A Remarkable Irish Morning // Killarney, Ireland
Without doubt, this was perhaps one of the most beautiful mornings of my life. And, thank goodness, I have pictures to prove it.
A few weeks ago Dan and I snuck off to Ireland for a long weekend in County Kerry. Planning out our trip, we were keen for adventure and Guinness. After quickly skimming through TripAdvisor I noted that kayaking on Lake Killarney was a popular, recommended activity so I reached out to Nathan at Outdoors Ireland for further information. He penciled Dan and I down for sunrise kayak tour with an invigorating meeting time of 6AM.Nathan provided us with extra warm wetsuits, a spiffy helmet (you know, just in case) and we scooted out into the black abyss of Lake Killarney. We quietly paddled as the bright, near-full moon cast our shadows on the deep blue water around us.
For a few minutes we gathered together, Nathan, Dan and I, holding one another’s kayaks and floated in the middle of one of the large coves. We watched the silhouettes of birds sweep by and listened to the raucous mating calls of the Sika deer, in the peak of their mating season, just at the water’s edge.
As the sun ever so slowly approached the horizon, we made our way across the lake to Innisfallen Island. Home to a monastery originally built in 640(!), over the centuries the island was inhabited by monks, lepers, students and even invading Vikings.
Once on shore, Nathan poured us cups of hot Earl Grey tea (my favorite) and broke us off pieces of chocolate. Our eyes already adjusted to the twilight, we roamed the island and explored the ruins of the monastery.
As the sun slowwwwly stretched it’s beams (like that?) Nathan called for us to slip back into our kayaks.
Back on the water, Nathan delved deeper into the history of the lake and Killarney National Park. The oldest park in all of Ireland, its 40 square miles were gift from the Muckross Estate back in 1932.
As we paddled, we could see mist rising from the warm lake into the cool air. The low-lying clouds that had once covered the nearby Purple Mountains began to lift, revealing the monstrous rocky terrain.
Time passed quickly as we made our way back to our starting point, near the impressive Ross Castle. The sun gleamed with an array of warm pastels, reflecting poetically off the water.
I felt sorry for them. They had missed it.
While they were dry-docked on land, our morning spent on the water provided the absolute best means for experiencing the unparalleled beauty of the lake.After pealing off our toasty wetsuits and bidding our farewells to Nathan, Dan and I set off to explore Ross Castle and the nearby Upper Lake.
Feeling a sense of urgency as the sun trudged it’s way in the sky, I skipped down to the boat moorings to investigate the scene.
Navigating towards the light, I followed an overgrown path towards the Upper Lake, arriving at a stunning clearing, bathed in warm light.
There’s nothing more beautiful than nature, is there?
Turning back, I meandered past the boats and made my way to Ross Castle.
The Purple Mountains, not wanting to be upstaged by the Upper Lake retained their low-lying cloud cover. The lake mirrored the scene perfectly. It was remarkable.
After a shot with Dan using the self timer, we sauntered back to the car, silently marveling at the morning we had just had.
Sometimes I can articulate the experience, and sometimes words just don’t do it justice. Our morning on Lake Killarney was magical, and one we will never forget.
One day, I hope you get the chance to have an experience like this one.
Cheers to Nathan and the Outdoors Ireland team for an incredible experience. If you’re heading to County Kerry be sure to give them a ring!