We’ve rented a home for three weeks across the Bay from Dingle in a community named Kells.
Kells is hardly recognizable as a village in American terms. There are no main streets, no shopping district, not even mailboxes to identify residences. . . .Kells is just about the greatest place going. But it isn’t for everyone. The people that Kells grabs are those who are turned on by extraordinary natural beauty. who appreciate simplicity, who like to chat and read, to walk, to mountain climb, to fish, to swim, to explore, or just to sit by a turf fire.”
These words were written by Tad and Vicky, owners of the home we have rented. They emailed a delightful booklet today about the home describing some of its loveliness and a few of its eccentricities. The booklet tells of some of the people in the area and there is much within it about their love of the majesty of this place in Ireland.
There are suggestions in their book about where to shop, eat out, hike. They describe the weather. Among their suggestions is this paragraph:
THINGS TO DO
If we were to limit myself to only one suggestion, it would surely be the Skellig Islands, two massive rocks jutting from the sea off the coast near Valencia Island. Little Skellig is an extraordinary gannet rookery. Gannets are stunning birds with 6-foot wingspans that dive headlong into the sea for fish. There are 18,000 gannets on Little Skellig. On Skellig Michael, the larger of the two islands, there are the remains of an important 6th century monastery. The trip is reasonably strenuous but is an awesome and unforgettable experience. Information about boatmen making the trip is easily available (see the business cards we have or ask Agnes). Go only on a good day.
In one of the books Patricia and I have been reading, The Travelers Guide to Sacred Ireland, by Cary Meehan, there is this description:
Skellig Michael is the most remote of the monastic settlements on the rocky islands off the West of Ireland. It is impossible to visit this island and remain unmoved by the sheer power of it, so remote and so high up as to make you wonder if the monks who lived here felt themselves half-way to heaven just by being here. Did the view every morning fill them with elation and joy and a sense of the presence of God or were they driven mad by the night cry of the shearwaters and the constant physical discomfort of living on a remote rock.
I hope we get “good day” to go.
I want to watch the gannets dive. I want to walk the the 600 slate steps that lead up 700 feet above sea level.
If we get such a day, you can count on some pictures. In the mean time, go to google images or bing images and have a look at what others have seen.