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Fáilte go hÁrainn
Official Guide to the Aran Islands

A Day on Inis Meaín – From Dawn to Departure

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I awake before dawn to almost complete silence. I strain my ears and barely hear the muted lowing of a cow and the muffled lapping of waves. I am enveloped in peaceful solitude. I am on Inis Meáin. I sit by the window and wait for day’s first blush to appear and lose myself in dawn as it comes creeping up over the eastern horizon. As I watch the sky, a faint rustling below me precedes the sudden appearance of a wren and a pair of robins who propel themselves from the thicket to alight on the stone wall in a flurry of tik­-tik-­tiks and melodic trills. I am a recent visitor to this island, only coming for the first time a fortnight ago. I was so enchanted that I have returned to see more of, and to spend more time on, this least­ visited of the Aran Islands,  this place of unspoiled beauty, of limestone karst, and patchwork of green fields delineated and defined by dry stone walls.

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Aran ways and Aran Days

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I was struck very forcibly while watching the epic hurling match on Sunday at how, we Irish are different to the rest of the world.

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Aran Island Journey

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The Aran Islands, they sound exotic, perched off the coast of Ireland, next stop Newfoundland.

All I knew of them was the old black and white film, Man of Aran by Robert Flaherty.

A dramatic soundtrack accompanying grainy images of rock strewn land, high cliffs and storm lashed coasts. Emphasising how hard a life it was for the few inhabitants of this wild unforgiving landscape.

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End of Summer Season Fatigue on the Aran Islands is Real!!

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Firstly, for the last few busy weeks of this summer season the rhythm of my island life consisted of; work, eat, sleep – on a loop!!!

I found myself unable to access the real rhythm of this stunning island, even knowing it’s powerful impact on my life, views and feelings – it seemed a world away.

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“A lot of things catch the eye – fewer catch the heart”

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I wrote this heading last Wednesday and had a general idea about what I was trying to express based on my experiences traveling to many places all over the world and the memory of them will stay with me forever. My own experience of this beautiful island is that; it catches my heart and fills my soul in a deeply personal way. I have met people all over the world and in the most unusual places and circumstances. Their lives have been so positively influenced and their sense of place in the world forever enhanced by the island.

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“The truth is what you feel” – The Aran Islands

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When you come to this wonderful island, one of the challenges that is worth facing and overcoming is; to give yourself permission to feel your feelings, tune into your senses – to dispense your mainland head, which is all shorthand for leaving aside your business thoughts, relationship worries, materialism and so much more so you can just, live, breath and feel – the right things will happen.

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The Man of the Sea.

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While I was sitting having my breakfast today I heard on the radio that there were to be a number of ceremonies, masses etc for the Irish people who participated in all the wars around the world. Closer to home there is to be a mass at 12 noon on the pier in Kilronan for the fisherman of this Island.

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Gleann Na Ndeor – Inis Mór

I decided to embrace the rhythm of the island and sleep with the curtains open. The sunrise either crept in stealthily or else I was just nicely tired from the fresh air . But either way it was bright as I set off to cycle east in the early morning sunlight. Galway Bay was twinkling and shimmering as I cycled silently through the morning.

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