Two Days at Inis Mor on Aran Islands

My very good friend and landlady and a friend of mine from Germany wanted to go and stay a few days on the Aran Islands. It thought it such a great idea and was immediately enthusiastic.

We asked Hannibal Lector – my friend’s navigation system in the car – to tell us the way and off to the west coast. I always wanted to go to the islands and Galway. I have seen so many photos of the area and nature… definitely a ”must-see” place.

We took the ferry from Rossaveal early in the morning after a good night sleep in a B&B nearby. No cars allowed on the islands we could park the car exactly where the ferry leaves. The price for parking is part of the passage. We arrived at noon in a sunny but fresh day (August in Ireland doesn’t mean 40°C, but max 20°C). The B&B to stay for two nights was already booked a few days before by Internet. The Pier House was in front of us at the tiny port of the island Inish More we chose to go.

Only a few hours late we took a little bus driving us around the island on a sight seeing tour and to the most interesting place (historically): Dùn Aonghasa

We passed in a beautiful landscape, here and there an ancient wall or typical housing in the fields or on hills in the far and near. It all looked very Irish and in the same very different.

The bus stopped at the visitor center of Dùn Aonghasa. A small cafeteria on the right hand, the visitor center and entrance to the sight on the left. Flowers on the cafeteria front, some chairs outside, people having a coffee and something to eat. Oh so touristic!

We got a ticket and then off the hill to see this famous and really very ancient place.

It is a not really very easy walkway to the highest point where the fort is situated and for people who have difficulties with walking not to suggest. Also, small children should if only be hold by the hand as it is dangerous at the cliffs and also at the fort with falling stones and not really very stable.

Dùn Aonghasa, in English Dun Aengus, is a place with several prehistoric forts on the edge of a 100-meter-high cliff. It is thought to be built in the Iron Age, the 2nd century BC by people of the Builg. But the first construction in this place was already built a Thousand years earlier. It has a triple wall defenses along the western side of the fort. It is called one of the most magnificent barbaric monuments of the continent and its name is dedicated to a pre-Christian Irish king, Aonghus mac Umhòr.

The fort has in all four concentric, dry stone walls with chambers, wall walks and flights of stairs. At some parts the wall is several meter thick. Part of the fort has collapsed with the cliffs into the sea over the time and centuries. Well preserved instead is the cheval de frise, a defensive system of stone slabs. It is thought it was a more religious and ceremonial place rather than a military base. The position is very convenient as it can be overseen at least a 100 kilometer long coastline. Good to control war and trade shipping.

The view from here is AMAZING! The rough sea, waves breaking on the cliffs, the deep blue color of the water, the high cliffs with its many Grey shades, sea birds nesting, coming and going… staying here at the edge of the cliffs gives a great feeling of freedom, dignity, strength, energy. It’s something to feel and not to put in simple words, it’s too big. Many people were lying on the edge, standing there and looking down.

For more information we had a look at the museum at the visitor center.

After two hours or so we moved back to the minibus and our guide waiting. He drove around the island, back on the other side of the island and pointing us to a Neolithic tomb, traditional thatched cottages and more.

In the evening we were tired and had something to eat in a nearby restaurant of the village where we stayed for the night. The delicious brownie with vanilla ice-cream was the crown of the day.

The very next morning my German friend and I woke up at 6 o’clock in the morning to have a walk on the beach and around the nearer part of the island, just when all tourist were still sleeping and let us have a look around in quiet and peace. We took a few nice photographs and enjoyed the morning sun and peace.

Later on after breakfast we rent bicycles just in the port and in front of the B&B. I was not on a bike for ages and was not really enthusiastic with this. But cycling is something one never forget and so after a few hundred meter I was OK with it. And of course it’s a great way to explore the island. Everyone is doing it here. We saw animals, little houses, beautiful big houses.. and a lot of tourists.

In the evening I stayed in a nearby pub with one of my friends but it was packed by people and just to have one beer it took us nearly an hour, to drink another half. Life music, so way to fall down so full and really not very comfortable. Outside was not possible as it was lightly raining and really cold though.

We were back in the B&B early as we had to leave the next day around 10 am.

Leaving the port staying outside of the little ferry we felt really great and had a last look to the lighthouse on the right side. Inish More is a beautiful place and is perfect for a few days.

Aran Islands, County Galway/Ireland:

View Larger Map

For further information:
Aran Islands webpage
Pier House on Inis Mor
Galway Tourism
Ferries to the Aran Islands
If you want to go by plane
Dùn Aonghasa on Heritage Ireland

Be sociable, tell others!
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