Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Little Skellig and Skellig Michael

Off the south west tip of Ireland are two islands known as The Skelligs: Little Skellig which is an uninhabited bird sanctuary, and Great Skellig, or Skellig Michael, which has the remains of a very early monastery.  This view is taken from Skellig Michael looking towards Little Skellig.

This monastery was built something like 600 years ago on the island 8 miles or 12 km off the coast.  Its remoteness has helped keep it amazingly well preserved so even today a visitor can see the beehive shaped dwellings, the oratories, and St Michael's Church.  Boat trips are strictly controlled to limit the number of visitors and allowed only during good weather because of the fairly steep and hazardous climb from the landing points.  It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996.

"But for the magic that takes you out, far out of this time and this world, there is Skellig Michael, ten miles off the Kerry Coast, shooting straight up 700 feet out of the Atlantic. Whoever has not stood in the graveyards at the summit of that cliff, among the beehive dwellings and their beehive oratory, does not know Ireland through and through.  It is the beauty of Ireland that has made us what we are." ~  George Bernard Shaw, 1910.

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18 comments:

  1. Such a beautiful postcard!

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  2. Such a breathtaking view! :) Beautiful!

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  3. That is a beautiful card. Hope you are having a great week.

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  4. I think I'll have to agree with George Bernard Shaw - I've never been to Skellig Michael and I don't think I'll truly ever know Ireland until I have been. It looks lovely!

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  5. Magnificent card. It reminded me of the book Skellig by David Almond - Skellig is and angel discovered in a garage by a boy name Michael - a children's book, but well worth reading.

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  6. I’ve been there and it really is beautiful!

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  7. It just reminded me I live near the Skelligs and haven't sent any postcards from there yet. Thank you :)

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  8. Wow! That is an amazing view!

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  9. Love your blog! I've tagged you at my blog, c'mon by!

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  10. Picture perfect! I guess Ireland is worth a visit!

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  12. Fascinating place. I never made it over to the Skellig despite spending two weeks in the stunningly beautiful County Kerry. No wonder there are so many haunting songs by people who have left. GBS's last sentence sums it up.

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  13. I have never been there Sheila and there are numerous other interesting places all over Ireland that I have yet to visit. And I picked up 3 Spanish hitch-hikers last weekend who have been to more Irish ancient historical sites than I have been to!

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  14. How blue the sea is and what a lovely spot to visit. Of course, I'd need a pulley to haul me up as there is no way I could climb...or, better yet, a helicopter that could gently drop me down right on top!

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  15. Fantastic, makes me want to go there.

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