Barren Burren

A group of photographers, a wonderful location, and good weather (for Ireland)… This is indeed a good mix ๐Ÿ™‚

We spent the nights in the village of Doolin, which we used as base to visit the area around the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren.

Day 1: The Burren and the Cliffs of Moher.

After the 7 Km wal from the Cliffs back to Doolin we spent some interesting and lovely time in the local pubs, delighted by the a great local band.

The weekend didn’t last long though: the end came way too early ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Great weekend, some decent shots…

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Black Head Lighthouse

We even got to Father Ted’s house, even though we only manage to meet Father Jack :/

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Father Ted’s house

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Wild West

A few weeks ago, I joined a group of photographers on a trip to Clare Island (for thos of you who don’t know where that is, I included a map below).

Clare Island

Clare Island

The place is a mixture of wild and civilised: very few people live there, and all basic human necessities can be satisfied (by that, I mean there is a pub on the island).

The trip was supposed to be mostly for landscape photography and to capture the essence of the island, and the island did deliver ๐Ÿ™‚

It was nice to see how all the Italians in the groups simply had to take the most difficult path and climb the hill on the island: “It’s there: we have to!”… Crazy people… 8)

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In the bog

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In the bog 2

We were even blessed with clear skies and a beautiful sunrise on the beach:

The island is wonderful, everyone should at least visit it for a day. It can be a very zen-like experience:

Saltee islands pt. II

Saltee islands again, after last year (see here).

And again, we were lucky with the weather: after a gloomy morning ย we had a good day for picture taking.

Wind and water

Wind and water (from the cabin ๐Ÿ™‚ )

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The landing

We were blessed with a sunny(ish) day, so we managed to dry up quiclky after the boat ride. I was a bit windy and I ended up soaked. At least for the first 10 minutes ๐Ÿ™‚ .

After that we moved to the the first nesting placve we were going to visit:

Unfortunately we didn’t see as many puffins as last year ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

After some time in the howling wind we moved to the gannets’ nesting place.

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The easy path to the nests

After the last rocky bit (which was a bit of a challenge for somebody) we got the the nests. You can smell it long before you see it…

And that was it for the day: unfortunately we couldn’t stay for very long and soon had to go back to the boats (which turned out to be an adventure itself).

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Time to leave

We’ll be back next year ๐Ÿ™‚ !!

Due west

You know that feeling when you set on a trip with no particular expectations? Sure, you know you’ll have a great time, but you don’t know why or what is awaiting you…

I’ve just come back from a quick trip to the west of the country, sure that I’d find myself in heavy rain most of the time, that I’d be freezing in ice-cold wind every day, but that I’d eventually be very satisfied with the places I’d visit. I was somewhat disappointed when the weather turned for the better and we even had a few sunny days (NOT true, I was not disappointed at all ๐Ÿ™‚ ).

We began with Connemara…

ย Followed by a trip little ways up north, through Westport and all the way to Achill Island…

Beautiful places (and scary roads, especially the one leading to Keem Bay D: ).

But then it was time to head back down south, to visit the Cliffs of Moher and Aran Islands (well, one of them).

A brief stop in Galway to get soaked in rain and see a few oldie cars.

And five days had already gone by: already time to go back home. On the way we got to meet some fairies though…

Oh boy… Do I miss the mountains

I’m back!! BACK!! After a whole year, I’m finally back on a mountain!

Yeah, I know there are “mountains” in Ireland, but it’s definitely not the same. I mean, today I managed to hike to the Pratignano lake (Lago di Pratignano) in the province of Modena. It’s at 1,307m above sea level: not particularly high up… But it’s still more than 200m higher than Ireland’s highest mountain!!

And the weather… well, it’s absolutely impossible to compare ย ๐Ÿ™‚

It didn’t feel like December at all!

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On the ridge

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Along the lake

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Blue and ice

Great day and hike. Tip of the hat to our wonderful guides!

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Monte Cimone (Mount Cimone, 2165m)

Oh, and a very happy new year ๐Ÿ™‚

Westward Ho! – Travelling light

When your folks decide to visit you, you don’t really have a say in what happens when they are with you…

Three days in the west of Ireland, so I was – obviously – expecting rain, lots of it and I didn’t want to expose a lot of photographic equipment to the elements. That’s why I decided to travel as light as possible, but I didn’t want to sacrifice too much quality either.

Enter Fujifilm…

To be honest, I got tired of lugging around over 3 Kg of camera+lenses and I will probably sell most of my heavy stuff soon. For this trip I went fully mirrorless: Fujifilm X-Pro1 + 18mm f/2 and the magnificent Fujifilm x100T…

I admit I was a bit anxious at first, being used to the IQ of my Canon 5DMkII, but after seeing the results, I don’t think I’ll ever consider my D-SLR for another trip…

Some of the results follow: Ceide fields, Downpatrick head, Sligo and strandhill. I think I might be selling my canon gear soon ๐Ÿ™‚

 

And I have to admit the ocean was beautiful to admire:

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Vastness of the ocean

A castle and a pint of Smithwick’s

Autumn has officially started: sunny and cold (cold for me, at least).

A great day to travel and to go see new places. This week: Kilkenny. Ok, it’s not really a new pllace for me: but it’s been so long!

No trip to Kilkenny can ignore the castle:

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Kilkenny castle

Built between 1195 and 1213, the castle is an iconic view of the town of Kilkenny. It was recently renovated and it’s a very popular attraction for tourists.

It’s a very well kept and organized attraction and it’s possible to have a self-guided tour of the castle and grounds:

As marvelous as it is, Kilkenny castle is far from being the only thing to see in town:

Those visiting the town may also see the beautiful cathedrals and churches as well as the old medieval town.

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River Nore

Another thing that cannot be missed in Kilkenny is, obviously, Smithwick’s brewery ๐Ÿ™‚

The oldest beer in Ireland!

A fine aleย you shouldย taste every day until the world’s end!

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The world is coming to an end, all right…