From every angle, the Eiffel Tower is a marvel, keeping watch over Paris as tourists come and go. Meanwhile, Parisians go about their business, oblivious to the charming lady in the center of the city.
The view of the Tower is free, but entrance tickets to the top range from €9-15. For more information, and to schedule your own visit to the Eiffel Tower, visit the official website.
The island appears and disappears in the distance as our boat rises and lowers with the swells. An offshore storm has made conditions just rough enough to make the journey to Skellig Michael feel adventurous. We’re unable to land on the island, a disappointment after waiting for so long. Still, the view of the island from the base is beautiful.
As we turn towards Little Skellig, the screams of 45,000 gannets can be heard over the sound of the engine. I’m speechless as I realize that the top of the island isn’t white because of the color of the rock, but because of the amount of bird droppings from the thousands of birds that call it home.
Boat tours operate daily from several different towns, including Portmagee and Ballinskellig. Prices vary from €25 – €50, based on whether you can land on the island or not. Skellig Michael is open from mid-May to fall every year. Before visiting the island, visit the OPW website for information about dates of opening and safety details.
By now, the rows of colorful saltbox houses hardly warrant a second glance. Instead of charm, I see old plumbing and drafty windows. I see the cost of replacement slate, and toilets you can barely turn around in. I’m starting to understand why Irish react so strongly when visitors comment on the loveliness of this lush island. When I told our landlord my family lives in Florida, which is the equivalent of paradise to sun-deprived locals, she responded with “Leaving Florida for Ireland?! Can you imagine?!” She, quite literally, could not understand it. But to someone who has grown up with cliffs dropping into aquamarine oceans, sheep dotting the fields, and so many beautiful things to see the signs can’t fit on the posts, I’m sure it’s hard to see why someone would choose this way over the more modern, and much less charming, American life.
We spent a half day in Valentia Island, doing a light hike around the peak of the island, and then had lunch in Portmagee. The tiny village is part of the Skellig Ring, and the launching point of many of the boats that take you to Skellig Islands. Valentia is the site where the world’s first transatlantic cable originated
The tulips that we planted last November came roaring into bloom this month: white, orange, cream and tinted with purple. But my favorite were these Rococo Parrot Tulips purchased at a bargain shop in town. They bloomed like an exotic animal, full of brilliant reds.
It’s an early-blooming tulip, showing up in early to mid-April depending on your hardiness zone, and makes an excellent cut flower. You can purchase your own at Bulbs Direct (US) or Sarah Raven (UK + Europe).
I stand away from the group looking over the edge of a cliff, my eyes burning from the sun, while I listen to the wind as it rushes around me, lifting strands of hair away from my face. April is my reward for enduring January thru March. Three months of rain and cloudy skies give way to long stretches of sunshine and warmer temperatures. I’m still wearing a jacket, but at least I’ve been able to finally discard the heavy sweaters underneath. After a few moments, I rejoin the group for a photo, ready to tackle the next part of the drive.
We drove from Kilkenny to Ballenskellig, covering the Northern and Western part of the Ring of Kerry. Notable stops included Kerry’s Most Spectacular Cliffs (entry charge of €4.50 each, but who could resist that name?!) and Portmagee. We stayed at Skellig Hostel, which was a great bargain. The hostel was clean, private, and quiet.
Hello! I'm a freelance writer and photographer living in Kilkenny, Ireland. Honeysuckle Life® is my creative outlet for my adventures in my home, kitchen, and travels. I'm available for hire, so if you would like to see a portfolio, please contact me!
SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER
We frequently use images from multiple sources in our posts. These images are used under the Fair Use Act. Every attempt has been made to identify the original creators of the photo. If you see a photo you have photographed, styled, designed, produced, or printed and proper credit has not been given, please contact us and ask for credit. Please include a link to the post in question, and if available, a link to your original work. If you would like your work removed from the site, please contact us with proof of ownership and a request for removal.