Irish Castle | Pointe of View

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Every Monday, I will be featuring an image and backstory from my Pointe of View series. For more, view all these ballerina posts or visit the Pointe of View store.

I just knew it would all be fine. I had every reason to doubt, but I wasn’t worried. I had been emailing with Suzanne for days, planning this ballerina & Irish castle shoot. Our plan was for me to take a train from Dublin to Drogheda, a suburb to the north, where Suzanne would pick me up with her daughter Hannah, the ballerina for our shoot, and we would all drive to this castle that her brother had found in the Irish countryside.

Immediately, things went awry. First, the train schedule. I walked to the Dublin Connolly station with 13:10 departure time ingrained in my mind. There never existed a 13:10 train. Did I mean Heuston Station? No, I could have sworn I saw 13:10 listed in the online schedules. Oh well. I stood next to the cafe with free wifi and sent an email to let Suzanne know to pick me up an hour later. The train ride went smoothly, just thirty minutes with the coast line flying by to the right. I found Suzanne and Hannah waiting in their car just as planned.

Then we took an unintentional detour into Northern Ireland. We were following GPS coordinates that were listed on a website for this castle. It was pretty funny actually, as we both mused out loud that we didn’t know the castle was this far north. Northern Ireland is technically still part of the United Kingdom, while the Republic of Ireland has been independent for some time. Up until a couple years ago, it was still a very contentious divide. But now, it was just an invisible border, like driving across states in the U.S. We’re definitely in Northern Ireland, said Suzanne. We followed the coordinates right into a neighborhood flying a whole row of UK flags. We drove up to a lady who was walking her small dog and asked her if there was by chance a castle tucked around the bend. She looked at us like we were just the silliest people, and her little dog barked its head off, warning of lost intruders.

Ok, so we were in the wrong place. We tried a few things– searched for the castle on the car’s gps system, called Suzanne’s brother. We still had a couple hours of daylight, but it was sunny at the moment, and you never know how long that’s going to hold up in Ireland. In the end, it was my smartphone, even with no data connection in a foreign country, that saved the day. I had pre-cached a map of Ireland (I love you, Google), I remembered in my mind where the castle was, I zoomed in an found it, and used good ole map navigation skills to get us there.

I really hope there is a castle here

And my goodness, there actually was. The ruins of that 13th century creation were right there on the hill, around a bend. We hopped a little fence, and for the next couple hours, we trekked through the puddles and the mud, scared away the herd of sheep grazing there, experienced more of the Irish sunshowers I’d come to know, and it was amazing. Never has getting to my shoot location felt like such an accomplishment. Every moment there was another tiny dose of triumph.

I spy a beautiful ballerina.

Ballet dancer: Hannah Bergin
Hair: Suzanne Feighery Bergin
Makeup: Juliet Morrow, Fuschia Make-up, Drogheda, Ireland
Location: Castle Roche, Co. Louth, Ireland

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