Saturday, December 3, 2016

20. Galway - Dún Aonghasa

·         Paranoid that someone will sneak up behind you?
·         Interested in a panoramic ocean view?
·         Not worried about getting connected to the water supply this millennium?
If the answer to all these questions is a resounding yes, then Dún Aonghasa (or Dun Aengus, as it is known in English) is the place for you.
Constructed 1,000 years before three wise men with at least two crap presents went looking for a stable in Bethlehem, the prehistoric fort that is Dún Aonghasa stands proudly facing the Atlantic at the edge of Inishmore, the largest of the Aran Islands.
With a 100-metre sheer cliff-drop down to the ocean for a back garden, not only does Dún Aonghasa provide never-ending photographic opportunities for brave tourists, the fort is effectively impregnable from behind, meaning you could leave the back door on the latch if you decided to tip off to the shops and have no fear of a burglary. And while it is not the type of place you’d allow Seanín out to play frisbee, growing up in or around the fort with its vast views over the Atlantic, taking in the Burren and County Clare to your left and the immense Atlantic Ocean to your right, must have put a different spin entirely on the term ‘home schooling’.
Today, one of the nicest ways to visit what one 19th artist called "the most magnificent barbaric monument in Europe" is to rent a bike and cycle the 7 kilometres from the island’s main town of Kilronan to its interpretive centre from where you can walk the last few hundred metres. Once done, with or without the almost obligatory photo of you peering out over the edge, the prevailing wind and gravity should help carry you back down to the harbour town and straight into one of the several warm and welcoming village bars for a quick pint before you catch the ferry home.

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