Coming to a Head
GAELIC GETAWAY, CHAPTER 12: IN WHICH WE ARE BLOWN AWAY BY THE IRISH COAST
Day 13: Bantry to Mizen Head and back. With no rain this morning, we left the hotel around 10 and drove 27 miles southwest on R591 on a day trip to the Mizen Head Signal Station. (Mizen rhymes with prison.) Ireland's most southwesterly point, Mizen Head sits on a spectacular stretch of rocky coastline with 400-ft sheer cliffs above the swirling Atlantic Ocean. From the visitor center, we pushed back at the gusty wind to traverse the cliffside walkway from the visitor center to Mizen Bridge, an arched pedestrian walkway spanning the deep chasm that separates the promontory from the rest of the peninsula. Only a narrow ridge of rock saves the headland from island status.
|Built in 2010, Mizen Bridge replaced a 1909 span of the same design.|
|Mizen Head Signal Station|
|Finding just the right hiding place|
|Road bowlers apply another meaning to lanes|
Back in the bustling town of Bantry (pop. 3,309), we were struck by the difference between small towns in Ireland (and other parts of Europe) and those in the United States. As so many have lamented, our dominating big box stores like Wal-Mart have choked the life out of the commercial centers of small town America. Here, those small businesses are still thriving.
|Downtown Bantry today|
Tomorrow we'll continue around the Irish coast, driving through Killarney National Park on our way to Kenmare for our next overnight.
- Started in Bantry, ended in Bantry
- Mileage - 56 (Trip total: 5,550)
- Weather - 51° to 54°, cloudy to partly cloudy, windy
- Sunrise - 8:36, Sunset - 4:27
- Letterboxes - 1 planted
SUNDAY, 13 DECEMBER, 2015
More Photos from Today
|The rocky isthmus that keeps the headland connected|
|The bridge from the headland side|
|Barleycove Beach near Mizen Head|
|In the village of Goleen, small Christmas trees were mounted above doors of storefronts.|