Ireland 2009 -  Scenery (Cont.)

 
Above Left;  A neat photo, overlooking an old abandoned stone home, an inner harbour and small village with  typical stone fences around a pasture field. This shot at the very tip of a peninsula reached via Sky Road. 
Above Right;  Sky Road, a circular route around a long narrow peninsula. Stunning ocean views, narrow inlets (see previous pic )castles and ruins.
On the Left;  Giants Causeway, one of the most visited scenic areas in all of Ireland. Located on the north coast of Northern Ireland, it is a unique occurrence of basalt rocks, which cooled quickly millions of years ago and formed long crystal like columns with 4 to 8 sides. Tracy and Paul stand facing the camera, standing on top of the ridge of column ends which stretch out to the sea on the left of the photo. 
On the right, another view of these hectagonal shaped rock columns pushing out of the earth.
Above Left;  Strangely, despite all the many square miles of farmland, it is quite difficult to obtain photos of its beauty. Narrow roads with high stone fences covered with vegetation obscure the scenes from view as one drives. Occasionally, you can get into an open area and take in vista's like this one. 
Above Right;  This photo was taken near the coast in the Burren and illustrates the difficulties farmers have endured in eking out a living in the rocky land. Note the miles of fences built from the stones dug out of the fields.
Ancient and Historical Sites of Ireland
Ballincollig, number 1 on my "need to see" sites. It is the site of a very large Gunpowder Mill, used to produce gunpowder for the British Navy during the time of the Napoleonic Wars. Mary Brimelow, my Great Great Great Grandmother on my mother's side of the family was born here in 1821. Her father, Samuel Brimelow, was serving in the British Royal Artillery on this station. Samuel had seen action at the Battle of Waterloo 6 years prior to the birth of his first child Mary. I also believe that he must have met and married his wife Eleanor Green when stationed here, although there has been no proof of that to date. 
The Irish Government had attempted to turn this site into a tourist attraction, but for whatever reason, plans were abandoned and the only remaining indication they had tried, is the Board Paul and I are reviewing. It is a huge site, well over a mile long with the remaining old stone buildings rapidly disappearing under vines and vegetation. The Barracks were Samuel would have lived were recently torn down to make way for a parking lot for a Big Box Store. 
Ballincollig is a prosperous small town about 8 miles west of Cork City.

The Dromberg Stone Circles, a religious site from about 150 BC. The circle is about 30 ft in diameter, and the rays of the setting sun fall directly on the flat altar stone in the middle of circle during the winter solstice. 
Paul stands beside a cooking pit from Stone Age times with the stone circle showing over his shoulder. Large boulders were heated on an open fire, rolled into the pit filled with water, and the meat, usually venison, was dropped in to cook.
Charles Fort, built in 1685 to protect the Harbour of Kinsale against a Dutch and English invasion. It was conquered on the only occasion it was attacked in 1690. The famous English General, the Duke of 
Marlborough won his first of 14 major battles by forcing the Irish garrison to surrender. The fort had been designed to defend from a sea borne invasion, but Marlborough attacked from the land side. 
We had a marvelous day here. We had a most able guide to show us the fort. He was steeped in military and Irish history, keeping us enthralled for the entire 45 minutes of the tour.
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