This is what a beautiful Summer’s day looks like in Ireland: 2012 Edition

Perhaps this is becoming something of a tradition. Our beautiful Summer’s day 2011 post was popular, and it’s hard for us to stay away from Co. Kerry / Co. Chiarraí for too long.

Part of it is that if you’re beginning to speak the Irish language with Bitesize Irish Gaelic, you’ll hopefully feel quite a strong connection to such places in Ireland where the Irish language is spoken.

In July 2012, we took another visit, and this is what a beautiful July day looked like this year:

Spot the hikers!

Spot the hikers!

Can you spot the hikers in the picture above? They’re the patch of slight blackness in the right of the picture. They were hiding behind a wall and having sandwiches. Not for the faint of heart.

Inch Beach, Co. Kerry

At the beginning of the Dingle peninsula is a big beach called Inch beach (ironically?). One thing is for sure: wear a jacket. This is the middle of Summer, don’t you know?

Inch beach, Co. Kerry

Inch beach, Co. Kerry


Pub at Inch beach, south of the Dingle peninsula, Co. Kerry.

Pub at Inch beach, south of the Dingle peninsula, Co. Kerry.

In some random small beach further into the peninsula, it certainly was a dark July day in Ireland:

Darkened skies over an Irish beach.

Darkened skies over an Irish beach.

Ceann Trá – Ventry

Now we’re getting into real Gaeltacht country. That’s the label given to areas where the Irish language is still spoken in the local community (although the borders have receded faster than the politicians have kept up with drawing the official line).

Here’s Ceann Trá, a small collection of a pub, a shop, and a church.

Here you’ll find Páidí Ó Sé’s pub. If you’re hungry or thirsty for a pint, definitely stop here.

Cows moving fields in Ceann Trá (Venty) in the Kerry Gaeltacht.

Cows moving fields in Ceann Trá (Ventry) in the Kerry Gaeltacht.

Ceann Sléibhe (Slea Head)

Around this bay is where we stayed the night, in Feirm Chinn Sléibhe (Slea Head Farm).

The bay has a beach (or two beaches, depending on how the tide divides it).

Ceann Sléibhe literally means “head of the mountain”. It’s at the tip of the peninsula, sticking out into the Atlantic.

Beach around Dún Chaoin around the head of Corca Dhuibhne, the Dingle peninsula.

Beach around Dún Chaoin around the head of Corca Dhuibhne, the Dingle peninsula.

Just down the road, we stopped at a café for a tea, and here was the view out on the bay. Just to the left, out of the picture, is An Blascaod Mór island. Keep reading for more pictures of that island.

View from our café, drinking tea, sitting outside.

View from our café, drinking tea, sitting outside.

And here’s the view from the B&B room in Slea Head Farm. It’s run by Caitlín Ferriter, and she definitely welcomes speaking the Irish language with visitors:

View from our B&B room.

View from our B&B room.

Nearby is another collection of houses over-looking the Atlantic:

A collection of houses looking out over the Atlantic ocean.

A collection of houses looking out over the Atlantic ocean.

In nearby Dún Chaoin (Dunquin), you better watch out if you want to get the best of the views:

Aire! /ah-reh!/ (Watch Out!)

Aire! /ah-reh!/ (Watch Out!)

Back up on the Conor Pass, here’s the latest view of the stone signifying Dingle’s sistership with Santa Barbara, California.

Daingean Uí Chúise (Dingle) twinned with the likely town of Santa Barbara, California.

Daingean Uí Chúise (Dingle) twinned with the likely town of Santa Barbara, California.

And to top off this lovely Irish Summer’s day, here a (*ahem*) refreshing view of the quickly-moving cloud/fog over the Conor Pass:

Up in the clouds on the Conor Pass, Dingle Peninsula.

Up in the clouds on the Conor Pass, Dingle Peninsula.

Bonus: Joan’s trip to An Blascaod Mór island

Just out of the picture from our B&B view above, was the island An Blascaod Mór (The Great Blasket). It’s part of a collection of islands know as the Blasket Islands. There are day-trips arranged to get out there by boat.

That island is quite significant. There was a community of Irish language speakers living there. But decades ago, they finally abandoned the island as life there was no longer sustainable.

Joan, a Bitesize Irish Gaelic member in the area of Boston, visited An Blascoad Mór. She was kind enough to share some pictures and to share her story. Here goes:

Deserted home of Peig Sayers

Deserted home of Peig Sayers, the Great Blasket island’s toryteller. (She had an autobiography, An Old Woman’s Reflections.)

