Saturday, May 26
by Lukas Olynyk, senior bass
Today, we drove through a cliché. Not a Guinness, leprechaun, and shamrock sort of cliché, but one of true Irish beauty. Any stereotype you’ve ever had about Irish mountains or the Irish waters are completely true; greens and blues like you’ve never seen before surrounded us, kind of a take-your-breath-away-and-knock-your-socks-off-at-the-same-time sort of beauty.
We first headed through the peat bogs toward the Ring of Kerry – which is, in fact, a peninsula. The bogs were intriguing since the “solid” ground is actually 90% water. There are, not sure what to call them, “peat farmers” who basically cut chunks of the bog out, stack them, let them dry over the summer, and when they’re nearly dried, use the peat as a fuel source. I’ve never heard of anything like that before, but it just goes to show how resourceful and adaptive we can actually be.
We made a few stops while in the Ring of Kerry so that we could actually take some time to appreciate the insane beauty we were witnessing. One stop was in the town of Killorglin, where we spent some time on the shores of Dingle Bay – getting our feet wet, skipping stones, seaweed fights – what you would usually expect college kids to do.
After Dingle Bay and prancing around on the Dingle shores, we drove a little further to a location with a view unlike any I’ve seen before. We were basically at the top of a mountain overlooking the ocean and three islands nicknamed the Bull, Cow, and the Calf (I’m assuming related to size) and we could see for miles. The reason this is important to mention is because this is Ireland! It’s supposed to be rainy, foggy, misty, cloudy, and sad. Instead, we get warm, clear skies allowing us to truly see forever (as long as you have decent eyes).
After driving through more of what is comparable to JRR Tolkien’s Middle Earth, we ended up in Sneem (gesundheit) where we had a quick lunch at some random local pubs. Although everything, including food, is painfully expensive, you can always find the perfect, quaint pub or shop if you’re willing to get a little lost. We headed back to Killarney after lunch, again stopping to appreciate the view every once in a while, and after a few hours of free time – filled with eating, shopping, or exploring – we started rehearsal.
We put on a great concert in Killarney, for an audience that kept growing during the entire concert, until the church was full, and gave ABC a little Wexford crystal Celtic cross in appreciation of everything she has done for us the past year/our collective college careers. It’s weird being a graduate on this tour, especially since that was our second to last concert – just one more to go. I’m not pursuing music and although music will always be a passion of mine, I don’t find myself joining a choir again, at least not for a long time. That fact makes this so much harder but so much more special. This is by far the best choir I’ve been in with some of the greatest people in one of the most beautiful countries in the world – I’d say this is one heck-of-a-way to graduate from college.
Here are TWO links to Saturday, May 26th photos: