Lauren still has cousins living in Farran, a small village about 20km from Cork. A lot has changed since our last visit to see them. The town has more shops, new restaurants and many new homes have been built.
But you can feel the economic downturn which hit this country substantially. It is on everyone’s mind everywhere. We hear the value of land in their village has gone down over 5x from the peak a few years back.
And yet some things haven’t changed around here at their home. Taking care of their cows every day, brown bread every morning, tea every afternoon, music, dancing, and laughter around the kitchen table. And of course, the swearing. Oh man the swearing. “for fucks sake” has become as common as breathing :)
Today we are leaving Cork and heading to further west to Kenmare, which is a small town in the south of country Kerry.
In so many ways this was not the type of spot we are drawn to. The Blarney Castle couldn’t get more touristy. Between the tour buses and the swarms of tourists it’s easy to brush this one off.
But then you make your way to the top, climbing along a fun narrow, windy, stone staircase, with the wind howling through the various stone hallways and watch your kids faces light up they lean back to kiss the Blarney Stone at the top. At that moment you realize this 600 year old castle has more to offer than the tshirt in the gift shop.
On Monday we left Dublin and made it to Waterford. We stayed overnight at a small dairy farm in Waterford and woke up early to see the farm in action. Sophia was happily put to work.
After a big Irish breakfast we bumped along the back roads and took our time along a beautiful drive to Cork. I shot 4 or 5 rolls just along that drive alone.
The weather here is quite remarkable. Within 30 minutes you can find yourself in the middle of massive rain to be followed by clouds and then a bright sun. And then it happens all over again a few hours later.
We left wine country and drove about 3 hours north yesterday.
The north coast couldn’t be any more different than the Basque. While the former was dry and warm, the north is green with a cool evening breeze. The food is quite different as well. Both are wonderfully special in their own way.
I have taken about 4 rolls of film with my Hasselblad so far. It’s so nice to shoot mostly with film on vacation. Just find (or feel the exposure), compose your frame and make the photograph. No post processing, just a bunch of rolls waiting to be sent off to the lab. I am loving this Hasselblad more and more.
(In the meantime here are a few photographs taken with my digital Leica M)