Abandoned cottages overlooking the beach on An Blascaod Mór island, just off the coast of Kerry.

Abandoned cottages overlooking the beach on An Blascaod Mór island, just off the coast of Kerry. The government evacuated the Blasket Islanders in November 1953 after a 24-year-old man died and they could not get emergency services out to the island. Many of the islanders emigrated to Springfield, Massachusetts.

The two mules who now inhabit Peig's house.

The two mules who now inhabit Peig’s house.

Kitchen, apparently left as is, in the abandoned home of Peig Sayers.

Kitchen, apparently left as is, in the abandoned home of Peig Sayers.

The western end of the Great Blasket, called

The western end of the Great Blasket, called “Black Head” with view of the little Skellig in the background. I’ve read that there was an ancient monastery at the top of the ridge at Black Head.

View from the south side of the Great Blasket I s land with the tip of the Dingle Peninsula in the background.

View from the south side of the Great Blasket I s land with the tip of the Dingle Peninsula in the background.

Thanks to Joan for sharing that last set of pictures.

Moreover, what did you think about the photos in this post? Please do add a comment below.

(Do you want to become able to have simple conversations through the Irish language? Join us on Bitesize Irish Gaelic, where there’s lots of audio where we share with you how to pronounce the language.)

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  1. Fatoş says:

    This is exactly what my paradise would look like. Those cloudy skies definitely represent my idea of peace. Hope to live in Ireland eventually.

    Love from Turkey

  2. Sean Walters says:

    That was beautiful! Thank you for sharing those pictures with us! They moved me right into Ireland. 😀
    Thanks again!

  3. Robert Maguidhir says:

    Ah, yes, just as I remember it! A tear and a smile! Unfortunately, I don’t see any “smiles” in those photos!

    Whenever I travel to Ireland, I’m always told that I’ve just missed the most glorious (fill in the season) weather that they’ve had in DECADES! Now, were they pulling my leg cause I usually walked into the worst they’d had in CENTURIES!

    I was in Ireland once though when there was weeks and weeks and weeks of sunny weather. Not a cloud in the sky. Not….one. (This was around 1995 or so) After about a week of that, everyone started complaining about the GOOD weather! Never satisfied are the Irish about the weather! If complaining about it was an Olympic sport, Ireland would win the Gold every single time, hands down!


  4. Gordon Molengraf says:

    It would be nice to have to wear a coat in the middle of summer,but alas not going to happen here in Texas with temperatures around 105 degrees.

    • Eoin says:

      I think we’ll stick to the mist for now 🙂

      • Robert Maguire says:

        One last weather tale. I was in Cahersiveen (sp?) getting ready to go to the Skelligs and the weather was unusually great. I was staying in a B&B and I got to chatting with the man of the house. He worked outdoors and of course, the weather came up, about how bloody hot it was. “My God! I was roastin’!”

        It was 75 degrees. Tops.

        I guess all fierce hot weather is relative.

  5. Robert Maguire says:

    Have you been to the Skelligs, Eoin? One of the greatest experiences of my life. To think that people lived on those rocks and thrived hundreds of years ago. The only that I missed were the Puffins. The guide on the island told me that the Puffins just got up and left that morning. They must have heard I was coming!

  6. Leila says:

    Hello! Thanks for sharing the photos. Greetings from Argentina!

  7. Angele Latham says:

    Ahh… a COOL and COAT-WORTHY summer??? That would be… heaven. I can sympathize with Gordon Molengraf. Here it is just as hot, and just as dry.

  8. Kevin Madden says:

    Looks nicer than the balmy mid 90’s with 70+ humidity that grace central Florida throughout our never ending summer, Thank God for air conditioning! These photos are wonderful and they remind me and share a similarity with Michigan’s upper peninsula along Lake Superior, as does the weather. Go raibh maith agat!

  9. Mike John Carpenter says:

    I just learned my great grandmother came from that area, wonderful photos. Hope to visit one day. Slan!

  10. Anne long says:

    Coat-worthy; i like that!
    The pictures are wonderful and show the grey as well as the green.
    I am headed for my 3rd trip to Ireland next month (third trip in 2 years, so you know I love the country), and this time I am headed foe Guagan Barra (sorry, haven’t found the fada on my iPad yet).and other interesting spots in the Cork area.
    In Phoenix it was 116 degrees F. (47 C.) yesterday, so the green and grey will be most welcome

    • Eoin says:

      Ouch, that’s hot. On the iPad, can you get the á by long-pressing “a” when typing?

