For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move. ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Ireland In Colours

We're just back from a ten day tour of Ireland. Carmen had never gone there, and I'd been only once: as a young child with my parents, on a visit to cousins in County Wicklow. We made a circular trip, clockwise from Rosslare, stopping at Waterford, Kinsale, Bantry, Killarney, Dingle, Ennis, Galway, Westport, Sligo and Dublin. We did too much driving - but, fair enough, this was an introductory exploration to see the lie of the land. Next time, however, I'd take a cottage for a week in some remote corner of County Mayo or Donegal, or trek one of the long-distance trails like the Beara Way, the Kerry Way or the Sheep's Head Way.

It rained a lot. That's why Ireland's so green. Forty shades of green, as they say. But we found other colours too, like blue and yellow...    




... and red and cream ...




We stayed a night at the White House in Kinsale ...






... where some of the colours were so startling ...




... that my wife became a hippie chick all over again ...


11 comments:

More Than Meets the I said...

I met some Irish colleagues in 1998, while I was studying German in Bavaria and I think that the Greeks and The Irish share a lot of affinities and values.
The Irish colours you captured are sublime. I've never come across lime green on a door frame. I'm pretty sure that neither has Carmen ;)

fireweed meadow said...

Beautiful. I live in a place where people are phobic of using colour whether exterior or interior. It's all brown and beige and shades of off-white in our already weak northern light. In newer housing developments there are restrictive codes that prohibit the use of colour (beige and tan only, please). . . and even clotheslines, but that's a whole other story. I wouldn't have expected to see colour like this in Ireland. Mexico, yes, but not Ireland. Lovely to see.

am said...

This is inspiring. I'm close to painting again. Color!

GOAT said...

Great colours, and those paths you mention have me intrigued, as does the "Ned Kelly's" sign. Over here (Australia) he's a legendary Robin Hood-like (to some) bushranger (highwayman) of Irish stock who wore armour in his final showdown with the police. Final words before his hanging: "Such is life"...

George said...

Glad you and Carmen had a great trip to Ireland, Robert. The photos are terrific. I'm also glad to hear some info on the long-distance walking trails. I would like to do a coast to coast across Ireland, but haven't be able to find an established trail.

Hope to see you next month.

ksam said...

Oh you so left me smiling!! Fantastic pics! I totally get what Fireweed was saying. I sat with my mouth open in horror yesterday, when someone told me of a "gated community" that not only restricted the house, flower and other decorative colors, but that of the cars parked in the driveways! Shoot me please, just shoot me! I would curl up and die there!

Ruth said...

So great to see you back, Robert! And from the wonder of shades of green. Kinsale is one of my favorite towns, and I'd love to stay overnight there. Did you get out in a boat? It's so charming, and the food is fantastic. I think they consider it the epicurean center of Ireland, such great and fresh fish to eat. I think Kinsale is especially full of color. I didn't get over to the west side, but I long to go to Galway and Sligo.

Going in a jaunty car in the Killarney national park is almost as good as trekking, and you can ride in a long boat on the three lakes.

Oh I love Ireland. I hope you'll post more from the trip?

The Solitary Walker said...

MTMTI - thanks for your comment! Not the time to mention the affinity of the bailout debt, I know ... (sorry!)

Fireweed - colour is good, but it's used more subtly, I think, on cottages in Scotland, Wales and Cornwall, to be honest. Some of the Irish shades are just over the top! (Bilious green, jaundice yellow. shamrock ornamentation on the side, etc.)

Great news about the creative urge, am. Colour can be so inspirational.

Yes, I saw a film about Ned Kelly once, Goat ... and isn't there a novel by Peter Carey? Had a peek at your excellent blog, btw. Thanks for the link. I want to link you too from my sidebar.

George - hi! There is an Irish coast to coast walk, I believe, from Dublin to the south-west, which was formed by linking five existing trails. Cicerone do a guide book on it. (Will contact you soon about August.)

Just ram those gates and spray the paintpot, Karin!

Ruth - Kinsale is lovely and, yes indeed, the food was great. (Pretty good all over Ireland now, actually.) Had a medium-rare steak at Jim Edwards Restaurant that was as tender and succulent as I've ever tasted. (Carmen had the fish - hake, I think it was.) As I said to Fireweed, the use of colour on some of the buildings can be a little overpowering. Will get to Killarney soon, after Ardmore and Bantry ...

Rachel Fox said...

Lovely colours. We were due to go to Ireland last year but had to cancel. If we ever go on holiday again (after this long one!) it is high on the list (rain or no rain...).
x

The Solitary Walker said...

Holidays, Rachel? Why stop!

GOAT said...

Yes, Robert, the Peter Carey novel is very good, once you get used to the contemporary idiom he writes in. And the first movie featured a possibly ill-advised performance by one Mick Jagger.

Thanks re: the blog. I first found yours while living in Japan a few years back, and found it strangely soothing amid the Tokyo hubbub.