Saturday, October 22, 2016

Skellig Michael

The title of this post is a bit of a misnomer, since we didn't actually get to Skellig Michael, but it lets me avoid another post with Ballinskelligs in the title.

We spent three days at the Seaside B&B in Ballinskelligs. One reason for the longer stay was that we had reserved time for a possible trip out to Skellig Michael, a sharp pyramid of rock several miles out into the Atlantic. The island is best known for its 7th century monastery - a cluster of beehive stone shelters perched near the top of the rock pinnacle - and its spectacular setting. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is a popular tourist destination - albeit a difficult one to actually get to (pictures of Skellig Michael).

Skellig Michael became even more famous - or at least many people become aware of it - following last year's Star Wars: The Force Awakens, since the final, short, scene where Rey finds Luke in exile, is set here.

About 10:30 the evening before, we got a call from the boat captain telling us that the trip was off because of the weather. Which we had sort of expected, since by then we'd heard the forecast for gale force winds and rain. We were already a little hesitant about a trip in a small boat on the open ocean, to a rocky island with hundreds of steep steps and no hand rails, in what might be strong winds and no visibility. Which meant the cancellation brought both disappointment and relief.

The result was a pleasant down day, something we rarely leave ourselves on trips. After breakfast, we didn't go anywhere. We set ourselves up in the conservatory and read and played scrabble, while the wind pounded the rain against the glass.

By three, things had calmed down a little and we headed out. First to the Skellig Chocolate Factory on St. Finian's Bay and then to Waterville for dinner.

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