Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Céide Fields

So just when you think you're getting the hang of Gaelic, they give you Céide Fields. I'm cool with "fields" but the "Céide". Kady-Kidy-Katy-Kity-WRONG! "Kay-Ja" Fields-who knew.

This was absolutely the most impressive place to me. The one place I just couldn't wrap my mind around. Céide Fields is an area where the remains of ancient (work on that word in your "growing up in the US" brain) stone field walls, houses and tombs are preserved beneath a blanket of peat over several square miles.

Have you worked on "ancient"? I grew up in Southern California. Our chain of Missions up the California Coast are the oldest buildings/ruins I've ever seen. Maybe a few hundred years old. And you East Coasters can add a few hundred years onto that.

The Céide Fields are the oldest known field systems in the world, over five and a half millennia old. That's before Christ. It's beyond what my mind can fathom.

Bunratty Castle and Folk Park

A little Gaelic for you.

Caisleán Bhun Raithe, meaning Castle at the Mouth of the Ratty

We stopped at Bunratty Castle and Folk Park on our way North to County Mayo. The present castle dates back to 1425. There are four towers to climb up to, a banquet hall, many furnished rooms and even a dungeon. The Folk Park is a reproduction of a 19th Century Village. Very cool! There were different types of buildings, cottages, farm equipment and lots of animals.

Are you supposed to ride the cannon?

A little girl and a little door.

Do you see "first born" written all over this?

The countryside from one of the towers.

Flying the pride.

You can just make out the flag where we were on top of the tower.

One of the reproduction cottages.

Sweet pony. The girl is sweet most of the time.

There was a "Viking Faire" going on while we were there. This was the coolest display of birds. He must have had 30 or 40 birds of pray. Even a California Condor.

Barn Owl hiding in his box.