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An Artistic Affaire - Printemps

Wednesday June 30, 2010

After a delicious breakfast, we went across the street to the Heritage Center.  The center houses a haunting exhibition about the Famine.  A visit here puts Irish history into harrowing perspective.

The outside of the Heritage Centre.  Did I tell you yesterday that we were staying in Skibbereen?

Window box outside the Centre.

More flowers outside the Centre.

The large building to the right is where they held something like a soup kitchen during the Famine.  The building in the middle is our hotel.

A better view of the front of our hotel.

Side view of our hotel.  The bridge leading to the hotel is a path way from the previous owner’s home to the hotel.  He still comes across the bridge everyday to check on the new owner and see if he is doing things correctly.  They have become very good friends.

After the Heritage Centre, we headed out to the Drombeg Stone Circle.  The stones are located on an exposed hillside, with fields sweeping away towards the coast.  I have some good pictures of the coast from the circle.  The circle is 17 upright stones that once guarded the cremated bones of an adolescent, discovered during the 1960’s  excavation.  The circle probably dates from the 5th century AD.

Can you see the ocean in the background?

A clearer picture of the ocean.

Happy travelers!

Beautiful country side and beautiful daughter at the Stone Circle.

While we were standing on the hillside looking down at the circle, Tom sang a beautiful Irish song that brought tears to many an eye.

After the Stone Circle we headed out to have lunch.  This was taken from the window of the bus.

This is the view from our outdoor table.  It was truly breath taking.

Tom, our guide and Nicole.  Tom and Hugh, our driver, had lunch with the two of us.  We all squeezed in around  a table for two.  I couldn’t eat all my lunch so I gave it to Hugh.

Hugh, our driver.  Isn’t he a cutie?

Nicole and Hugh.

After lunch we headed back to our hotel for a quick rest before dinner.  We headed to Clonaklty for dinner.  I can’t remember the name of the restaurant, but it was good.  I had the seafood risotto and it was excellent.  We ate with Jim and Martha.  They are in their 70’s but only been married two years.  He tells the tale of how she would have nothing to do with him once he went off to college.  The found each other many years later and they are trying to make up for lost time.  Jim is a complete scream.  Martha is very quiet.  Jim started telling us a story about a man he knew that wanted to make a circle of his own using cars.  I got so excited and told him that Nicole and I have been to his circle of cars.  It’s in NE.  Jim could not contain himself when he found out that the man really did it and that we have been there.  Jim said he has never met anyone in all his years that ever heard of the place.  He was very impressed with us.

After dinner went to a wonderful pub to hear the locals play Irish music.  The place was jammed pack and many of us had to stand.  Nicole, being the sweetie that she is, found me a stool right in front of the locals, and right near the door.(Remember, no AC in Ireland and the open door brought in some welcomed cool air).

Tom singing with the locals.

The locals.

Standing room all the way to the back of the pub.  I think I know why the Irish drink so much.  They have the saddest songs.  Many of the songs made us cry.

We closed the pub down.  None of us wanted to leave!  It was an hour back to Skibbereen and our hotel.  We didn’t get to bed until after 2:00am.  An amazing night.  I tried to sit in the middle of all that soul-full music and tried to live in the moment.  I wanted to remember that evening for years to come.  No doubt I will.


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