      • Anne long says:

        I found it, but applying it isn’t that easy – kind of hit or miss at this point. Thanks for locating it, now I’ll work on it!

  11. Jeb says:

    Wow! Awesome pictures! Hope that I can make it there one day.

  12. Danke für diese tollen Fotos. Mein Mann und ich
    haben vor einigen Wochen unsere Ferien
    in Irland verbracht. Waren auch in Dingle,
    Conor Pass, Inch Beach usw. Freue mich daher
    besonders über diese Fotos :))
    Go raibh maith agat
    Le meas Conny

  13. Nan Schlumbrecht says:

    Thank you, Eoin, for the beautiful photographs. One concern, though: if the weather is this cold and rainy now, what will it
    be like when I visit in December?

  14. rich says:

    You can also get á by putting on Num Lock, pressing Alt and then 0225 on the number keypad. The codes for the rest of the vowels with a fada are: 0193 Á, 0233 é, 0201 É, 0237 í, 0205 Í, 0243 ó, 0211 Ó, 0250 ú and 0218 Ú. Now you know!

    • Eoin says:

      Thanks for sharing out the list, Rich!

      Thankfully on keyboards in Ireland, you just need to hold down Ctrl+Alt and the letter. But unfortunately it’s not always that easy outside of Ireland.

  15. Eoin says:

    And to be fair to the Irish summer, today is a beautiful day’s (hazy) sunshine.

  16. Patricia Garvey says:

    Weather in Ireland a bit unpredictable usually. Bring layers and rainwear.
    Great pictures of the Blasket Island where my mother-in-law was born.
    Visited the Island in 2007, definitely not for the faint at heart, but so beautiful.

  17. Luis Miguel Diaque says:

    Go halainn! Is Tír Dhorcha Eirinn, gan amhras. An taobh thiar-theas dí go háirithe. Bhí shibh i-Corca Dhuibhne, go follasach, ach ar dhreap sibh suas Sliabh Brendán ar an ócáid é sin?

    • Eoin says:

      Níor dhreapamar riamh Sliabh Breadán. Ach beidh orainn, is follas!

      Maith thú as ucht do chuid Gaeilge a úsáid. Ar fheabhas ar fad.

      An mbíonn tú ag breathnú ar TG4? Agus ag éisteacht le Raidió na Gaeltachta?

      • Luis Miguel Diaque says:

        Go raibh maith agat, a hEoin… Feicim ar TG4 anois agus arís, ach níor d’eist me riamh le radio na Gaeltáchta… Is fearr liom TG4 a feachaint ná rudaí gan mhaith a bheith ar an teilifis Meireceanach…Is seafóid amháin. Is maith liom ar “Scéal na Gaeilge” a feachait agus “Corp agus Anam” freisin. An maith leat TG4?

  18. Mary Frances White says:

    The weather in Ireland looks beautiful! I live in Alabama so anything is better than the weather

  19. Marc Bird says:

    What day did you take those photos? I was on a day trip bus tour to Cliffs of Moher on Monday, 16 July and saw the same thing. The cliffs and town behind them were in and out of clouds, actually fog, for the morning–mists, 25-30 kt winds, scudding clouds, spray from the Atlantic actually clearing the cliff tops only enough to smell the ocean. I could just make out the Aran Islands to the west from O’Briens Tower and a castle to the south of Moher, about 2km or so on a coastal point. How far away was that from the B&B, to the north of you, on the seventh picture down from the top?

    The funny part, as all were leaving the bus and heading for the cliffs, was the tour guide apologising for the weather. I smiled at him and asked “Where are we? Is this not Ireland?” He laughed with me and we proceeded to take in the beauty of our surroundings, such as the best camera ever existing could not do justice, capturing what we saw.

    I was in Dublin between 11-20 July last and found the weather a perfect match for me. I run a little warm normally; a wool peacoat and a Donegal 8-panel tweed was comfort aplenty. Actually, we visited the Burren later and I was photographing all around that standing-stone tomb for twenty minutes barefoot. I really wanted to feel Ireland in every way I could–a soft day, indeed!

    • Eoin says:

      Hmm, it was very possibly the weekend around 16 July. It sounds like you got the real experience at the cliffs! Isn’t it crazy how the spray from the ocean can fly up so high to the top of the cliff?

      The B&B was about 500 metres away from the seventh picture above. The B&B itself it just off the right-side of the picture, and overlooks this view.

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  21. Ariel Brown says:

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