In 1987 I traveled to Ireland...

...and one of my side trips was taking a ferry to Inis Mor (Inishmore), the largest of the three Aran islands off the west coast of Ireland (from Galway).

Back then they only allowed limited motor car traffic (Private minibuses), horse-drawn carriages and bicycles. There were so many examples of Thatched Roof Cottages, rows and rows of potato beds and stone fence enclosures that it made me think how hard it must have been in the old days, especially in the rough winters. I hitched a ride out to Dun Aengus (Dun Aonghasa), the most well known of several prehistoric forts on the Aran Islands, built approximately in the 2nd century BC. It is located at the edge of an approximately 100 metre high cliff overlooking the mouth of Galway Bay. Unlike most historic sites in the States, there is no protective rail at the edge of the cliff so it is quite an experience sitting and dangling your feet over the edge enjoying the view high above the water!!

I went in April, which is normally a cold, wet time of year, but lucked out with temps in the 20s C (70s F). I was also fortunate to buy a hand made Aran sweater from someone who worked out of her house. Way cheaper than any store (and definitely warm). There are several Bed and Breakfasts on the island, and I really wish I had more time to spend the night there, but someday I will go back.

submitted by Tom Mack