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Beautiful Playing

More chamber music from the south west of Ireland,
enjoyed by KELLY FERJUTZ


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Day seven -- Thursday 5 July 2007

Bantry is a truly charming and picturesque town, at least what I've seen of it, to date. I've walked through the main portion of the business district several times, but hesitate to wander too far afield, for fear of getting myself hopelessly lost. I've located the necessary merchants -- grocery, sundries, bank, etc and there is a cinema within 100 yards or so of the hotel. The gateway to Bantry House is perhaps half that from the front door of the Maritime Hotel, where I'm staying.

The bay is not much more than 150 feet from the front door of the hotel, just across the narrow street. I find it endlessly fascinating to watch the constantly moving water. I've spent a fair amount of time around the inland lakes of Michigan and Ohio during my life, but this is the first time I've been so close to tidal waters.

There are swans that live in the bay, along with seagulls and other waterbirds, but swans are also somewhat of a novelty to me, and one morning earlier this week, they weren't out there. When I came back to my room after the Coffee Concert at Bantry House, I went to the window to see if perchance they'd returned. Imagine my astonishment to discover that not only had they not returned, but the water had also disappeared in the meantime!

The tide was completely out at that point, leaving the sailboat that lives out there in the middle of the bay 'high and dry' as the saying goes. It looked rather silly, perched there, but three hours later, it was once again floating, as it is supposed to. The swans were also there, busily gobbling up dinner from the now-full bay. I think the tide must be on a 13-14 hour cycle.

From my window I can also see the Bantry Parish Hall, site of the 'Town Concerts' held daily at 2:15 as a part of the Festival. By moving just slightly, St Brendan's Church becomes visible, as well. It was the site of Wednesday night's Main and Late Night Concerts. St Brendan the Navigator is the patron saint of Bantry.

The 100 Steps at Bantry House. Photo © 2007 Kelly Ferjutz
The 100 Steps at Bantry House. Photo © 2007 Kelly Ferjutz

Anyway, Thursday morning it was raining. A soft rain, to be sure, but still, that means I couldn't climb the 100 Steps at Bantry House, as the ancient stones are moss-covered, and very slippery when dampish. Not to mention that the purpose of the climb is to take photos of the east front of Bantry House and the bay beyond from this spectacular vantage point. Usually, rain doesn't hold me back from anything (I'm in no danger of melting, after all) but I made an executive decision to stay right here in my room until time to go up for the Tea Concert at 4:30.

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Copyright © 7 July 2007 Kelly Ferjutz, Bantry, Ireland


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