I had read about the Aran Islands a bit before I left for Ireland, but it was hearing tales of the Blasket Islands that really inspired me. The Blasket Islands are no longer occupied today, but the Aran Islands bear some resemblance to a book I read about them. The Aran Islands of 30 or 40 years ago would have been much more similar than not, were it not for tourism bringing people to the islands to see the sights.
So, in that respect, I was decades late to experience anything on that level, but it was an incredibly beautiful and rugged landscape. In my mind's eye, I could imagine the life of days gone by, subsisting on meager agriculture and the bounties of the sea.
My first day on Inis Mor, the largest of the Aran Islands, was the clearest and sunniest of the lot. That was also the only day I got to wander on foot as I had wanted to experience the islands. The stormy days that followed were memorable if not entirely photogenic.
I'd love to go back during more temperate weather one day, but my brief walks revealed a beautiful island and I can still imagine myself sequestered in that little cottage at the junction of two lanes on a little spit of rock at the end of the world....
October 12th, 2012
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