the way to Falcarragh, County Donegal

Lough Veagh in the Glenveagh National Park, County Donegal

Gorse (Ulex europaeus) in bloom on the edge of Lough Veagh in the Glenveagh National Park, County Donegal

A panoramic view of Lough Nacung, County Donegal

Stone walls in Ghleann Gheis, the Glen of Spells, County Donegal

A traditional Irish cottage in Ghleann Gheis, County Donegal

Looking back at the road from where we came through Ghleann Gheis, County Donegal

At 601 metres (1,972 ft), Slieve League has some of the highest sea cliffs on the west coast of Ireland.  Although less famous than the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare, Slieve League's cliffs reach almost three times higher.

All day I hear the noise of waters 
Making moan, 
Sad as the sea-bird is when, going 
Forth alone, 
He hears the winds cry to the water's 
Monotone. 

The grey winds, the cold winds are blowing 
Where I go. 
I hear the noise of many waters 
Far below. 
All day, all night, I hear them flowing 
To and fro.

                               - James Joyce

A 17th century British watch tower above the cliffs of Slieve League

"All along the watch tower the princess kept her view" - Bob Dylan

A 21st century visitor to the majestic landscape seen from the top of Slieve League in County Donegal

 

 

 

 


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Joyce(non-registered)
Wonderful photos and commentary!!
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