Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Star power

The Dingle peninsula is literally one of the most beautiful places I've ever been.

From our trek halfway up what may or may not have been Mount Eagle (nothing is signed).

An abandoned, crumbling stone house.

Brandon's Creek.

Don't trust my judgement? Ask J.J. Abrams.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (episode VII) shot the Luke Skywalker and Rey meeting at Skellig Michael, an island off the Dingle peninsula.

The untitled Episode VIII film directed by Rian Johnson recently finished shooting in the area as well. Our B&B host John showed us a photo he surreptitiously snapped before they dismantled the set that had been built at the nearby Ceann SibĂ©al golf course. And he said Mark Hamill stayed just up the road with an impressive security force.

Ryan, of course, drove us to the golf course and had us slogging through the fields behind it. But I told him I thought this adventure was dropping him a little too low on the Barney Stinson hot-crazy scale. He finally agreed to hop back in the car and continue our driving tour in areas a little less likely to get us thrown into jail for trespassing.

Fortunately, I spotted this sign on our drive and we backtracked for Ryan to get a picture. 

This information made some other signs we saw in town make way more sense.

Dick Mack's is a local bar.

Coffee shop somewhere on the peninsula.

The most impressive non-Star Wars site we saw was a stone chapel built in the 8th century. It's still intact and entirely watertight.

We also stopped at the ruins of this 12th century church, which is similar in structure to modern Irish churches (except for the missing roof).

Supposedly if you're able to fit through the "needle," you are headed to heaven.

And we went into these old Beehive houses (date uncertain, but believe to have been occupied by hermit monks).

Yes, this would be way too close to camping for me. I did like the secret tunnels though.

Dingle has in some ways been the most touristy place we've been. The area seems to survive on it. Every other house is a B&B. But it's absolutely been worth the visit.

This annoyed look wasn't even Star Wars related.

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