This is a picture looking back at Baltimore as we rode off to Cape Clear Island (that story in the next--and last!--installment!). Baltimore was actually the town closest to Inish Beg, but it's smaller that Skibbereen, the next closest. Although the name Baltimore is an anglicization of Irish words Baile an Tí Mhóir, meaning "Town of the Big House," the Irish-language name for Baltimore is that of the O'Driscoll castle, Dún na Séad ("Fort of the Jewels").
The weekend we arrived they were having a heritage festival commemorating (among other things) the time Baltimore was sacked in 1631 by Algerian pirates. The pirates basically took away everyone in the whole town as prisoners back to Algeria--the only time such a thing happened in Ireland! Our host, Paul, had to run off Saturday night to be the narrator for "Captive,” a short play by a local writer about the sacking of Baltimore. It was performed at the Dún na Seád Castle, which has been restored and is owned by friends of Paul's. He really encouraged us to attend some of the Sunday festivities and see the castle since it was normally not open to the public, but we went off to Cork and church instead. Maybe next time!