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Ireland Day 2 -

The title of today's entry could be: Aran Islands, weather does not cooperate but we still had fun!

We enjoyed a great breakfast and headed out for an hour drive through part of Connemara to get the ferry to Inishmore - the largest of the Aran Islands.  We knew the weather report was not in our favor so the boat ride out was not good for many riders.  Others commented that 'folks pay good money to go on a ride like that in Disneyland!"

We boarded shuttles that drove us across the island.  All our local drivers were knowledgeable and fun.  Only 800 people live on the island.  Most of them are employed in the tourist industry - 1500 visitors each day during the summer!

One of the stops along the way was 7 churches (actually only 2).  Some wondered out in the drizzle - only to have the skies open into a downpour once they were a hundred yards from the bus...dry off time!

We then went to the most important site on the island - a fort which was located 20 minutes up into the hills, along gravel and stones.  But the views were amazing - like being at the end of the earth!  Not to be outdone by history, the shops got our attention and many purchased sweaters, hats, scarves and socks (remember we were cold from the rains and winds!).  Beautiful hand crafted items were found - some even bought for loved ones back home.

Thanks to Tom and Rosemary for today's photo submission!!

Richard Finnegan again shared his knowledge with us - this time, his knowledge of women. :).  He actually reported on how the role and position of women in the country has evolved over time - including two female Presidents (both Mary).  We learned there were three women's movements in Ireland.  And how the Catholic Church and the Separatist vs Unionist movements both greatly impacted the women's movement in the country.  In 1972, a very important Report on the Status of Women and this was followed by the Equality Compact and subsequently by more laws which made Ireland one of the leading countries on women's equality issues.  His upcoming book has a great chapter on this topic (unpaid advertisement).

We returned to Galway and had free time and dinner on our own.  I'm to explore a bit on a Sunday evening. 


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