Serendipity is the only way to describe my trip to the Skellig Islands.
Having found out about the islands only a week before my scheduled arrival in Ireland, I found myself rejected by every tour company, owed to the fact that it was summer and they were fully booked. The evening before my intended travel to Skellig I received an offer to join one of the tour companies, given a last minute cancellation.
Skellig Michael, the island from which this photograph was taken, is said to be inhabited by Christian monks in the 6th century. These monks laid an estimated 600 steps to the top of the island, on which they built a monastery entirely out of rocks. In the 16th century, Skellig Michael became a site of pilgrimage, but much of the history of the islands remains a mystery due to a dearth of historical records.
It just so happened that on the Thursday I travelled to the islands, it was the hottest day in the entire month of May in Ireland. Graced by various forces of the environment, I began my journey to the Skelligs with an hour-long boat ride on the Atlantic Ocean. Upon landing on Skellig Michael, I started my trek up the 600 uneven steps. Although the weather was impeccable, the wind billowed about 30 miles per hour, unobstructed by the endless ocean and open space around the island. With every step upward, I reflected on how 6th century monks managed to brave the weather and environment in order to live on the islands in such austere conditions.
On such tour days, the island is milling with people. Some come to Skellig due to Star Wars fame, and others for their personal convictions. Yet, despite the humming of human voices, somehow it becomes easy to find solitude, standing on such a historic intricacy. Vast, engulfing ocean, roaring wind, and you.