After talking with the dogs, we discovered that while we may not understand their unique bark, Adorable is a universal language. Also, dogs apparently love kelp.
Before we left the beach, a friend of mine left a message for posterity.
We also snapped some pictures of these really weird rocks.
Our destination was the MV Plassy, a steam trawler that ran aground carrying a cargo of whiskey, stained glass, and yarn – a combination that could only be more Irish if the boat beached itself to the tune of “Molly Malone”. Ever since her final voyage in 1960 left her more out of place than Mr Bean on an episode of House, she has slowly rusted away to her current state. We’ll see the Plassy soon enough. This trip, friends, is more about the journey than the destination.
Fitting with the general theme of the place, the houses of Inis Oírr strongly reflect the traditional Irish style.
The island has its fair share of abandoned buildings, though whether this is due to the current economic troubles or something else entirely, I’m not sure.
We passed the island’s airstrip, which is used for emergencies that can’t wait for the ferry.
We found a real Neolithic tomb that wasn’t even fake.
Brillo promptly made himself at home.
Eventually we passed into a less-populous area of the island. Farmer’s fields stretched out to the sea.
Now, here’s an interesting tidbit about those fields. Dry stone walls (as opposed to those held together with mortar) are extremely common land divisions in rural Ireland. The first thing most people notice about the fields is that they are surprisingly tiny.
According to my Irish friends, the majority of field divisions date back to the Bronze Age. Of course there was no mega-farming back then, so fields were kept manageably small. In a country with so much visible history, this holdout from thousands of years ago should come as no surprise.
See? We learn things here.
As we neared the Plassy, we looked back at the hill we had come from.
This next photo doesn’t have a story. I just think it looks nice.
Close-up of one of the stone walls:
Brillo kept getting shifty looks from cows.
Getting farther from the hill:
Our first sight of the Plassy:
A closer shot:
The MV Plassy ran aground during a storm one day in 1960. Fortunately, all 11 people on board were safe. The ship, however, was left to nature.
The Plassy highlights one of the most marked differences between American and Irish culture. In America, if such a ship were to wash ashore, we’d have groups campaigning to remove the hazard. We’d have mothers worried for their children’s safety, petitioning the town council to finally remove that bucket o’ tetanus before it can convert their loved ones to socialism or whatever. Point being, safety freaks would come down on it so hard that the ship would Titanic in half under the pressure.
Not to mention the lawsuits. Oh, boy, people in the States would have a field day. Thirty-year-old develops a rare blood disease? Must be that scrape he got as a kid climbing around the decaying hull. And the shipping company would have to pay. At the very least, some organization would swoop in, put everything behind Plexiglas, and charge admission to see less than half the interior, with the remaining bit cordoned off as “offices.”
But the Plassy is there for all to see. No admission fee, no restrictions. Not a single lawsuit, as far as I can dig up. And it was a magical experience.
Coming up in Part Three: A look inside a shipwreck, a castle that wasn’t meant to be, and Father Ted.
Any guesses as to where Brillo is in this picture? Guess it right, and win a lifetime supply of self-satisfaction!