Skellig Michael


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Europe » Ireland » County Kerry » Portmagee
July 17th 2022
Published: July 18th 2022
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Skellig MichaelSkellig MichaelSkellig Michael

Captured picture of the rock on the way out from Portmagee.
One shinning day in July 2022 Bird and HP hopped abord a boat for a one hour ride to Skellig Michael that mystic home of ancient monks and puffins. Monks arrived at Michael during the sixth century, not long after the remnants of the Western Roman Empire were extinguished. They scratched out a meager existence until the early 12th century, eventually being driven ashore where another monastery was established boasting only meager remains. But Michael's are impressive, and all are at least one thousand years old,

Landing upon the island apparently can be something of an acrobatic act with our guidebook likening it to "jumping off a trampoline onto an ice ring". In fact boat captains report they are able to affect successful landings on only five days per week, which created no small amount of anxiety for the passengers. No such difficulty for us with twelve passengers exiting without incident. After a forceful safety briefing emphasizing the steep unsteady rock steps (after all they are well over a thousand years old) and the complete absence of guard rails, we set out. Well, two thirds of us did, the remaining third either electing not to make the journey or returning
Little SkelligLittle SkelligLittle Skellig

What you see is not snow but rather some of the 20,000 Gannets and their attempt to fertilize the island.
to the base soon after beginning the ascent. Bird indicates she saw "five or six" from ours and other groups returning on their bun (Irish and English for rear); they would bump down from one step to the next. Not so for the oldest member of the group as he scampered up the steep terrain with the kids clicking shots of puffins and the island along the way. Just an amazing journey. Arriving at the top in the Monastery a guide provided interesting history and informed us of their work schedule-fifteen consecutive days at the site in primitive surroundings followed by eight off.

We had previously labeled Preikestolen (the Pulpit Rock in Norway) as the most amazing land form. Well, make room as this place requires a seat at the table. We had expected quite a bit given the billing; the experience well exceeding those high expectations.

As indicated at the last post the island merits two posts. This one will will contain pictures of the island's perilous topography and where the monk's resided, while an accompanying post will reveal puffins, actually many, many puffins.


Additional photos below
Photos: 19, Displayed: 19


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Little SkelligLittle Skellig
Little Skellig

The boat circled the little fella before the main act.
Skellig MichaelSkellig Michael
Skellig Michael

Michael from Little Skellig.
Trail UpTrail Up
Trail Up

Tad steep.
Monastery WallsMonastery Walls
Monastery Walls

A bit of semi-flat ground close to the top where monks constructed a place for worship and "Beehive Huts" where they slept. Monastery and huts inside the wall is not near as large as wall may imply.
Beehive HutsBeehive Huts
Beehive Huts

Entered one and discovered about fifteen foot square where monks slept. Not bad actually.
Couple More Huts and CemeteryCouple More Huts and Cemetery
Couple More Huts and Cemetery

An ancient cemetery. Scientists have exhumed several sets of bones discovering monks died young. No remains indicated the owner reached forty years of age.
Another TrailAnother Trail
Another Trail

Monks constructed three paths to the top. This is one.
Ancient Monk TrailAncient Monk Trail
Ancient Monk Trail

One of three access trails from the sea. Trail is visible toward center, while locating where it departs the sea more difficult.
Trail DownTrail Down
Trail Down

Must confess feeling a bit uneasy in a couple of places.
Just GoJust Go
Just Go

Puffin is indicating I should just do it. Yeah, easy for you to say. This is actually the trail.
View UpView Up
View Up

A look up where the trail ascends. The modern structure in the center is a helipad, we imagine to transport folks (or their body) after a misstep.
Trail SignTrail Sign
Trail Sign

Only sign on the trails, which exists for the descent suggesting hikers turn right. May wonder someone continued straight so the sign was placed.
Peculiar Rock StructurePeculiar Rock Structure
Peculiar Rock Structure

A great deal of unusual rocks present. Notice the rather large rabbit ears.
Star Wars Filming LocationStar Wars Filming Location
Star Wars Filming Location

A Star Wars episode was filmed here. Seems like a mature Luke Skywalker also appeared from one of the beehive huts.
Skellig MichaelSkellig Michael
Skellig Michael

Picture on the return to Portmagee. The monastery is at the left peak, while on the right is a spot that was also used. The ascent to this point looks very dangerous and has very little space but monks made extended stays as contains basins for catching rain. Monks were always looking for solitude.
Skellig Michael and Little SkelligSkellig Michael and Little Skellig
Skellig Michael and Little Skellig

Again on the return. Michael is on the right.
Luke SkywalkerLuke Skywalker
Luke Skywalker

For you Star Wars fans (who isn't) this life size cardboard cut-out occupied a place of honor in the pub of our B&B in Portmagee.


18th July 2022

Steep
Beautiful! Bet you were very proud of yourselves for mastering this trail! The grass is so green and the rock so ragged. Have seen this many times on calendars, prints etc but, had no idea of where it was. Now I will always know where and someone who was actually there!!
18th July 2022

May the Force be with you!!
Great Pics- that is where I’d love to go-just beautiful. Tell Bird she amazes me in sending cards from home yet she’s across the pond!! Love

Tot: 0.253s; Tpl: 0.012s; cc: 7; qc: 51; dbt: 0.0443s; 1; m:domysql w:travelblog (10.17.0.13); sld: 1; ; mem: 1.1mb