TRIPPING AROUND THE BLASKET ISLANDS

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The Blasket Islands seen here from Mount Eagle, is a group of six islands off the Dingle Peninsula, in the South West of Ireland. Below are some photos of the islands taken from a boat, and on some of the islands.

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Above on the right is the iconic Sleeping Giant, Inis Tuaisceart, which locals also call the Fear Marbh (Dead Man). There are also as many different spellings as names of the island!   He loses his sleeping man shape when viewed from the other side.

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Above and below, the amazing Cathedral Rocks of Inis na Bró on the right, and on the left is Inis Tiaracht (Tearacht). The spellings of these islands varies.

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Another view of Inis na Bró, below, as seen from Inis Vickillane. A little of Great Blasket Island is poking in on the right.

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Also from Inis Vickillane, this is Inis Tiaracht again. A rocky island, the most westerly in Ireland, with a lighthouse (operational since 1870) and several houses, where three lighthouse keepers once lived, in amazingly challenging conditions, and kept goats, hens and rabbits. They even managed to grow vegetables. Some of the settlement can be seen on the above photo on the left, but the lighthouse is just around the corner.

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The Sleeping Giant again, looking unrecognisable in this view from Inis Vickillane. (Above).

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The famous Great Blasket above, with the mainland in the distance.

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Still on Inis Vickillane, above is another view of The Tiaracht (left) and Inis na Bró (right).

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Above and below, the remains of an early eighth century monastic settlement founded by St. Mocheallog on Inis Vickillane. This island was inhabited by a few families in more recent centuries. It’s hard to imagine how they lived on this wild island, which has very difficult access, being very dependent on weather and tide conditions. They would not have been able to hop in and out of boats for fishing any time they felt like it. The last permanent residents, the Ó Dálaighs raised a family of 10 children and were sole inhabitants on the island until the 1950s –  from what date I don’t know. Currently the island is privately owned, and is used by the owners for holidays. I was lucky to gain an opportunity to visit the island briefly.

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The next several photos are on Great Blasket Island, which is the largest of this island group, renowned for its abundant wildlife, particularly sea birds, its scenic beauty, and its interesting history. It is also famous for the many acclaimed writers who emerged from the vibrant community of people who once lived there. Their written accounts of life on the island are now considered to be classics of literature, and there are translations of these books in many countries of the world. The once thriving community of 150 or more people declined, as emigration, mainly to the USA, took its toll on the population, and when the Island was finally officially vacated in 1953 there were only 22 people living on the Island. The islanders homes fairly quickly fell to ruin, only a few of them have been maintained by their owners who use them for summer visits.

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There is a beautiful beach on the island.

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Walking on the heathery ridge of the island looking towards the mainland.

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Ruins of the some of the homes on the island.

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The above lovingly preserved house, still in the ownership of descendants of Island inhabitants, is where Méini the Blasket nurse and midwife lived, with her husband with whom she eloped when she was 19, and he a widower, until after his death when she moved back to the  mainland.

 

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I believe this bell was used in the 1970 film ‘Ryan’s Daughter’, filmed on the Dingle Peninsula, but I’ve no information about its origin.

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Another view of The Sleeping Giant, this time from Great Blasket.

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The small island above, close to Great Blasket is Beginis. Flat and windy, probably only ever used for grazing sheep.

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Inis Vickillane, with the late afternoon sun shimmering on the water. Below is Inis Vickillane and Inis na Bró.

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Returning to Dingle Harbour with the wash of the boat behind us. Dingle lighthouse can be seen on the left.

Thanks for viewing my post. If you would like to see more Blasket Island images please visit my website.

Photos:  http://www.helene-brennan.com/c53-photographs-of-the-blasket-islands-

Paintings:  http://www.helene-brennan.com/c62-blasket-islands-paintings

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BLACK AND WHITE

Occasionally I enjoying creating black and white images. So here are some of them.  All images from County Kerry, Ireland.

 

Above, Béal Bán, Ballyferriter.  Below, Murioch Beach.

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Wine Strand, above and below.

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Feothanach Beach, on a rather stormy day.

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Boat wreck, Banna Beach, above and below.

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Kerry stone sheds, below.

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Béal Bán above and below.

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Murioch Beach, above.

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Seal, at Great Blasket Island

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Béal Bán above.

Thanks for looking. Many more photos of Kerry and other places can be seen on my website:

http://www.helene-brennan.com/c12-ireland

Enquiries welcome, and can be made via my website.

THE BLASKET ISLANDS – TODAY’S VIEWS

THE BLASKET ISLANDS – TODAY’S VIEWS

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The Blaskets, a group of Islands off the coast of the west end of the Dingle Peninsula, South West Ireland. Famous for their beauty and their history. On my website there are several photos of the Islands and on Great Blasket, the largest of the Islands, on which there was once a thriving community. See: http://www.helene-brennan.com/c53-photographs-of-the-blasket-islands-

 

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The ruin in the above photo is the schoolhouse from the movie Ryan’s Daughter. See my earlier post about this: https://helenebrennan.wordpress.com/2015/11/23/time-changes-everything-the-schoolhouse-from-the-ryans-daughter-movie-2/

 

BALLYHEIGUE BEACH REVISITED

Latest photos of Ballyheigue Beach.

