A day in the life

Ireland

April 28th, 2019

I am participating in a project dedicated to sharing a day of life in Ireland. The day being April 28th, 2019. I’m not Irish, and I haven’t spent a lot of time in Ireland so what I have to share is what I see, and what I experience as an outsider. I am a photographer and a traveler, not so big on the tourist sites. I like to meet locals, I prefer to get lost, and I am frequently drawn to the details, the little things, the hidden spots.

What I know about the world, and about life is there’s always light, and with that comes shadows. I’m not so interested in only seeing the cities, the pristine churches, and other tourists sites. I’m drawn to see how time has made her mark. This interests me visually and historically.

As an American it’s always amazing to spend time in a country that has such an incredible amount of history. I stayed in a castle that is 100’s almost 1000’s of years older than anything in my Country. It’s so humbling. One of the things I loved about exploring the Irish country side was that people still live around a small city center. Twice I ran into the same people. They remembered me, and I felt like I belonged. The local musicians I came across had been playing at the same table every Friday for over 40 years. These people are one with their land. I think there is a different sense of belonging when you are the third generation to be farming the soil you live on.

Along with this history comes music! The Irish sing songs to tell their stories, share their love, and capture your heart. I’m not sure if it’s the music or the tests of time, but you’re not going to come across too many people in the world that are kinder then the Irish. I had a waitress leave me with a list of her favorite local places, and the young man driving a horse carriage sing and recite poetry, he was 14. He knows the stories. The Irish are quick to share and always eager to have a pint.

I don’t come From a time or place where manors like Muckross House exist - 365 windows, 100 rooms, and 52 chimneys completed in 1843. The gardens were designed in honor of Queen Elizabeth’s visit in 1860. This beauty and history is undeniable. But I also love discovering the falling down ivy covered time capsules that are all to easy to come across. The truth is that the shadows here are long and dark, The Irish people and the land have suffered the tests of time, and survived.

This is looking down at Muckross Lake from the Ladies Viewing deck. Queen Elizabeth and her ladies loved this view when they visited in 1861.

The gardens surrounding the house feature plants that are over 150 years old, they were planted for the Queen. Azaleas in The United States are small plants, or maybe shrubs. Around the The Muckross house they are shrubs that are larger than cars, even American cars.

The most important part of getting off the beaten path is meeting interesting people. Tim is a farmer, and he lives on the same land is fathers, fathers, father lived on.

So my day in the life of a Traveler included these places and these people. Ireland is a stunningly beautiful, and I think humble Country. The coastlines are truly jaw dropping and the rolling hills and mossy forests are alluring and magical. I loved the narrow single lane roads canopied with ancient gnarly trees. The beer is good, the whiskey is fine, and the people are second to none. I know that I’ll go back, so much more to discover.

Thanks for sharing my story. Adria

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