Liquid sunshine, Fungie the dolphin, and music to stir the soul

We’ve heard a lot about Ireland’s abundance of liquid sunshine but today was the first time we experienced its full glory. First we took a walking tour of the town in the rain, then we went on a boat trip to meet a dolphin in the rain, then we did some shopping in the rain. It was a true Ireland experience and while we spent most of the day soggy from head to foot, there were many great moments.

Tim the walking tour guide had tons of interesting stories of Dingle. My favorite was of St. Brendan from County Kerry, who lived in the 6th century. Over 300 years after his death, manuscripts began popping up all over Europe about a sea journey he supposedly took. It is a tale full of magic and wondrous happenings but some claim he made it as far as Newfoundland and therefore the Irish were actually the ones to discover America hundreds of years before anyone else.

What’s most interesting is that this journey was reproduced in the 1970s by a British explorer named Tim Severin. He used the same exact boat (the descriptions were very detailed in the manuscript) and made it to Newfoundland in a little over a year. He also identified many things that could be the basis for some of the legendary elements of St. Brendan’s story: “mountains that hurled rocks at voyagers” were volcanoes, “pillars of ice crystal” were glaciers, and many others. I loved this melding of myth and fact to find a new truth.

If that bores you though, here’s a lovely photo of Fungie the dolphin!

Fungie came into Dingle bay in the early 1980s and liked it so much he never left. Over 30 years later he continues to seek out the boats and people of the bay. We got a bit drenched in our expedition to find him, but in the end we were successful! 

Once we made it back to dry wet land, we went to Dara’s music shop to relax by a warm fire. Along the way someone got to playing some music and before we knew it, we were dancing! Dara’s first spin did not go so well and someone ended up on the floor. Luckily there were no injuries and a lot of laughter. ​

This afternoon we finally got a peek at some gorgeous stained glass that we had been hearing about. They were worth the 3 euros and the walk in the rain. Here’s the first of  six we saw:

We ended the day with a concert at the local church. We have heard a lot of music over the last few days, but this was the most incredible. There was incredible music made with a guitar, some sort of bass mandolin, Irish bag pipes, an Irish flute, and some beautiful vocals. It truly proved just what a traditional Irish music hub the Dingle peninsula is. Only a few thousand people live here but so many are so talented. We couldn’t record any snippets, but we will definitely carry it with us wherever we go (and on the CD Mom bought).

Tomorrow we head to Dublin!


About The 1st Draft

I am a 30-something English teacher living in the Midwest who loves books, television, soccer, a good conversation, Cardinals baseball, and playing with my adorable nieces and nephews.
This entry was posted in Ireland, Travel. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Liquid sunshine, Fungie the dolphin, and music to stir the soul

  1. unclelawwy says:

    The main reason Greg recommended the Amy Winehouse video is that the recording was made in that church because its acoustic qualities are superb. That’s why she chose to go there for an intimate performance. Your posts are a real joy, BTW.

    • He’s right – the acoustics were excellent! Glad you’re enjoying the posts, I haven’t felt like the writing has been that great but the content is excellent.

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