Sunday, May 31, 2009

Something most unusual

Driving through Co. Donegal.

Yeats's grave.

Students sitting along the edge of Killary Harbour, just yards from the front door of our hostel.

View of the Harbour from the famine road.

New friends encountered along the famine road.

Having lived in Ireland for a year and regularly visited the island since, I feel somewhat confident in saying that our group is experiencing something very unique: it has been sunny, dry, and warm the past three days and it appears this trend may continue. Today we departed Derry early in the morning under a brilliant blue sky to commence our drive to Connemara, a rugged area on the west coast of the island. Our drive took us across the beautiful terrain of Donegal before we headed south through Sligo and Mayo, stopping along the way at Drumcliff to visit the gravesite of William Butler Yeats in the shadow of the mountain he called "bulbous Ben Bulben."

Amazingly, the skies were still blue by the time we entered County Galway in the afternoon. This was a particular treat as we arrived at one of the most spectacularly-situated hostels in Ireland, on the south shore of Killary Harbor, Ireland's only fjord. Most of the students spent the much-needed free afternoon basking in the sun along the harbor's edge. Sara and I enjoyed an exhausting but highly scenic hike on a "famine road" hugging the south edge of the harbor which was constucted by locals in exchange for food in the mid-1800s.

This evening we again took advantage of the culinary talents of our group members before meeting to begin analyzing our time in Belfast and Derry.

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