….because it’s so damn beautiful here. I spent a week on Inis Oirr, the smallest of the Aran Islands off the coast of Galway in the West of Ireland at the beginning of July. Let me tell you, without doubt, it is one of the most wonderful places on this earth. If you haven’t been – you must visit. If you have been – then you know exactly what I’m talking about. I was there with my two boys, Jack and Daniel (and before you ask, it wasn’t a deliberate decision to name them after my favourite bourbon…Cross my heart!! 😉 ) and we were sharing a house with a friend and her daughter.
So I go to Inis Oirr really because of my Spiritual Guru – my dearest friend Paula; who moved here from Dublin to marry an Islander Paidraic. What a change in life? Yes indeed but she loves it!! They have three beautiful children and she absolutely loves living on the Island. Paula is like my Earth Mama… she bakes beautiful cakes and breads, she cooks sensational food and she is a Reiki Practitioner. She also writes from her soul (Blog @donkeyshindlegs check her out or you’re seriously missing out). Don’t get me wrong – she gets frustrated and pissed off like any of the rest of us. And I know there are times when having three kids and a very Quiet Man must be exhausting and exasperating but she has found her Zen. She is the most wonderful, caring and patient Woman though (I know you’re going to read this Paula so just a reminder…you’re the whole package!!) and…she is my wonderful, sexy, beautiful BFITWWU!
The Island itself is a thing to behold…rugged beauty hewn from rock and etched in luscious greens and smoked silver greys. The island is around 3km x 3km with rolling hills (that sometimes feel like Croagh Patrick but they are so far from it, in truth!!) and really, it’s easily covered by foot or by bike (a word of caution if cycling however, the hills, though small are steep and can be a recipe for disaster for children on bikes even with helmets – I’ve witnessed numerous visits from the Air Ambulance helicopter!). Taking a stroll around to the lighthouse or out to the shipwreck of the Plassy (seen on the intro to the wonderful Father Ted) lets you see Inis Oirr in all it’s diversity come alive. The uniquely built walls hugging the narrow roads leading past Aras Eanna – the Arts Centre on the Island (another must see) takes you through the Island around small high walled fields with perhaps one or two cattle with calves within. And the sunsets… Sweet Mother of Divine!! They are to die for! The colours are exceptional and on a clear day, I really mean it, you can can see forever across the golden lit sea.
There are a number of places to eat on Inis Oirr too… all of them of great quality and ooohhh so tasty! My favourite has to be ‘Teach an Tae’ – a cafe run by the loveliest woman Alissa and her husband Michael. I cannot visit the Island without at least one visit (per day) to this delectable establishment. The lunches are delicious and the cakes are without comparison…OH MY SWEET HEAVEN!!! Everything I have tasted has been scrumptious though one of my front runners has to be the Carrot Cake…soft, sweet, spiced, luscious
and topped with dreamy, creamy frosting. I wonder do they do postal orders??? lol While there with Jack and Daniel, I had the Island Tart – a savoury tart of baby potatoes, herbs, eggs and feta or goats cheese – YUM! Jack had the Fish of the day – fresh caught Pollock and Daniel had Potato and Leek soup – everything freshly made on the premises. I had Lemon Poppy Seed cake with vanilla ice cream – Lush! The boys had brownies and I didn’t even get a chance to get a photo!! lol The Staff are soooooooo lovely too… I just can’t say enough nice things about this place… it’s a must if you’re on Inis Oirr. Rory’s is gorgeous too and the Hotel and Tigh Ned’s do lovely food… to be honest – I haven’t had a bad meal anywhere!
We visited Aran Seaweed Baths & Spa and were looked after by the wonderful Annette and it was so wonderful. She is the most attentive, lovely and, I might add, patient lady having to deal with three children in one go!! We all had a seaweed bath and it was to die for!! I would highly recommend it for de-stressing and your skin is left so soft… I want to go again! If you want some pampering then Annette is the answer!
Finally, there is the secret beach… which for obvious reasons I can’t tell you where it is… but let’s face it … the Island is 3km x 3km so you wouldn’t have a hard time finding it! lol It’s a place of zoning out and disconnection and it’s perfect. And Spike – Paula’s dog – well… he just loves it there… he’ll spend a whole day at the beach, eating rocks (no… he has no teeth left!), chasing waves and then he’ll flake on the couch for 24 hours!!! He’s got the right idea!!
Don’t wait… visit Inis Oirr… you won’t regret it!