|Photo by Patty Green McArdle - Dingle Harbor|
The photo above shows boats tied up at the Dingle Harbor. The photo placed 4th in popular vote in the Ireland Photos by You! contest. 59 photographs were entered and over 300 people voted by LIKING their favorite photos on Thin Places Mystical Tour of Ireland Facebook page.
Patty McArdle (the photographer) is a nurse who lives in Frederick, Maryland. She had this commentary to offer with her photo submission:
The picture was taken at Dingle Harbor on the Dingle Peninsula. While most thin places seem to be on land (or, at least, that is what I've always thought) this place seemed to call to me. Notice that these boats are not pleasure boats, but rather working boats. I felt not only the beauty of the boats but felt the presence of those hard-working Irishmen, past and present, who spent their lives on the water providing for their families and community. I believe that those who lived off of that water who have gone before us remain close in that harbor.
My husband and I were on 2 week adventure in Ireland, taking in the sights all up and down the west coast and more. This was a trip that we had planned for months and months and enjoyed every second of it! We can't wait to go back!
The Dingle Peninsula is in the southwest of Ireland and far removed from large centers of population. Dingle town is toward the western end on the south side of the peninsula . A snug harbor here entering from Dingle Bay is where many of the fishing and tour boats come it. This was also where pilgrims left in Medieval times to travel to Santiago de Compostela - the pilgrim trail of St. James in Spain.
Dingle has always been a holy place.
Photos of Dingle from the Travel Hag Flickr Site
The North Side of Dingle
On the north side of the peninsula are villages around Tralee Bay and Brandon Bay, and of course Mount Brandon - the holy mountain where St. Brendan is said to have had his vision which inspired him to set out with a fleet of curragh's to find the "promised land." In the end, Brendan came home to Ireland and founded several monastic communities. Mount Brandon is the second highest peak in Ireland and dominates the northern landscape which is dappled with villages, monastic ruins and megalithic monuments.... and some of the most beautiful strands (beaches) in all of Ireland.
I had a one of my most remarkable thin place experiences there in the shadow of Mount Brandon
The West and Southern Shore of Dingle
On the west end and the southern shore, the Dingle peninsula has tremendously scenic drives such as the Slea Head loop and Connor Pass (which connects the north and south shores). Bee hive huts, monastic settlement ruins, oratories, forts, cross slabs, standing stones, ogham stones and famine cottages can all be seen and visited along these roads.
The streets of Dingle town are friendly and chocked full of shops, pubs, galleries and lodging houses. The convent beside St. Mary's Catholic Church on Green Street has one of the most remarkable collections of Harry Clark stained glass windows in the world.
Art Thrives in Dingle
Art simply thrives in Dingle. Artists, crafters and galleries are prolific. Dingle is also one of the most vibrant centers for traditional Irish music. I interviewed painter, Carol Cronin in her gallery on Green Street and asked her if thin places mattered to artists. A video of the Carol Cronin interview is on the Travel Hag YouTube channel. In about 5 minutes, Carol explains how living on the Great Blasket Island transformed her as an artist.
Other posts on Dingle
The Man in the Sand - Dingle in the Shadow of Mount Brandon
Carol Cronin - Dingle Artist on Thin Places Impacting Creativity
Harry Clarke's Stained Glass in Dingle