Today’s Ireland Occasional is a tale of two islands. Skellig Michael and Small Skelig. Skellig is the Irish word for “rock”. If you’re going to be in the far south west of Ireland, and you get lucky, (the number of people allowed to visit the Skeligs, and the time allowed on the island, is very limited in the name of preservation), I can’t recommend this journey enough.
So onward. Your journey to the islands begins in a boat just like the one below. You’ll get no safety talk, or directions on where the life preservers are, nothing. The skipper of the boat will simply undock and off you go.
This is your destination – the Skellig Islands:
While it may appear that Small Skellig shares the white stone appearence of the Cliffs of Dover, that is not the case. The white is entirely due to the copious droppings of the Island’s main inhabitant – the Gannett. In fact, it is the largest Gannet population in all of Europe.
A little closer view:
Just beyond Small Skellig is the larger (and less shit covered) Skellig Michael. About 1400 years ago an intrepid group of monks wanted to build a monestary that would be isolated from the world. They found Skellig Michael which is about 8 miles of the coast of Ireland. When you finally arrive, your journey has just begun. It’s 660 stairs to the monestary site. No guardrails, and at times a sheer drop of hundreds of feet to jagged rocks just a few inches beside you. It was a glorious day!
Oh, by the way, if anyone was worried was worried that we wouldn’t get to see any Puffins.. We’ll lay that to rest first, then get on to the monastery.