Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Connemara: Lough Corrib, Leenane and Killary fjord

As I promised here is and other post about our tour in west of Ireland. Lough Corrib is the second largest lough in the island of Ireland and lies mostly in County Galway .The first canal Friar's Cut on the island was cut in the 12th century it allowed boats to pass from Lough Corrib to the sea at Galway. Outside the scenery and wildlife it is a place where William Wilde, father of Oscar Wilde built a summerhouse Moytura House.
Killary Harbour is a fjord located in the heart of Connemara which forms a natural border between counties Galway and Mayo. It is one of three glacial fjords that exist in Ireland. On its northern shore lies the mountain of Mweelrea. To the south rise the Maumturk Mountains and the Twelve Bens. The Twelve Bens or Twelve Pins is a mountain range. Dedicated hill climbers can hike all twelve in a single day. The twelve Bens are a group of small mountains that are the dominant feature of the Connemara countryside.
There are two settlements nearby on the southern side the hamlet of Rossroe while Leenaun lies inland to the east. Close to Rosroe there is an old building which now houses a hostel. Nearby lies the so-called Green Road, a rough road running along the side of the fjord back east towards Leenane at the head of the fjord.The landscape is really deserted as this is the area which was mostly hit by the famine. Some of the famine evicted ruins of cottages are there to set a reminder of the hard times of the potato famine.
The Great Famine in Ireland began as a natural catastrophe , but its effects were worsened by the actions and inactions of the Whig government, and lasted from 1846 to 1852.Altogether, about a million people in Ireland are reliably estimated to have died of starvation and some two million left the country in about 10 years. It killed nearly one-eighth of the entire population, was one of the most destructive of famines in modern times.
Now people live mostly off truism in this area. There are salmon farms based by the fjord and mussel rafts are a common sight too.They also harvest turf which is a kind of composted grass that can be used for hearing.
If you will be able to stop and make a short stroll on the fields be careful. it is like waling on giant wet cotton buds. Extremely slippery and wet wet wet.
This is also a place home to several fairy trees. According to a very old Irish folk superstition a fairy tree is traditionally a tree that stands alone in the middle of a cleared area, or a natural clearing. It is believed to be a pathway to the Underworld of the fairies. Those who cause harm to a fairly tree are said to be cursed, and have terrible bad luck for 7 generations. If you even touch a fairy tree you run the risk of calling attention to yourself, and that is not always a good idea when dealing with fairies. The worse you can do is to cut down a fairy tree as said it was done by the ancestors of the Kennedys. Although it is said to be only a superstition there have been documented cases of strange and somewhat frightening things happening to those who violated a Fairy Tree.

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