Inis Oirr is the smallest of the Aran Islands. This little island with a population of no more than 300 people lies off the west coast of Ireland in the Atlantic Ocean. It is officially my favorite place I have ever been. Someday soon, I would like to see the population rise by at least one when I move there.
I am usually not a person who enjoys being on a boat or on any body of water that is not chlorinated and in which I can not clearly see the bottom. I took sea-sickness medication as a precaution because I had been warned the seas could be rough on the way over. Little did I know just how much I would enjoy the entire journey, boat trip included. The last stop before the boat was a little place called Doolin. Quaint and beautiful it is the quintessential Irish coastal town. Just a short boat trip away lies the first and smallest island of Inis Oirr. I fell in love with the place the second I stepped on its pier. The wind was biting and the rain mixed with a salty sea spray to make the crossing a bitterly cold and bumpy but highly refreshing one. The water was beautiful hues of blue ranging from turquoise to navy depending on where the rocks sat. I had sea salt dried on my cheeks by the time we went to a local pub for lunch. Our B&B was beautiful and the people were even friendlier than I thought imaginable. Lunch was at a local pub, two minutes walk from the B&B as well as the stormy Atlantic shore. I had a hearty vegetable soup and soda bread that warmed me up right away and filled my growling belly quite nicely. After the moment of realizing my soup bowl was empty, I had no other choice but the head back to the B&B for a little nap. Note to the wise: those 1 in 10 people that become extremely drowsy from sea-sick medication can be anyone. I just so happened to be one and for the life of me could not keep my eyeballs opened.
Following the nap, I went out with two of the other girls and explored as far as we dared through the chilling weather. Thankfully it had stopped raining but it was still windy and cold. We stopped at a small shop to pick up various Aran wool wares to keep warm. I got a simple fisherman’s hat but it is awesome and will forever bring back good memories. while wandering, we spent some time down along the shore. Standing on the rocks leading down into the ocean below I felt so at peace. It was a moment that I wish could have lasted forever. Life seemed to slow down just a bit and I was able to savor the feeling. Suddenly the wind did not feel so biting but instead became spirit lifting. Closing my eyes, I took in a strong breath through my nose and just felt everything around me. I know it may sound stupid but I really did feel different in that moment. I can not completely describe standing there because there simply are no words.
After wandering for a bit, our bellies began calling to us yet again. So we headed back to the pub for more yummy food. We spent several hours there and met lots of interesting, some rather drunk, people. We left early the next morning after a traditional Irish breakfast in our lovely little B&B.
Inis Oirr holds a special place in my heart and I was incredibly sad to leave it. I was only there for a little while but every ounce of my body desires to go back and have sea salt dried on my cheeks, the cold Atlantic air blowing through me, and to feel so at peace once again. I look forward to the day I can journey back and even possibly call it home.