This week we have some candid shots from Inishmore of the Aran Islands. Of course, no set of photos from Ireland would be complete without some cows.
I don’t often post pictures of people here, because I don’t post family photos and I don’t often take pictures of strangers. But here’s one guy who just really wanted to get the perfect shot, even if it meant getting close to a 100m high cliff edge.
I also spotted this couple that was holding hands the whole way heading down the long slope from the fort on the cliffs. So sweet!
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.
Ireland is one of the most magical places I’ve ever visited, and what could be more magical than a stone circle? This small circle was on some farmer’s hillside in the Beara Peninsula. I admit this in kind of cheating because I already used this picture for a similar challenge with WPC: Magic in 2016. But I just love this photo! No one from our group went back in time through the circle, though.
Our tour guide actually had to work some magic of his own to get us this close, because there was a herd of cows in this field when we arrived. We were about to hop the fence into the field (with permission), when he noticed there was a bull in with them! Luckily he was able to calmly and gently herd them away and we were able to safely approach.
The tiny silhouettes of the jagged rocks gives a hint of the condition of Ballycarbery Castle, the ruins of a 16th century castle. It’s beautifully situated on the water, with fields and cows surrounding it.