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Skellig Islands

In the morning we got up, got some breakfast and waited for Mr. Casey to come and get us.

He arrived on time and we were on our way to Portmagee.

Mr. Casey is from Casey’s boat trip – http://www.skelligislands.com/ and with them we were going to Skellig’s.

First he took us for a ride to Valentia Island so we could see the Skellig Islands  from the land.

The Island is linked to the mainland by the Maurice O’Neill Memorial Bridge at Portmagee.

Valentia Island is approximately  11 kilometers long by almost 3 kilometers  wide.

After little sightseeing we drove to Portmagee. The village serves as a departure point for tourists travelling to visit ‘Skellig Michael’.

We settled on a boat with another 10 people. There were some Russian guys drinking beers and a serious French couple sitting next to us.

They gave us  rain coats to put on, but I had mine on. It didn’t look like we are gonna need it but they told us to put them on.

The weather was nice and sunny.

When we got on the open See, that’s when it started to get interesting.

The waves rising on the boat getting us wet and we were like on the roller coaster. For me it was great and exciting, just a little bit scary.

The Russian guys were having fun, trying to keep they beers from spilling and the French couple was even more serious.

When we finally got to our destination and the boat stopped, the French guy stood up,

leaned against the ship’s railing and  threw out  the entire contents of his stomach. Poor fellow.

We waited for our ship to get closer to the Island and then we got off  to the Skellig Michael.

At the beginning of the climb was a guide waiting for us to give us instructions for the climb.

For safety reasons, because the steps up to the monastery are rocky, steep, and old, climbs are not permitted during very wet or windy weather.

Also if you are afraid of the heights or if you have dizziness is not advised to go up.

There is no fence, the climb is pretty long – there are 618 steps, handmade of rocks.

On the summit  you will find a remarkably well-preserved sixth century monastic settlement.

These monks of St. Fionan’s monastery led simple lives and lived in stone, beehive shaped huts wich you can see on Skellig Michael.

These huts, which were round on the outside and rectangular on the inside, were carefully built so that no drop of rain ever entered between the stones.

The monks left the island in the thirteenth century.

There is a fantastic wealth of bird life on and around the Skelligs,

especially puffins in late spring and gannets on the small Skellig where 23,000 pairs nest on every available ledge

making it the second largest gannet colony in the world.

We were there in the summer so we haven’t seen Puffins . Unfortunately.

The Gaelic monastery became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.

We stayed on the Island about 2,5 hours and then we went back to our boat.

Sea was little calmer and we had a nice ride back. We stopped for a while by the little Skellig to watch the birds and we saw some seals too.

It was the perfect trip. The Island is magical and I would love to come back when the Puffins are there.

I found the time spend in Cahersiveen and Portmagee was great. I just love those Irish little places.

If someone would offer me a job there I would pack my things and go this second 🙂

If you like calmer places this are the ones you should visit.

 

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