11 Jul

Ireland: The Highlights (final part)

Skibbereen (spellcheck that!) was our base while we spent a day on the Mizen Head Peninsula, the southwestern-most point in Ireland. Our B&B hostess told us Mizen Head itself (the tip of the peninsula) was the most beautiful place in Ireland. So we had high expectations.

It didn’t quite meet them. At the tip of Mizen Head is a signal station. What does that mean, you might ask. Good question. Long story short, there used to be a manned lighthouse, but now there’s an automated signal, not even a lighthouse really, just a glowing orb encased in a steel cage, from what I could tell. Though perhaps “orb” is the wrong word there (it evokes images of fantasy creatures that pulse with light when they speak. Or is that just me?).

When you arrive at the signal station, there’s a nice reception building – I’ll call it – with a café and a small store, where you can buy a number of knickknacks and tchotchkes. To progress further, toward the more museum-y part of the reception building and then onward toward the actual signal station will cost you six euro. We decided to go for it.

There’s a path that takes you down to a heavy-duty bridge, which crosses a ravine and delivers you to a series of small buildings, which are now a museum. Yes, another museum.

This second museum was cute in a wow-isn’t-it-amazing-what-schoolkids-can-accomplish-these-days sort of way. You walk through a beaded doorway into a hallway covered in some fake-rock rubber stuff. The first room is also covered in the fake-rock rubber stuff, and has a television playing a loop of a narration-less underwater scene. The second room had a creepy clay head resting on a pillow in a bed with a fake body under the covers ala Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. There were various documents in glass cases, also. No idea what they said, though.

The third room had a stove and a mannequin sitting at a table eating a fake Irish breakfast. He seemed to be enjoying it. He also had a nice sweater. Off this third room, was another small room with some windows overlooking the cliffs. In this room were two fire extinguishers, a TV, and a VCR — both of which were unplugged – several posters of whales, and a glass case displaying toy whales and sharks.

A separate, smaller building housed even less worth talking about. I really only remember the DVD player in a glass display case.

This is not to say that the whole thing wasn’t worth the six euro, though. After the museums, you get to go out to the tip of the point and actually touch the glowing orb. I was standing right next to it when I took the video of Eileen getting blown around by the wind. It was crazy. Have you ever stuck your head out the window when you were on the highway? No? Well, this wind was like that. A steady 50-60 mph, I’m sure.
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