I have a very close half-Irish friend who truly loves the Emerald Isle. Every time he talks about the green land and its drunken inhabitants he gets giddy with passion for the culture and its rolling landscapes — which he also takes fantastic photos of. So when I was planning my quick trip across the country, he jumped in to help me plan. He threw out small villages to stop in and reminisced about the photos he caught of rainbows and misty hills; he insisted I stop at certain pubs and went on about the meals he had eaten and Guinness he had drank.
Since you couldn’t tag along, you-know-who, here’s to you!!
Contrary to the weather report, it is clear and sunny and beautiful outside. I am cruising on the left side of the road with the windows down and traditional Irish music blaring through the radio. I finally had some energy after stopping for a pub lunch — ham and Irish cheddar cheese toasty with chips — and a cuppa tea in Kilkenny. With nowhere to be, and no set schedule, I had gotten back on the road with the intention of cruising until something struck my fancy. Your favorite way to travel!
I slow down as I enter a roundabout and make a split second decision to take a different exit when I catch a glimpse of a rocky ruined castle off to the right. The sign said Cashel — the Rock of Cashel. Thirty minutes later I am walking up a muddy, hill sticking close to the stone wall on my left as I catch a rainbow up ahead, and, with a quick look behind me, climb the fence [keeping out tourists] to chase it down.
The view grew more beautiful as I rounded the back of the castle and saw a ruined Abbey in the field below. Needless to say, I made a beeline for the pile of stones.
The sun is pouring in the windows and small crevices. I mess with my camera a bit and capture dozens of perspectives of the same view — some bright, some dark, some a fuzzy confusing mess, others crisp as the air. The shots above are a few of my favs.
I spend a few more hours walking around — back past the Rock of Cashel, where I follow a grassy ridge up to small segment of a rainbow, brighter than any I’ve ever seen before. (Seriously, I didn’t edit the color in the image below.)
This made the sleepy hours of driving worth it — being in the middle of such a beautiful place. It’s now too late to make it to Cobh village or explore the town of Kinsale before sunset, but there is a warm and cozy hotel waiting for me and tomorrow is a whole new day.