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Thank you for looking at my photos. Please checkout more Ballyheigue and other North Kerry photos  on my website: http://www.helene-brennan.com/c110-north-kerry

 

 

BERLIN – MEMORIALS AND MEMORIES

I was recently a tourist in Berlin for just a week.  Of course I took hundreds of photos, as I always do, and as all tourists do.

This, my first post on the Berlin topic is focusing on some of Berlin’s numerous memorials, museums and other history related installations that remember with courageous honesty, the stories of terrible events that destroyed so many lives, particularly in the early 20th century.

Below are some photos showing images from Berlin’s East Side Gallery. After the collapse of the Berlin Wall, a long section of the  remainder of the structure was utilised as a surface for murals of artists from all over the world. Millions of tourists pass this way every year, to remember, to take photos, to take selfies, to hope for the future.

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The Holocaust Memorial, below.

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Above is the Holocaust Memorial, designed by New York Architect Peter Eisenman. The site covers 19,000 square meter’s, with 2711 concrete slabs, set on a slightly sloping and uneven site. There is also has an information centre underground.  Adults wander, reflect and contemplate, while children do what children do and generally play hide and seek around the slabs.

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The Jewish museum, above, is a very innovative building with an unusual zigzag shape when seen from above, and it has narrow diagonal windows. It was designed by Daniel Libeskind. More information about the building can be found on https://www.jmberlin.de/en/libeskind-building.

The photo below shows a room inside the building.

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Outside, at the museum there is a Garden of Exile and Emigration, which is reminiscent of the Holocaust Memorial, and where children also play enthusiastically, and perhaps inappropriately.

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The brass tiles (Stolperstein) that can be seen embedded into the pavements all over Berlin each remember the name and life dates of a Jewish person who lived or worked in the adjacent house before falling victim to Nazi Extermination or persecution. This inspirational Stolperstein art project was initiated by the German artist Gunter Demnig in 1992, and is still ongoing.

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Pondering and reflecting at the Sinti Memorial (above). This was constructed to remember the ethnic cleansing at the hands of the Nazis, of some 220,000 – 500,000 Sinti and Roma people. It’s a beautiful tranquil memorial designed by the Israeli artist Dani Karavan.

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This sculpture, “Reconciliation” was created by Josefina de Vasconcellos following the devastation of the Second World War. It is located at the modern Chapel of Reconciliation, which replaces the original structure. There are copies of this sculpture at Coventry Cathedral, in the  Hiroshima Peace Museum, and in the former border strip at the Berlin Wall.

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The sculpture above, “Balancing Act” at the Axel Springer Building was created to commemorate 50 years after the laying of the foundation stone for the building, and 20 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Stephan Balkenhol was the sculptor. Axel Springer SE is the largest digital publishing house in Europe.

 

Below is the famous landmark Checkpoint Charlie, the best known checkpoint between East and West Germany, before the collapse of the Berlin Wall. It is located on the corner of Friedrichstrasse and Zimmerstrasse. Now a major tourist attraction, thousands, if not millions of tourists flock to see this place and have their photos taken with the ‘guards’ who will charge €3 for the privilege. The hut is a replica of the original which is now on display at The Allied Museum in Berlin.

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Looks like she found her man in uniform!

Below is the famous Brandenburg Gate, an 18th-century neoclassical monument in Berlin,  built on the orders of  the Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm II. When the Berlin Wall was built in 1961, the gate became part of the wall between East and West, and it was closed. Now a major tourist attraction and a symbol of freedom for many Germans.

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Thanks for looking at my first post on Berlin. I hope to post more on this city shortly, which will focus on some of the many interesting buildings in the city. Please come back.

There are many more photos of Berlin on my website. Please take a look:

http://www.helene-brennan.com/c860-germany

 

 

GANNET IN DISTRESS – read below

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On a recent beach walk on Béal Bán Beach, Ballyferriter, near Dingle, I came upon this beautiful gannet. It’s not often I have an opportunity to get this close to a gannet. This bird was struggling to pull a piece of rope which appeared to have something heavy on the end of it. I watched it struggle up from the water, pulling its object up the beach. I stupidly thought she was doing this by choice, and that she may have some purpose in mind, for her piece of treasure. I took several photos, not wishing to get too close and scare her away.

Another passer-by, who was more enlightened than myself saw the bird’s distress and stopped to free her from the rope, which was apparently stuck to her beak. She must have become entangled with it when she was diving for food.

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Having been set free, one might expect that she would fly away, but that didn’t happen. I can only guess that she must have been exhausted. She seemed unconcerned about me getting closer, taking more photos, and made no attempt to get away. I left her there, just standing on the middle of the beach. It was a sad sight. There was nothing more that anyone could do. I don’t know what happened to her; I hope she managed to fly away as the tide came in some hours later.

So, my reason for writing this post – just to make people think more carefully about what they throw into the sea, or leave on the beach for the tide to claim. Thousands of birds and other creatures suffer and die unnecessarily because of human carelessness.

Please visit my website for more animal and bird photos.

http://www.helene-brennan.com/c101-animals-and-birds-photos