Postcard from Ireland: Along Dingle’s Slea Head Drive and the Great Blasket Island

Slea Head Drive on Dingle Peninsula

While on a short stroll at one of the many incredible vistas along Slea Head Drive on the Dingle Peninsula, my husband sighed and said, “You can bury me right here.”

No words from me were required so I squeezed his hand while understanding exactly what he meant. Two locals overheard his comment and said, “This is about as close to heaven as we will get on this earth.”

Having flown into Shannon Airport, this was one of the first times we experienced the beauty of Ireland and the warmth of its people at the same time. It would be far from the last time. I asked them if they ever tire of or become jaded by the beauty of their land. We were very pleased to learn that it never becomes commonplace and that they wake up every morning appreciating what they have.

My husband is an avid, amateur photographer, and he kept nearly 2,000 photos from our month-long stay in Ireland. When I asked him to choose the most beautiful photo he took for this assignment, he said that he could perhaps come up with the top 100 or certainly the top 500, but to narrow it down to the most beautiful is an impossible task.

As with many Irish places, the natural beauty is often supported with ancient ruins, legends or a special kindness, and this scene was no exception. The photo includes the Great Blasket Island in the distance, the boat representing man’s presence but also his ability to be there without ruining it, and the charm and friendliness of the two officials making this one of many wonderful Irish memories for us.

Helen — Bowling Green, Kentucky

The Irish Fireside “Postcards from Ireland” series invites readers to submit their memorable travel moments. Send us your photo with a 100+ word description.

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  1. Helen,

    I’ve been to Dunquin, and out to Great Blasket Island, many times and would have to agree that this is the most beautiful place on earth. I consider myself lucky to have had the opportunity to bring well over 100 of my students there over the years, always spending several nights at the An Oige hostel overlooking “The Island.”

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful photo. With any luck, your husband and I may be sharing eternity side by side.



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  2. Having grown nearby in Ventry I passed by this magnificent vista everyday going to school. It’s only now that I am in Atlanta that I missed this unrealized wonderful daily treat.

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    • O’Shea — a great old Ventry name. I’ve spent many day/night in Páidi Ó Sé’s pub. Any relation?

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  3. Helen –

    Your post and words about Dingle gave me goose bumps. My husband and I spent 10 days in Ireland, and only 3 of them in Dingle. It was my first trip internationally (we are from Michigan). . . I told my husband if I never go anywhere else I’m good with that, but we WILL return to Dingle. I’ve always been a little uneasy with the concept of cremation, but after standing along the cliffs of the peninsula near the bee hive forts and the Ogham stones, I told him, should I “go” first, he could sprinkle me over the edge! It truly is my most beautiful spot on earth! Thank you for sharing your sentiments!

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