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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’.

Portmagee port

Portmagee port

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.

Skellig steps

Skellig steps

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.

Beehive

Beehive

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.

Little Skellig

Little Skellig

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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Cahersiveen

When I made plans for Ireland there was one place that caught my eye and that was Skellig’s Island.

I really wanted to visit that Island so I had to make plans how to get there.

All ships that are  going  to the Island are going from the Portmagee.

If you don’t travel with a car through Ireland than you have to make plans because is not very easy to get there.

There are only few bus lines and they are not running every day.

So I find a little hostel in the Cahersiveen that gives you free transport to the Portmagee

if you staying at they hostel and book a trip to Skellig through them. So we did that.

We took a bus in the morning from Cork to Cahersiveen.  We got there around 13h.

Bus station was opposite the hostel. The hostel  was Sive hostel http://www.sivehostel.ie/index.php

cahersiveen

cahersiveen

Very nice little hostel with great host Mary. We stayed in a private room in  old stone cottage which was lovely. 🙂

We left our stuff and went for a walk. Cahersiveen is a beautiful, little town.

Worth of staying a little longer there. We had a great time exploring the surroundings.

There you can see Royal Irish Constabulary barracks, now a heritage center and Daniel O’Connell Memorial Church.

Old Barracks Cahersiveen

Old Barracks Cahersiveen

There is also a beautiful Ballycarbery Castle. The Castle is not in good state but still looking incredibly.

ballycarbery castle

ballycarbery castle

I liked it very much. There is no entrance fee for visiting the Castle.

Near the Castle you can find two Forts – Cahergall Stone  Fort and Leacanabuaile Stone Fort.

Ring fort

Ring fort

Cahergall with walls approx 6 m high and some 3 m thick.

This dry stone wall fort is one of the best examples of an early medieval stone forts to be found on the Ring of Kerry.

There are also some nice beaches near and you can swim if you like,

but we were there in August and the water was sooooo cold i would never swim there.

There were a couple of brave Irish people who were swimming. Brrrrr. We just soaked our feet in the Atlantic ocean.

The nature surrounding us was incredible beautiful.

cahersiveen beach

cahersiveen beach

That was quite a walk, so if you don’t like long walks you should rent a bike or go with a car.

From Cahersiveen to the Castle, Forts and beach back to the hostel took us 4 hours.

With stops at every Fort, about 30 minutes at the beach and about 20 minutes at the Castle.

It was really worth it because you walk near  the fields with lots of sheep’s and every single resident says hello to you.

sheep

sheep

In these four hours it rained about 5 times and we changed from raincoat to t-shirt every 20 minutes.

When we got back we went to the supermarket and got something to eat, prepare it in our hostels kitchen and then went for some more sightseeing  in the town center.

We drank a beer and went back to hostel to sleep.

In the morning we are going to the Skellig’s Island.

 

 

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