Aran Islands
Aran Islands

Aran Islands is a group of three islands (we went to the largest, Inishmore) off the western coast near Doolin and Galway. To get there you can take a boat for about an hour or you can take a plane. The plane cost more, but the flight is only 8 minutes long. Since we were not spending the night on the island we decided to take the plane to get there quickly. 

Once we got off the plane we took a tour of the island and then spent some time enjoying an overpriced lunch in town.

An ancient fort is at the top of a cliff that drops off several hundred feet to the ocean. There was a very stiff breeze that was blowing away from the cliff, still just did not want to get too close.

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For non-panoramas look here:

From one of the openings you can look out to the rest of the island

The fort from the outside

Another dramatic view of the cliff from the fort

Trail leading from the fort

Believe it or not, these odd granite blocks are natural and form a protective barrier around the fort. This is the same stuff that makes up most of the Burren.

Good view of the whole fort

This rubble field was put in place to defend the fort, sort of like an ancient anti tank trap

Another look at the rubble, you can see how difficult it would be to attack through this

The rubble goes right up to the outer wall of the fort

Rubble, no rubble, all of the interior spaces have been cleaned or rocks

One last look at the defensive structures around the fort, this would slow anyone down

Coming back down from the fort is a little shopping area that we waited for the shuttle bus

This is known as the seven churches, oddly there are only two, no explanation about the others

Back in the main center of town, this is one of the boat landings going back to the main land

Walking through town, the boat landing is just in the center

Miles of stone fences, all built by hand with no mortar

Detail of the fence, when the need to move animals, they knock down a section and then rebuild it, no gates

An old church near one of the fences

This church was just a ruin, but they still bury people in the graveyard

Lots of old shells of buildings in Ireland, this is one of the large ones