I seriously believe I’m experiencing a little bit of Heaven. For the past three days I’ve been on Inishmore Island, one of three islands off the southwestern coast of Ireland and Galway, Co. Clare. Like the mainland it’s lush, green, with beautiful flower boxes and small gardens. The rest of the land is primarily pasture land with horses, cattle, goats, and a few lambs (because they like to jump over fences but injure themselves in the process.) These groups of animals are neatly surrounded by stone walls built by the farmers, one stone at a time, in a special pattern to make them withstand the winds, protect the animals, and easily be reconfigured by the farmers when moving their animals from one pasture to another. Most of these fences have been there for hundreds of years. Since it’s an island, there are lovely beaches with almost white sand, an occasional smooth grey stone perfect for children’s hands as well as seashells similar to what i’ve collected on beaches in the U.S. and along the Mediterranean Sea. Next are the ancient sites of churches, burial grounds from the first century A.D. to now. We’ve visited two already and hope to see many more. To tie the setting all together are the rolling hills, the Gaelic schools for the children and a very small town area with one small market, a few stores, a restaurant and a pub. (I especially enjoyed conversing in French with the hostess at BayView Restaurant and listening to the live music at Joe Watty’s Pub whose fish and chips is excellent!  The picture above is The Mulvery House, a restored 18th century home with beautifully  furnished rooms and a wonderful staff. Now that you have a visual picture of Inishmore, I will talk about the ancient Christian sites on the island in the next blog,