Roads on the Dingle Peninsula are narrow. We were warned to travel clockwise - in the same direction of the buses so we would not have to pass them. Our first stop was in Ventry where we took a lovely walk along the long beach. We were luck that the tide was out and the sand provided a nice solid surface on which to walk. We shared the beach with people on horseback, people with dogs and lots of birds.
Every part of the peninsula seems to be neatly delineated except where agriculture of any sort is impossible. Stone walls and hedges climbed hills.
This sign intrigued us and we decided to stop.
This is from the paper they gave us
The early pre Celtic inhabitants of Ireland known as Tuatha Dé Danann and Fir Bolg were associated with stories of fairies, fairy forts. Folklore asserts that ringforts like this one were "fairy forts" imbued with "Druids magic" and believers in fairies did not alter them. "
"Cutting brush especially the whitethorn (also known as a fiary tree) on fairy forts was reputed to be the death of those who performed the act. Legend also has it that anyone who enters a Lios (ring fort) like this one between the hours of one and five in the morning would not leave the Lios alive."Happily we were there in the day time and so did manage to leave with our lives. Though a ram in the centre of the fort did make us a little wary.
There is so much stone in Ireland - stone walls, stone barns, stone houses...
And many sheep.
These cottages were Famine Cottages. During the famine in the mid eighteen hundreds the population decreased by over two million due to death and emigration. From a flyer given to us The main cottage was built in the 1840s by the local landlord. The Earl of Cork ... had the roof changed to slate making it one of the earliest slated cottages in the area. The outhouses (not the loos but the cow house and stable) were built in 1880.
The peasant's cottage was lived in by a man who had been evicted from his own home. His main source of food was potatoes and fish. It is known that his daughter emigrated to the United States.
Many Irish came to Canada in coffin ships. Montreal welcomed many resulting in a typhus epidemic that spread from the immigrants to the city. You can read about it as well as Irish Montrealers' attempts at creating a permanent memorial park here.
This is a beehive hut. They were human dwellings in ancient times but were later used to house the household pig.
These are a form of beehive hut. They were built round like a beehive and taper towards the top. There is no mortar used in the building. This group is made up of five structures. The whole group is surrounded by the remains of a stone wall.
This one still has the roof; the others are open to the sky. It could have been occupied by a family with some of the area used for farm buildings and storage. According to information we received, they may have been inhabited from ancient times to 1200. This grouping (cashel) is called Cathair na gConchúireach (Caher Conor).
These builders knew what they were doing. The stones have a downward tilt in order to shed water.
The views along the coast are breathtaking.
Looking down at the beach at Coomeenoole.
At the tip of the peninsula you can look out to the Blasket Islands. Once inhabited, they were abandoned in the early fifties when the population dropped to 22 after the young people had emigrated.
The Gallarus Oratory is about 1300 years old. It, too was built without mortar. The sides slope inward until they meet to form the roof. It is believed to have been built by early Christians. The only light comes from the door and a small window on the opposite wall.
This path near the oratory is lined with fuchsias. Their bright colour adds to the Irish landscape.