Lens-Artists Challenge #65 – Pick a Place: Skellig Michael

The highlight of my trip to Ireland in 2015 was a visit to the rugged island Skellig Michael.  I had wanted to visit for three reasons.

First, it is home to many species of birds, including Atlantic puffins, gannets, kittiwakes, and others.  I was able to add some cool species to my life list and get very close and personal with these birds that are not afraid of humans.  It was even puffin breeding season.


Second, the island is historically and culturally important, being the home of ascetic Christian monks for several centuries.  They built the winding staircases up the rocks and also built stone dwellings.  It is now a UNESCO heritage site.


Third, the island stood in for the Jedi refuge of Ahch-To in the new Star Wars films.  They had been filming there the year before I went, and even though the movie The Force Awakens hadn’t even come out yet, I was excited to visit a Star Wars filming location.  And I loved seeing and recognizing the footage of Skellig Michael on the big screen later.


But in the end, the reason that Skellig Michael is most memorable to me is the mental journey I took to get there.  You can read the whole story of my trip here, but I will just say that I will always be proud that I was able to overcome my anxiety to enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

You can find more special places at the original Lens-Artist challenge.

19 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Challenge #65 – Pick a Place: Skellig Michael

  1. For Tyeth September 30, 2019 / 3:24 pm

    Hi Mei-Mei, you are a very fortunate person setting foot on Ach…er Skellig Michael. I hope to get there one day (and I live closer to it than you but I haven’t been yet). Great pictures and well done on snapping the Puffins best side!

    Liked by 1 person

      • For Tyeth October 2, 2019 / 6:22 am

        Thanks, I am going to do my best. I also hope to visit a location on the UK mainland called Puzzlewood (in the Forest of Dean), near Gloucester, which was used as the scenery for Tokadano. I had already visited RAF Greenham Common (used as the Rebel base in TFA) as I am a military aviation fan and went there two decades ago!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mei-Mei October 5, 2019 / 5:47 pm

        That’s so cool that you had already been there! Was it very recognizable in TFA?

        Liked by 1 person

      • For Tyeth October 5, 2019 / 6:09 pm

        The aircraft hangars/shelters had some scenery decorations but you could recognise the structures as Hardened Aircraft Shelters (HAS for short) Obviously they filmed it so any earth styled buildings such as the Control Towers and admin buildings were out of shot. If I recall correctly LucasFilm also used another ex RAF airfield known as Cardington and it’s airship/balloon hangars as the entrance to the Yavin 4 Rebel Base and draped the doorway with “tropical foliage” and set decoration.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Wandering Dawgs October 1, 2019 / 9:12 am

    So happy for you for going there! I understand why you wanted to visit this special place.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Amy October 1, 2019 / 12:37 pm

    Thank you for including this special place to us! Beautiful photos, Mei-Mei!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Leya October 1, 2019 / 5:58 pm

    Very special – for us, and for you indeed. Thank you for joining in!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jennifer October 3, 2019 / 8:54 pm

    That’s dope! Visiting a place you’ve seen in a film you love (or one you’re excited to see haha) is always so fun, and it doesn’t hurt that it’s part of a bigger part of your life, too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mei-Mei October 5, 2019 / 5:32 pm

      Definitely a once in a lifetime experience!


  6. pattimoed October 4, 2019 / 7:16 am

    We didn’t visit SM when we went to Ireland, but this is definitely a place we should put on our list for the next trip. You make a very convincing “case” to go there!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mei-Mei October 5, 2019 / 5:31 pm

      I hope you get there! Even if you can’t land, just cruising around the Skelligs is a treat.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. pam@ichoosethis October 6, 2019 / 10:35 am

    Puffins are amazing little birds….I love to watch them fly…super cute. When we were in Iceland, they had them on the food menu. ugh. I didn’t love that so much.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mei-Mei October 12, 2019 / 1:59 pm

      They are just the cutest birds! And they make such a funny sound. Not sure I’d want to eat them though…

      Liked by 1 person

      • pam@ichoosethis October 12, 2019 / 2:13 pm



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