Following our Irish step dancing welcome to Erris, we spent the rest of our stay exploring and learning about the natural splendor (and taking selfie with our professor!).
Erris is found in County Mayo, and proudly bears the title of "best place to go wild in Ireland." I think you'll see why while scrolling through this post!
^this is one kind of wild, but I'm pretty sure The Irish Time competition board didn't take Kevin into account when bestowing the title...^
whether standing on top of the rolling hills or rolling down said hills, the landscape feels like it goes on forever!
This particular field was bracketed by two bodies of water.
We ran all over the beach- it's funny how much energy you can build up with naps in the car coupled with a sea breeze! The water on the sand gave it this really cool mirroring effect that I hope come through in the photos!
Due to its reputation, Erris attracts a lot of surfers and other outdoorsy folk. The lake on the other side of our frolicking was filled with adventurous spirits kite surfing! We stood there, mouths gaping, for a good 10-15 minutes just watching them literally fly around...
...before getting distracted by the cute animals.
It wouldn't be Ireland without some distractingly adorable fuzzballs! Sheep and cows and other such animals are quite seriously everywhere in the Irish landscape- even driving to the airport, you see fields full of them!
Know what else the landscape s full of? Super interesting folklore!
This structure is mostly fallen apart. The building (an old church, I'm 99% sure) has been reduced to the foundation and pieces of the walls, including the one surrounding this narrow window. The story surrounding the opening is that if you squeeze through it three times, you won't drown. This story is especially interesting given the fact that hardly anyone ever learned to swim- the idea being that if you were overboard, knowing how to swim would only delay the inevitable drowning. Morbid, but what generations of sailors and fishermen believed. Makes sense that there would be folkloric beliefs to protect you when your own body could not, huh?
Just call me Mulan because I don't know when my reflection will show who I am insiiiiiiide
... Disney takes over my brain sometimes, terribly sorry.
Our group stopped at a couple of holy wells over the course of our weekend journey. Each one focuses on something different and is attributed to a different saint (and before that, Celtic god/goddess. I took an Irish history/folklore class while abroad and learned a lot about re-appropriation/Christianization as it mixes with belief in witches and banshees and cool stuff like that. It is fascinating stuff, but side note over). I don't really remember what this one is supposed to do or who it's belonging to- maybe something to do with sight? possibly St. Brigid?
#blessed and protected from drowning? Two thumbs up!
I took a whole lot of pictures while in Erris, so there's actually another post to come after this one!