I remember exactly when I first heard the word “Shannon” - it was the 80s, and “Aeroflot” began to make regular flights to Ireland and other countries, landing at Shannon airport. Going on a business trip to Ennis, I was not ready for a “meeting” with the famous airport, and the more interesting it was for me to see as much as possible, surveying it fromt he bus window ...But the name to the Airport was given with the name of the largest river of Emerald Island..
Shannon is Everywhere
The Airport "Shannon"
Airport "Shannon" is called the most western point of Ireland, connecting the world of the old and the new - America and Europe. Every time I am in the west of Ireland and standing on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, the thought comes to my mind that it is 5,000 km away from America and it will take you 5,000 km and the flight will take 5 hours over the ocean, while you need to take a bus from Dublin 4 and a half ...
When the Irish government in the 30s faced the question of the need for a new airport, 2,000 acres of land in the lower reaches of the Shannon River all considered an ideal place for its construction. On a flat plain, where hunters shot wild ducks and geese, a huge, modern airport grew up to meet the increasing demands of life and politics of Ireland, and which was able to receive an increased number of tourists from other continents, Shannon became the “trans-Atlantic gate” of Ireland. According to approximate estimates, about 3,000,000 people all over the world use its services annually. In 1951, the first duty-free shop in the world was opened on its territory, which became an infectious example for the rest, and now at any airport before boarding we can buy duty-free goods and please our loved ones with gifts and souvenirs.
In July 1980, the Soviet Aeroflot made its first flight to this airport, and airplanes from Moscow, Kiev, St. Petersburg, and Minsk made a landing at Shannon, in order to continue their flight to the cities of North. and South America.
Located 15 miles from Limerick and Ennis, the airport now employs thousands of Irish and immigrants living in Clare - almost 2,000 people are engaged in servicing aircraft and preparing flights.
I would like to hope that the new Ambassador of Russia to Ireland Timoshkin EM will do everything possible to restore the once lost ties between Russian airlines and the Shannon airport, which, in the end, will have a positive impact on the economies of our countries.
A Legend about the river Shannon
According to an old Irish legend, once the rowan-tree trees dropped their bright red berries into a sparkling spring full of salmon. Fish eagerly swallowed these berries and were covered with red dots after that, and salmon became the wisest of all the other fish. Men would have to work hard before they could catch this sly fish, and women would become barren from eating salmon. And yet, the brave Sionan once caught and ate one of the “wise” fish, and at the same time a huge stream of water from the spring brought the salmon up and headed west - to the ocean.
That is how the longest river in Ireland got its name. But the story does not end there. As the scientists say, shrouded in mysticism and legends, the river continues to play an important role in the life of people and the history of the region, and the beautiful silver fish, from the communion to eat which the simpleton named Sionan could not resist, continues to swim and spawn in its deep waters ...
Born in foggy moorlands co. Cavan, the Shannon River, meanders in the mountains, then slowly rolls its waters across the plains 240 miles to the Atlantic Ocean, almost dividing Ireland into two parts, and along its banks are historic cities, monasteries and castles, and it feeds the meadows and fields, and feeds birds and small animals, but its main wealth is a noble fish - salmon and trout.
Weekend with a fishing rod on the river
I do not consider myself to be an expert in fishing, and fishing, as a form of recreation or sport, is not for me - I prefer something more active - I think – to climb the Irish mountains or beat the ball on a golf course - just for me; wait until some stupid fish deigns to swallow the bait - I do not have enough patienceJ)) But when I learned that my friend - Irish - an avid fisherman, I asked to go with him - I was interested to see how in Ireland they catch fish - and compare with my previous experience. (My father was one of the luckiest fishermen, the family album still contains a photo where he holds a huge taimen in the outstretched hand and next to it there is a Mongolian boy for comparison.)
