|We were not expecting this. Hollywood, Ireland.|
|The Irish, like Mainers, just leave their ruins around for others to enjoy. |
(Ahem, B52 bomber site outside Greenville, ME.)
|The blue sky in this picture lies. It was raining, I swear to you.|
|Round tower c. 900|
|Oooh, look out! The beginner photographer is getting all serious with B&W...|
|Just a couple more inches, little sheepy.|
|How can you ignore me like this?! Are you French sheep?|
|Aside from the tourists, this is a quiet, beautiful spot.|
Eventually, we landed at our final destination. Coolakay House.
|Seriously cool view from our room. The weather changed every 3.72 minutes.|
A few minutes into our arrival, the lovely owner, Yvonne, casually mentioned that the B&B is also a sheep farm.
She told me to go on up to the barn to see the newest lambs and the last moms to birth. She didn't have to tell me twice. See you in a bit, Gienna!
What happens next is a little fuzzy--I entered the barn and saw several moms with their babies. And one ewe on her side, legs up in a funny way. She was moving kinda funny, and then she jumped up. On the hay was a newborn lamb. So I didn't see it "emerge," per se, but I was there to see this little one enter the world:
|Possibly my favorite picture of Ireland. This sheep hated me.|
***Okay, so my final thoughts on Ireland:
The food is fantastic! I had one sub par meal during the whole trip. Oh, except for the bacon. The "bacon" in Ireland is not what you're expecting. The Irish must not wake every morning thinking, "Bacon: It makes everything better."
The give-it-five-minutes joke we have about the weather in New England cannot stand up to the finicky weather in Ireland. You may have bought a bikini for your vacation. I bought a serious raincoat, wool hat, and umbrella. And used them each day.
The wind is enough to drive a woman mad. Sinead O'Connor, I totally get it. I frankly had no idea how to be pretty in Ireland. I slept in cozy B&Bs each night and still looked like a filthy homeless person during much of each day. I blame the wind and rain.
Even though the Irish are talkative, they still seem a bit impressed by boisterous Americans (by impressed, I mean they don't approve). And folks appear to either have a great respect for or great animosity toward Americans.
People are still leaving in large numbers. The rows of empty pubs and storefronts on the Kerry ring because of the economy speaks to a 150-year tradition of emigrating. The boom that ended a couple years back is present in the large housing developments left unfinished and abandoned. I sincerely hope for better days ahead. The Irish are beautiful people, and they deserve good fortune.