I’d always wondered what it would be like to feed the fishes –heaving over the railing is highly over rated in the movies but the feel of the seawater on your face makes up for it. Yes, of course I took something and I had sea bands on. It was worth the trip and my day was far from ruined. It’s true that I didn’t experience Michael Skellig Island off the Southern coast of Ireland the way I had planned but It was worth it just the same. The risk was well worth the outcome.
As soon as we ascended up to a viewing area we peered over the edge to see the birds and there it was what I came to see–puffins. With tiny black bodies and colorful beaks the puffins come to Michael Skellig island in the Spring to mate and rear chicks and then they are gone. We were there at precisely the right time. Elusive, puffins nest in the jagged rocks and are rarely seen poking about or flying. We were on Michael Skellig to see more than birds. Ancient ruins of an old monastery and the many stone structures the monks built including paths up the steep mountain and around the island were still in place (after some restoration). I imagine Viking marauders and Cromwell’s destroyers didn’t help much but the stone remains are difficult to completely wipe away. I was too dizzy to climb so my view was from the stone wall around the path at the edge of the island. Walking where others walked over 1700 years ago! I don’t know what they ate, few grass or plants grew on the island and the steep cliffs would have been difficult to get down to harvest the sea’s bounty. Yet, live they did. As we left the island the captain steered us around the entire island so we could see the majesty of all sides and then around little Skellig where thousands of birds left the dark peaks looking snowbound. It was spectacular. We won’t discuss the seasickness on they way back to port. Fortunately I was pretty empty.
Driving to the various sites of Kerry, Dingle, and Bantry provided breathtaking views of sea, mountain, rocked walls, forests, very tiny roads, and lots of sheep, cows, and horses. Fields would stretch to the ocean and green upon green under and over flowed everywhere. It reminded me a bit of the Rockies but greener and plopped in the middle of the Atlantic. The wind blew the sea salt in destroying gravestones in the cemetaries we explored erasing names and dates from even the 20th century.
1. Brigid the wise at Friars Glen B&B, who knew the best of everywhere.
2. John and Mary of Friars Glen, providing us with spectacular views and a truly spacious and comfortable room (by American Standards).
3. The evening it rained and we opened the window, watching and listening, falling in love all over again.
4. Shopping in Kenmare, Dingle, and Ennis.
5. Castle ruins everywhere you drive.
6. Bunratty Castle and our Irish Nights dinner and show.
7. The kindness of Sinead and Sean at Park house B&B
8. Killarney National Park, Muckross House, The Cliffs of Mohar, Ailwee Cave, and the Burrens.
9. Ancient ring fort ruins and beehive houses, stone houses with thatched roofs, and the newer Irish homes.
10. Coming home.
This trip celebrated our 25th anniversary that we will commemorate later this year. We are so glad we made sacrifices and plans and jumped in to make this dream a reality, and mostly that we didn’t let my motion sickness get in the way of a truly memorable experience. Loving my husband is deeper than dreams and I love sharing adventures with him. I hope we thrive on forever.
May your love thrive as you plan, sacrifice, and work to make dreams come true.