So without further ado..
Part 8 - Killarney to Galway
Taking the advice of the Lonely Planet guide book, we decided we need to see Eyeries as it's meant to be one of the most picturesque little towns ever in the world. It was, as this quicky little video shows..
We drove the north side of the Ring of Beara, and the whole drive was really beautiful. The biggest problem is that you want to stop every 5 minutes to take pictures (which is why we didn't actually make it all the way around the Ring!)
This is just right around the corner from Eyeries - more beautiful scenery, more beautiful light (I love Ireland!) Norman took this one of me (below, left) while I was setting up for the one of the two of us (immediately below).. there was a fair amount of chaos running back and forth and taking that jumper off and on between shots (it was freezing!), so I was always really excited to end up with an image like this one that we were both really happy with :)
Hopped out at the side of the road for this one - seemed only fair since I had my "New Bride Street" photo back in Dublin..
And this - drumroll please - was I think my favourite view in all of Ireland :) It was called Ladies View lookout and it was simply magical..
After such an amazing day and with my mind full of all the sights we'd seen, I had trouble sleeping that night at Paddy's Palace.. I had this panicky feeling that somehow we were going to "miss" great shooting opportunities, and that we couldn't possibly have time to really get the most of our trip. The problem is that I think once you start thinking of your trip (and especially your honeymoon!) as a list of goals of places to see and photos to take, you run the risk of not enjoying any of it. Norman and I have very different styles of approaching projects and lists (as we learned with our renovations..), so there was the added problem that we were disagreeing and that caused a lot of stress and tension on top of it all! So while I was sitting up in the middle of the night having a slight freak-out about all this, I started to do what came naturally - I made a shot list. It's funny because with other couples' weddings I make up the shot list weeks in advance, and with our own pictures here I was a few days into shooting before I actually started to sketch some ideas and list specific things I wanted to make sure we got. And even though this sounds like maybe going the wrong way about getting more relaxed, it soothed me to have a "big picture" that I could refer to. I'm so used to doing it for other people, and I think I've underestimated all this time how comforting it is to have someone take charge. So in a way I had to learn to separate myself in my mind into "the Bride" and "the Photographer" so that the professional side of me could be prepared and organized, and the personal side of me could be happy and smiling and in love. And still speaking to her Groom ;)
The next day we drove to Brigid's Garden which was fantastic. The garden is divided into four "seasons" and planted to represent the annual cycles of nature as well as the overall cycle of life - I love that they had such a beautiful concept and they did a really great job of it. This pond was full of tiny newts, which I'd never seen before, so we watched them swim around for a while before heading over to write a wish for the wish tree..
It was a really lovely day and felt a lot more like a trip and honeymoon than like a crazy assignment we'd given ourselves, which I think was exactly what we needed :)
That night after checking in to our B&B in Galway, we drove out through Salthill to Spiddal to see the coral beach (instead of sand, it's literally all tiny broken up pieces of coral!). The light was stunning for the entire drive, and disappeared just before we got there. In my new-found state of photo-zen, I tried to just appreciate the beauty we'd seen and not be disappointed in the fact that we had "nothing to show for it". I think this was the only part of our trip that was specifically a Gaeltacht area, which means they don't speak English. Other than stopping for directions once at a shop, we didn't see anyone else while we were there.
After the beach we headed back to Spiddal town to go to Tigh Hughes pub which is famous for having Irish music and a great atmosphere. We were two of six people there that night, and were somewhat confused by the lack of liveliness until one of the men came over to talk to us. He explained that a young man in the town had been killed on the road a few days back, and out of respect for him there would be no music. We ended up talking to this man for over an hour, and he told us stories of building a hospital in the Black Forest with three guys from Belfast who showed up to work with a banjo and a guitar - it was an unexpectedly great evening. In my journal, I noted that we "managed to get back to B&B in spite of drunk navigator" ;)
Stay tuned for next time, when we visit Knock and the gorgeous seaside town of Westport!