Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Beautiful, beautiful Ireland: here's your virtual tour.

Recently, I've been doing a lot of travelling with my new job at Smartling (oh, you thought taking music photos paid the mortgage? Not quite, my dear, not quite!). Turkey, USA east coast, Palm Springs, the South of France, and now... Ireland. With several conferences including Localization World and TAUS more, and business meetings, I was lucky (really lucky) and had a weekend in the middle. So I took that weekend, and ran with it. Tracked down a couple of bed-and-breakfast places on AirBnB, rented a tiny car from Enterprise, and then scooted off, straight across the country to Galway, and beyond. (The motorway runs out at Galway.)

Beautiful and wild inland Connemara, Ireland

I don't know how many miles I drove that weekend, I dare not count.

Beautiful and wild inland Connemara, Ireland<

The hills and mountains of Connemara are so beautiful, I was in tears. Thinking of how desperate the people must have been, to have to leave this land. I now understand why you might become maudlin, longing for this home, when you've crossed the ocean to a cold and grey city with no green and no mountain and no heavy horses in sight.

Horse, Connemara, Ireland

While I have known many exiles, whether through war, or politics, or loss of homeland, or economics, or just sheer wanderlust (indeed, you can count me in that last category), I think this was the first time that I truly understood what the loss of homeland might mean. I left my heart behind each time I turned a corner in the road, and found and lost it again with each and every valley, mountain, river and rock-strewn beach.

Dunguaire Castle, Kinvarra, near Galway, Ireland

On the Sunday, driving through The Burren's stark yet bountiful land, down narrow roads no wider than the little car, noticing each and every turning point or slight widening of the walls, in case a bus, car, tractor or horse came the other way; yet I met almost no-one, just some windswept horses grazing in the warm rain.

People in the city (Dublin) worried about the weather. It didn't matter. It was just right. Grey and green go well together.

Dry stone walls, The Burren, Ireland

There were tourists at the Cliffs of Moher, and yet they seemed inobtrusive. Cliffs of that scale do that to you. Yes, they are people at the top. The cliffs really are that high.

Cliffs of Moher, Ireland>

For a long time, I wanted to visit the Outer Hebrides, because I imagined them like the Ireland I found. I think I was already dreaming of Ireland.

Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

Ireland, I will return. You borrowed my heart. I may just allow you to keep it.

Cemetary and Irish crosses,  Connemara, Irelanda>

Many, many more photos: http://alisontoon.com/ireland

3 comments:

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    1. Thank you Alison for this wonderful show for senes we didn't have the opportunity to see in Ireland during our stay attending LW COnference, Acually we were busy with visiting other similar wonderful seens. I wonder, when the nearest conference that will be held in Irelandm not Dublin in particular :)

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  2. Indeed I'll be back.....
    I went to Giants Causeway in Belfast, what an amazing place

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