“In our country there is something special and the best for fishing,” it was said with pride to me. “Our lakes and rivers have always been famous for crystal clear water, in which only such fastidious fish as trout and salmon can be found, and Ireland has all the conditions for great fishing.” In Ireland I have already seen many lakes, and in some of them bathing is prohibited - as the state protects the reserved “fish” storage facilities - so that nothing prevents the “golden” fish, which bring considerable income to the state budget, dwell in clean waters and spawn. The law also protects the time of spawning - fishing for salmon and trout in Ireland is prohibited from late March to late October.
Fishermen who come to this country to try their luck and catch trout or salmon, bring about 50 million euros annually to the Irish economy. And the conditions created on the island for good fishing are indeed not cheap - on average, the daily costs for a fisherman tourist are 423 euros per day. For comparison, I will give you an example: one day of playing golf on the course of an elite golf club will cost you 250 euros.
My Irish friend perfectly knows all the places for trout fishing, and keeps them secret even from his friends, like our mushroom pickers, for example, will not tell anyone exactly where they are going today. (There is something childish about this - “ I will not tell my secret, ”and all the“ hunters ”I think are the same in this.)
. We caught trout in a deserted and wild place somewhere near Connemara, this land is famous for its beauty among the Irish themselves, and I realized that fishing is really beautiful in Ireland. Where else can you take a break from civilization and city noise and catch the most delicious fish besides? Rybin in the basket after a couple of hours was 4, and my friend was quite satisfied with this amount, saying that it is impossible to disturb the balance in nature. I agreed with that. After driving a little away from the river, he turned to his friend, who was holding a smokehouse right by the road, and half an hour later we ate fish and drank Guinnes ... Well, what else can you compare to freshly smoked trout? My eloquence is not enough ... I asked the owner of the smokehouse - how profitable is this business? Donal Byrne said that his family of five children is enough for a prosperous life, and the eldest son is going to add a new smokehouse, because he got all this from his parents, Donal willingly told me. In addition to smoking trout, here you can also rent fishing rods and see what comes out of your venture. After all, a good tackle is very expensive - my friend's fishing poles cost 600 euros each. Donal asked if I caught at least one trout and was surprised to learn that I did not try, adding that women who are fond of fishing in his native land are not uncommon. I had to promise that the next time I would certainly use his fishing poles and try to catch at least someone from Shannon ... Of course, everyone laughed at me, saying that catching trout is not difficult. Especially in the river Shannon.
For centuries, the habits of salmon were surrounded by mystery and incomprehensible to people - young fish appear in Shannon every spring, and apparently disappear after spawning, floating away into the Atlantic Ocean. Biologists say that salmon is born in clean - river-water, but spends part of life in the ocean. The cycle of life begins each autumn, when the water level in the river becomes at least 10 feet, and the adults swim to the Shannon from the Atlantic to spawn and lay eggs. Next spring, a new generation of salmon is born and remains for some time to dwell in the river until young fish grow and swim into the ocean .. When a year later they become strong enough to swim thousands of miles in the ocean, they find their way to their birthplace in the river Shannon, and the life cycle is repeated again. A curious detail is that Atlantic salmon has the ability to survive after the washing process of egg laying, while the Pacific species, unfortunately, dies after spawning.
368 km of Irish hospitality
The Shannon River is a great opportunity to feel like the heroes of the famous book by Jerome K. Jerome “Three in a boat, not counting dogs” and see the beauty of all of Ireland at once. Spend a few days on the water and only on the water, with close friends or loved ones - what else could be more beautiful? If you do not have your own boat or raft, then “floating means” can be hired and descend along the river right up to the Atlantic, and breathe incomparable Irish air until the next holiday. Or travel along the river by car or bike, which is also not bad, and stop for the night in charming, old-fashioned B & Bs, while away the evenings in cozy pubs and enjoying folk music and dancing until dawn - in the villages pubs close much later. And I'm sure the locals will tell you more than one mysterious story about the longest river in Ireland.