Capture the Colour

Travel Supermarket is hosting a travel blogger photo contest called Capture the Colour.

The idea? quite simple: find photos that you have taken that “capture” the following colours: yellow, red, blue, green, and white.

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Puffins Here Puffins There

This is going to be my first of many posts over the next few weeks. We have only been here for 6 days and done and seen enough to write a shit ton of posts. I may have to trim down a few things. But probably not, everything needs to be shared.

We flew into Dublin on Saturday, I saw the fam for the first time in a few months, we picked up the two rental cars and we were off on a three hour trek southwest to Killarney for my brother Patty and his fiancĂ© Alecia’s wedding. Bam. Now, first things first: this was everyone else’s first experience driving on the left side of the road. What a treat that first drive was. Patty, Alecia and my sister, Da Bethany (Elizabeth, but somehow she has gained that prestigious nickname over the last few years) were in a separate car, and I’m fairly certain their first three hours went better than ours. I agree, sitting shotgun is the easiest route, however having your father having his first experience driving, and your mother having her first experience backseat driving, we had some real experiences. For the most part it was mainly focusing on staying to the left, which is more difficult than you may think, however our Nissan had about 5 minutes of complete chaos. We went from taking a wrong turn into a 30 minute detour, to taking another wrong turn (the result of Kevo using his own personal GPS instead of the actual GPS), sideswiping the left side of the car on some hedges, running over a duck (Kevo may have a different account of the play by play, however there weren’t even any cars coming the opposite way, so driving on the left side of the road really sends some panic into you when a tough situation arises. So it seems), and then, since having taken a wrong turn, we had to turn around and drive passed the duck. So, to sum it all up, there weren’t very many words spoken in the half hour after that chaotic situation. But other than that? Relatively smooth. Welcome to Ireland folks!

Since I got that quick story time out of the way, this first blog post about my Ireland trip is solely about Skellig Michael. This is an island some 12km off the southwest coast that was inhabited by Monks during around the 7th century. UNESCO classified it as a World Heritage Site. Which is pretty cool. How many of you have been to a World Heritage Site? For those of you who have, wicked, for those of you who haven’t, it’s definitely something I think you have to add to your bucket list. This island was fucking awesome. I apologise (no I don’t) for the F bomb, whenever I drop those I usually cross them out, yet it is the best way for me to get the full point across. It really was incredible.

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We had to take about a 45 minute boat ride out to the island, which was not for the weak stomach. A few people had a rough go. I had a hell of a time. But once we arrived any queezines was put on hold staring at the marvel of the island. The island had 3 separate stair cases around it, each built to gain easier access to the top depending on if there was bad weather. There were, what they called, beehive huts at the top, meant for anywhere from 10-15 monks.

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The absolute most astonishing part of the island to me were the staircases. We were only allowed access to one, being the easiest of the three. However, there were some odd 600 steps to the top. The kicker? Each step is original, and were hand put together with stones. I’m not talking a cut-out of a step and then a flat rock put in, I’m talking uneven, loose, old stones that are held up by smaller stones underneath. I honestly just cannot even imagine the hard work and time that went into building each one of these steps. It’s not like there were machines or a hundred people to help. There were 10-15 sets of hands. Well done monks, well done.

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The staircases were definitely not something you wanted to rush up, seeing as how they were quite steep, and we were going quite high, you could easily suffer from vertigo, which a fair amount of people did and do. A nice lady decided that half way up was the proper time to share with us that two Americans died there last year. Perfect. However they weren’t following the rules, and lets be honest, they were American. (Being Canadian I apologise if you’re American and reading this.)

The coolest thing though, in my mind, were the Puffins. Apparently there were anywhere from 6 to 7 thousand of them when we were there, which was the height of their mating season. They. Were. Everywhere. It’s quite astonishing that I was only pooped on once. A few others weren’t as lucky. Suckers. A nice guy told us that we came at the best possible time, because this is the time of year when there are thousands. He had been there multiple times before and never seen them like that. They honestly were some of the coolest and funniest little birds I’ve ever seen.

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The views from the top were incredible. We really lucked out with a sunny and hot day (seeing as how it is Ireland).

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I held true to the fact that Scotland was going to be tough to beat it terms of places to visit, however it really hasn’t even compared to here. I mean, I did only go to one city in Scotland, and I definitely plan on going back to see tons more, yet Killarney and the southwest coast of Ireland sets the bar very, very, very high.