Over the weekend our class went on a day trip out to Innis Mor, which is one of the Aryan Islands. The island is covered with rock walls built in the traditional Irish way. Instead of using any kind of mortar, rocks are chosen which naturally fit together. The island is one that feels as if it is back in time. There is only one grocery store on the entire island and it closes at 5 p.m. Most of the people who go there rent bikes to ride around the roadways.
The island features many beaches, some sandy and others entirely covered in smooth rocks. Many of us took advantage of the beautiful weather we have been having and spent time at the beach. As a class, we took a hike up to Dun Aengus and the Wormhole. Dunn Aengus is an ancient fort that sits at the very edge of a cliff looking out over the Atlantic Ocean. It is a prehistoric fort with parts of it dating as far back as 500 B.C. Now it is mostly a high rock wall situated on the side of the cliff. Parts of it have been restored over the years when rocks fell or broke away. The Wormhole is a rock formation created by the sea water coming up underneath the island and carving out a large rectangular hole.
Going to these places felt like becoming part of history. Dunn Aengus was fairly peaceful despite the many tourists that were there. It had amazing views of the jagged cliff side. Here you can go right to the edge of the cliff and look down, a terrifying experience for most. Waves crash far below you and there is nothing at all to keep you from falling from the edge. The experience of spending time in Dun Aengus and on the rest of Innis Mor is one that is difficult to describe in words. It really has to be experienced to be understood.
On the way back from our hike we stopped at an old monastery and graveyard on the island. This place was especially interesting because of the way that old merged with new. The old buildings of the monastery are still there as well as old gravestones that are too cracked and worn to be read. There are also newer gravestones made of entirely different types of stone that are colored or shiny. Despite these differences all of this is occurring on the same sight.
I really wish that I could drag people out to see this island. I feel like Innis Mor is Ireland as it is really portrayed in the United States. This is away from the big cities like Dublin and just honest pasture land and nature for miles. The place is just incredibly beautiful and raw with so little modernization. Going to this island is an experience that I wish everyone could have at some point in their lives.