Do you enjoy an adventure? Are you fascinated by people, places, and history? When you travel, do you find yourself exploring every nook and cranny of a place, talking to locals and learning about the culture? When you read books, do find yourself gravitating towards non-fiction on times and eras and events that took place in the past? Or if you read fiction, do you tend to get embroiled in historical novels that bring the past to life?
If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, you may find my new blog series resonates with you. Every Wednesday, I will post a piece that explores sites around the world that have captivated my interest because of their unique culture or history. Sometimes I’ll address a place or people in one of my novels. Other times, I’ll talk about a place, monument, or site on one of my travels that struck me as unique or different. And if you’ve visited a place you think others might want to learn about, I invite you to write a 350 – 500-word piece as a guest blogger.
Today is the 7th of October, so it’s fitting to start with two places that are near and dear to my heart because both are dear to the heart of Anna Katherine O’Sullivan in my new Singing Silver Mine Trilogy. Anna emigrated from Dingle, Ireland in the fall of 1872 to live in the Colorado Rockies and arrived in Georgetown on October 7th. She left the love of her life and the only land she’d ever known because the Irish system of landholding made it impossible for a woman born of poverty to marry well without a dowry, and her aunt in Colorado promised her vast opportunities for life and love waited for her there. But what had she left behind?
The Dingle Peninsula–that remote mountainous finger of western Ireland, jutting into the Atlantic Ocean–is most often associated with the Great Hunger of 1845 – 1851 when the potato blight tragically killed more than a million people in all Ireland by starvation, County Kerry being one of the hardest hit.
Long before the nineteenth century, however, various tribes lived on the Dingle Peninsula for more than 6000 years, passing along their myths and folklore in the ancient Irish language. The peninsula boasts a rich and complex archaeological history with more than 2,000 monuments preserved through the millennia. A several-hour tour along the circular route of Slea Head Drive, beginning and ending in Dingle, provides a most spectacular scenic journey through wild landscape, remote Irish-speaking villages, and historic cultural and archaeological sites.
The Dingle Peninsula provides you with a sense of awe and inspires the imagination. You can easily understand how hard it would have been for Anna to leave her beloved land.
Next week, I’ll explore the grand and glorious majesty of the Colorado Rockies, the immigrants who came to tame them, and the people who populated it long before the white man.
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