As you probably know, about a year and half ago I was lucky enough to spend about a week in Ireland. It was a wonderful week that I still treasure.
In honor of this holiday, when millions of American's wish and pretend to be Irish (including myself), I thought I'd share some of my favorite photos from my visit with you.
On the first day of our trip, just after we found our hostel and checked in, we wandered out completely jet lagged and with no idea and no plan of where we were headed. We stumbled into Dublin Castle just a few blocks away. This man (probably St Peter with the keys to the pearly gate) watched over the door into the chapel. I kind of loved him.
What a view! Just outside of Dublin, on an all day bus tour, we stopped for a longer look at this gorgeous view. Can you count how many shades of green there are? I certainly can not.
I took this shot standing on what is apparently the PS I Love You bridge, from the movie which I still have not seen. But the heather, the grass, the rocks and the stream made it one of the most beautiful sights I've ever seen. It's right in the middle of Wicklow National Park, and I'd recommend driving through (with many, many stops) if you ever get the chance.
Lately I've been thinking this is the best photo I've ever taken. It's from the ancient monastery at Glendalough. Hannah and I took a long hike there, and this is from about midway round. It was so incredibly magical I was almost certain I'd catch a fairy poking out from behind one of these tress, but I never did. I guess my eyes weren't sharp enough.
The name of these ancient church ruins escapes me. I'm sure I've written it in my trip journal somewhere, but one of my favorite things about traveling through such amazing places is that there is so much amazing you start to lose track of the details. If there was a place like this in Kansas I would go there every day and marvel at it. I would never forget a detail. In Ireland there was so much beauty it was impossible to keep track of it all. The main church is behind me. It was gorgeous, but I love this view of the field in front a little better.
Again, I can't even remember the name of the town where I took this picture that looks like all my imaginings of Ireland from my teenaged fantasies. It's right outside of a pub where we stopped for lunch.
The Burren is a beautiful, rocky area full of ancient tombs. This tomb is called the Poulnabrone is dates back to the Neolithic era at 3 to 4 thousand years BC. That's 5 or 6 thousand years ago. Can you even imagine? That is almost unbelievably fantastic. It was gorgeous there. Barren and windy and incredibly peaceful, it was easy to imagine why ancient people thought it was holy. A thousand years after it was built and used as a tomb, some Bronze Age people buried their baby there. Someday I would like to go back and sit there with my journal for a few hours, just soaking in the ancient magic of it.
The Cliffs of Moher. I can't even pretend to sum up the power of this place. There used to be a fort here, and there is still a magnificent tower from the early 1800s, but it is the cliffs themselves, along with the majestic sea, that made me want to spend the day watching (and listening) in awe. Visiting them was definitely a must do when I was planning our Irish week and they did not disappoint. An extra fun bonus is that they were used as the Cliffs of Insanity in one of my most favorite movies, The Princess Bride. "Whoever he is, he's too late. See? The cliffs of insanity!"
Inis Mor is a very small island off the west coast of Ireland. On it's western edge stands the Iron Age fort of Dun Angus, built in 1100 BC. There's not much left, but the view is magnificent and the edge plumets into the Pacific Ocean. This is the view from the ruins. Next stop, America.
I often gaze at these photos (and others from my favorite places) and dream of returning. For longer periods, by myself with fat journals and multiple sd cards.