My archaeological instincts take over yet again
Although I realise that Ireland is a magical place, it has never been high on my travelling destinations list. However, when a very cool friendship took me in that direction, I was psyched that I’m gonna discover this legendary land.
I travelled to Galway full of hope and excitement only to find out that my friend, David, was not as stirred by life as I was. However, when I read about Inis Mór, I knew there was no turning back for him.
This small island is home to Dún Aonghasa, a prehistoric fort dated back to the Iron Age. This was enough for my Lara Croft side to kick in!
Rightly so, as Dún Aonghasa is called the most magnificent barbaric monument in Europe. My imagination was swept away and nothing could stop me.
After a couple of days of attempts at deconstructing David’s ennui, I finally said, “OK. I’ll go alone and we’ll meet up in the evening.” Without the intention, this turned out to be the right argument. David went with me, even despite the fact that the sky was grey and the rain was hanging in the air.
Don’t go out! It’s raining…
Thing is, in places like Ireland it rains a lot (yes, I know – I really surprised you there) and if your plans depend on good (read: sunny) weather, you’ll never do anything.
Visitors are not allowed to take cars to Inis Mór. Instead, you can do something much cooler. You can rent a bicycle from one of the many rental shops.
That’s exactly what we did. Armed with two bikes, we set out for the grand adventure. Turned out, we had different ideas of “grand” in mind.
A small island in the Atlantic Ocean. Well, almost.
Practically, Inis Mór is in the Galway Bay but you can feel the Atlantic from here already.
There is something completely enchanting about Inis Mór. It has actually been suggested that Dún Aonghasa “may have been used for seasonal rites by the druids, perhaps involving bonfires that could be seen from the mainland of Ireland.” (Wikipedia is the source of this quote. Yeah, yeah. Whatever.)
As soon as we start pedalling, it starts raining. The beauty of it! The rain is soft, the wind coming from the Atlantic is freezing, my clothes are all wrong and David is getting upset.
Despite that, after a couple of minutes of riding the bike, I come to understand why the druids would want to pray here: amazing energy vibrates around. Inis Mór is a very powerful place.
It is drizzling more and more, and my smile is getting bigger and bigger. David’s – on the contrary. We ride next to each other and everything is stupid. Stupid weather, stupid rain, stupid wind. I presume I’m also stupid, so I just stay silent. Half an hour later, I am tired. I press the pedals harder wanting to put some distance between us.
As soon as I put the sudden pressure on the pedals, the chain falls off. O-oh! David is getting really annoyed. We’re both soaked by now.
Cowering from the rain, cussing under his breath, David turns his bicycle around. He looks at me, standing hapless and doe-eyed in the middle of the road, and takes care of my bicycle. I can barely suppress my laugh but teasing him isn’t a good idea. Fixing the chain in this weather is a real mission. I wouldn’t want to be left alone with this… But of course, he’d never do that. David is a real gentleman.
He swears, he struggles, he puts the chain back on and rides away. This leaves me speechless. Now I’m feeling guilty that I wanted to get away from his moaning in the first place.
But Inis Mór is strong and nothing can interfere with its primal energy. I mount my bike and enjoy the wind and rain again.
Riding around the island
Half an hour later, I’m catching up with David. His tension is all gone and now we can really enjoy the trip. The transformation is staggering and I’m starting to think that he was only kidding before. This sudden turn of events proves my theory: there’s some strange energy running through Inis Mór.
I’m glad and relieved, as there are so many things to appreciate here. The views are breath-taking, the sharp cliffs make my head spin and being able to look right across the whole island is awesome. Flat as a pancake, no trees, no forests. The view is clear from one shore to the other.
Have I mentioned Inis Mór has an amazing energy?