Ireland from north to south

It was a rainy mid-October morning when I touched down in Belfast to begin a five-day road trip from north to south and east to west to capture some fall colors on the Celtic island. A few self-induced detours from missed road signs only added to the excitement of visiting two key gems on my bucket list--the Dark Hedges and the Giant's Causeway.

Even during the off-peak tourist season, both sites receive bus loads of tourists so catching that quiet moment requires early morning shoots to beat the crowds!

A blustery day on the Atlantic coast! An outgoing tide crossed with wind-whipped waves to provide some spectacular ocean surges against the coastline.

Waves break and surge over the rocky coastline near Dunseverik Harbor just north of the Giant's Causeway, and high waves made for an interesting journey for the 560 ton fishing vessel, the Emerald Gratia!

Moving down the coast, I made a short stop in Londonderry with its colorful storefronts, before crossing into the Republic of Ireland. it will be interesting to see how the Ireland and the UK will manage the challenges of border control once the process for the UK to leave the EU beings!

Clouds break slowly over Londonderry.

Row boats enjoying much calmer waters in Sligo--Gaelic for Shelly River--a city with buzzy five-star hotels and deep historic roots. One such example is the ultra chic Glasshouse hotel situated across from the William Butler Yeats historic memorial building.

Row boats bob gently in the calmer waters of the Garavogue River at sunset.
The spire of the Sligo Court Office breaks the historic skyline, while the spire of historic Galry Church reflects in the river with fall foliage glowing in the setting sun. Sligo shines just as bright at night with colorful lights illuminating both the Hyde Bridge and Victoria Bridge crossing the Garavogue River.

From Sligo, I headed inland crossing into the Glencar Mountains and the Glencar waterfall. I was a few days too early to catch a wide array of colors, but Glencar was stunning nonetheless!

Heading further south and east, I made my way along country roads to one of the largest and oldest stone circles in Ireland--Lough Gur near Bruff in County Limerick. The Lough Gur stone circle is actually part of a larger complex documenting over 6,000 years of human occupation. Equally unique and slightly spooky during the Halloween season is the historic St. Mary's convent in Bruff.

The "passage", a pathway directing the first rays of the summer solstice to the center of the stone circle and the "New Church" -- Teampall Nua is part of the larger Lough Gur complex. Equally interesting, although not open for tourists, is the St. Mary's convent in Bruff.

My last day was spent in the Glenealeo Valley of the Wicklow Mountains. Route 756 is not for the faint hearted, as once you start down the mountain, the road narrows with no guard rails and no turnouts. Add in the faster moving locals who could probably drive the road with one eye closed, and you have a potentially dangerous situation. But, as with everything I've seen in Ireland, the reward is well worth the effort!

Foothills of "Glenealo" or Glendalough Valley
A relaxing walk in the foothills of Glendalough, a glacial valley in the Wicklow Mountain National Park, Ireland.

Five days was definitely not enough to take in all the amazing sites in both the northern and southern elements of this grand Island. While most things are an easy drive, the beauty and diversity of sites to see and towns to visit will make the time pass far too quickly!

Sunset at 35,000 feet

Cindy Eccles is an anthropologist who contributes to privately-held domestic and international white papers on ethnic minority violence and civil unrest trends. In her spare time, she finds peace and solace behind the camera capturing moments in time occurring on planet Earth. Her goal is that the images will inspire appreciation, tolerance, and mutual respect for all inhabitants and creations on planet Earth. You can find more of her work at her website by following the below link.

Created By
Cindy Eccles


All images taken by CA Eccles, Earth-Life Photography

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