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  • Writer's pictureBrett Parsons

Ireland

Not a few weeks after a trip to the green state of Oregon, I tagged along on a trip to the green countryside of Ireland. It probably comes as no shock that I'm about a third Irish. And while this trip was not strictly a vacation, any chance you get to travel is a blessing. During the trip, there were definitely times that were not ideal (probably could have benefited from a bit more planning, though some of it was related to Ireland still being under a strict covid regulation)

 

A dyad of a November timeline and covid made the cities in Ireland seem a bit less occupied. As we were there to shoot an elopement-style shoot, it might have worked in our favor to have the beauty of Ireland a bit more to ourselves. All in all, we made the most of the time there when we could, and now it's just another part of my life.


Landing in Dublin


With our flight landing incredibly early and Dublin cafe's not opening for a few hours, we spontaneously decided to drive to the Baily Lighthouse for sunrise until we could go back into the city for breakfast.

You cant actually walk out to Bailey Lighthouse. However, the path around the edges of the peninsula was quite scenic for being so close to the city. There is a beach called "A Tiny Hidden Beach" that you can hike down to that is a cove-like beach that hides you from any part of the city.


A lack of planning definitely hurt our ability to truly get the most out of our time. But again, I don't always hate not having an itinerary. But the lack of sleep, overcast day, and the fact that this was an actual shoot kinda loomed over through minor details. Our drive out to the west coast of Ireland began and we were determined to see a castle. We settled on Birr Castle, a castle in the middle of Ireland.


The greenhouse at Birr Castle.


Before we move on. There's a small story that came about when visiting this castle. We were looking at about a dozen possible castles to visit in our path as we drove through Ireland and we decided on Birr Castle. Upon arrival, we noticed that the castle is and has been the family castle of the Parsons family in Ireland. You can read more about the castle here. Just such and odd coincidence.


Ending up in Galway for the night, we were able to walk through the Christmas market there. Galway ended up being this miniature version of Dublin, as in it still had a good selection of stores, bars, etc. We met up with some friends there that gave us a brief tour. This whole trip was a bit rushed but if I were to go back, I would like to spend more time in Galway.


After a not-so-ideal Airbnb experience, we set out for the Cliffs of Moher.


The morning sunrise leaving our airbnb.


The foggy and extremely windy Cliffs of Moher.


We stopped for breakfast in Lahinch.



Dingle


Our destination of Dingle was soon in our sights. We stayed at an airbnb that was much more reliable this time. However, it did have this lightbulb that could not be removed.


We found this irremovable light bulb in our airbnb though.


Now we come to the main item of our trip. The elopement. It was this day that we got our really only sunny day. The couple stayed in a place near Minard Castle. From there we spent our day moseying through Dingle countryside.


The couple's silhouette against the old house they stayed in.


As the sun truly began to break through any last fog, we arrived at Dunquin Pier (Cé Dhún Chaoin). A landscape that could be a painting, this small peninsula felt like an echo in time. And, maybe due to our November timeline, we had it all to ourselves.


At the top of the pier.

The Dunquin Pier. Built somewhere between the 6th and 9th centuries, the pier used to allow ancient ships to bring sheep safely to shore.


The coastline looking toward the sun.


The hillside near dingle.


Dingle Harbour.


In the town of Dingle. I found that here was the best of the lot. This is where I would have liked to have stayed a bit longer. Lively bars, beautiful countryside, and character through and through. I'd recommend breakfast at My Blue Boy and drinking at Foxy Johns, Dick Mack's, or Dingle Pub if you want a stereotypical bar. There were plenty of bars we didn't get to but the whole town has a lovely air about it. A must stop in the land of orange and green.



Killarney


For the second half of the day for the shoot, we traveled to Killarney to shoot in the ruins of a Castle owned by a friend.

Flesk Castle.


Journeying onward, we traveled through the Gap of Dunloe, another must. The narrow road weaving back and forth, the drive alone was beautiful.


At the Head of the Gap of Dunloe, there is a bridge (not to be confused with Wishing Bridge, of which you will pass on your way to this location). Here I took one of my favorite photos I've taken. Here I felt as though I was in a train set or on the Island of Sodor.


Driving just past the ridge in the previous photo, the landscape opened up. The colors of the sunset were just unreal.


Here is our crew soaking in the moment before shooting again.


The crew posted up for dinner in Killarney and I took a walk around the city.


Just a capture of someone working late in Killarney.


An old man in his study.



Dublin


After the elopement was shot, we took the long trip back home. It was rather a rough time as we had spent most of the energy the previous day. We also had to get covid tested before heading back and that was such a hassle. To find a place, book a time, get there, waited forever, the whole thing just was one big kink in the whole day. We did still manage to see Trinity College's Old Library and a couple of the bridges over the River Liffey. Walked through George's Street Arcade and through that area of town.


A rather late night read of the daily newspaper.



Conclusion


Ireland was beautiful when it was sunny. Unfortunately, there just seemed to be a few things that made this trip a bit of a handful. Of those things that we couldn't control, the weather, covid, poor airbnb hosts, there were things that we could have done better to improve the trip. Mainly more planning. But despite all the things that were less than ideal, I still want to say that things will almost never be absolutely perfect when traveling and that you simply just have to make the best of things. And that is what we did.


All in all, it was a fun trip. We came to do a shoot and it turned out magnificently. I also was able to go with people I really care about and that also made the trip. Im just happy I was able to go and make the memories I have. That is all.


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