Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Weekend Wander: Ireland's Eye


Sometimes I do this weird thing where I pull up Ireland on Google Maps and just browse around and see what areas I haven't explored yet. Upon one of these occasions, I saw a little island off the coast of Dublin labeled 'Ireland's Eye'. Now, Ireland has many islands you can explore (Achill, Aran, Inishmore, Valentia - to name a few) but this one I had never heard of. Upon further Googling I discovered that not only are you able to take a boat over to hike around it, but that during the summer IT. HAS. PUFFINS. 

RED ALERT PEOPLE. RED. FREAKING. ALERT. 

Anyone close to me knows I am puffin crazy. It's on my bucket list to see a puffin up close in the flesh, yet no matter how many adventures I go on in search of puffins, I have never achieved my dream.

Aaaaand unfortunately this is another one of those adventures. HOWEVER - I could not recommend paying this beautiful little island a visit any more. Here's why: 



It's a super quick & relaxing 15 minute boat ride from Howth. Howth is one of my favorite places in Ireland and is easily reachable with the Dublin DART (the train) so this isn't a trip that requires a car to get to! Massive bonus points for being convenient AF.


Upon arriving you're greeted with beautiful blooming flowers, views of Howth and of course lots and lots of greeeeeen 



First stop: the summit. Don't worry non-hikers, this is not a crazy climb. It takes maybe 20-30 minutes and the views are worth it! 





Once you've sufficiently absorbed all the beauty from the top, make your way down through the thick brush to visit the ruins on the island (and definitely take majestic photos along the way. Had I of been wearing better shoes I would have done some Sound of Music realness) 



Now, I've saved the best for last. After you've explored the ruins, make your way down to the water and you'll find....


A SANDY BEACH. 

I realize 90% of you just thought to yourself "so what?" but my fellow Ireland dwellers will know what a rarity this is. Most of Ireland's beaches are covered in rocks. A beautiful stretch of sand is a true gem. My next visit to the island will include a big basket filled with goodies from Howth market so I can have a picnic on this beauty and enjoy the water.  

I noticed that most of the people on the island had gotten there via their own private boats. Some people even anchored their boat close to the beach and seemingly swam to shore - so cool. If you live in Dublin and own a boat please hit me up, let's be friends. I can provide picnic supplies and unlimited adventure photos in return for some private boat action. Just sayin'. 

Now, if you're saying to yourself "this sounds great, but I hate hiking/can't walk/am allergic to everything" no worries - you can also pay the captain to simply drive you around the island. We didn't opt to do this, but we got lucky and upon our departure our captain decided to do an island loop, and the BEST thing happened: 



SEALS. 

One looks like a big white rock, the other is peeking it's head out from the water. See them? 

As we continued our loop, we discovered the most incredible sea cave



So cool. Harry Potter and Dumbledore definitely could find a horcrux up in there. 




Alright, remember earlier when I was discussing my lust for puffin viewing? Well, while we were exploring the island all I ever saw was seagulls. Gross. I gave up hope pretty early on, but while we were looping the island a fellow photographer told me that all the puffins hide on the rocks at the back of the island. Look CLOSELY at the above photo and you will see the little beauties perched on their rock kingdom! I was extremely excited to see them but, it really wasn't close enough for me to be able to check puffins off my bucket list. I need one to be like 3 feet from me making direct eye contact - then I can check it off!


If you're convinced that you need a visit to this magical little Irish island, you can get more info about visiting Ireland's Eye by clicking here.  Round trip tickets are €15 - bring good walking shoes, a picnic blanket, snacks, lots of water and sunscreen and prepare for an afternoon of tranquil adventure. 

No comments:

Post a Comment