Tag Archives: touring

Co. Kerry::Dingle Peninsula — Day 3

On Monday, July 7, we drove to the Dingle Peninsula. First, however, we drove to Tralee — the town made famous by the song, The Rose of Tralee. Don’t worry if you’d never heard of the song — neither had I. Here’s a version of it.

In August women from all over the world compete for the title of The Rose of Tralee.

Anyway, we got some cash in Tralee and a few groceries at a Dunnes store. I also bought some slippers. Dunnes has groceries and clothes. I guess it’s kind of like a Super Target or Super Walmart.

After Tralee we headed out to the road to Dingle. We first passed some mud flats with shorebirds. I would have liked to stop to see the birds, but roads in Ireland are not conducive to just stopping. Clare was asleep at this point. I think the jet lag was catching up on her.

As we drove further out to the end of the Dingle Peninsula we saw mountains in the distance and the shore was to our right — one beach hosted huge waves and a number of surfers.

View from the Conor Pass -- Dingle Peninsula

View from the Conor Pass -- Dingle Peninsula

Clare woke up when we got to the Conor Pass which, according to the Dingle Peninsula website, is the highest mountain pass in Ireland.  It was pretty amazing, and a little scary as Dean navigated the curves in the road.

Sheep on the road -- Conor Pass -- Dingle Peninusla

Sheep on the road -- Conor Pass -- Dingle Peninusla

At one point we saw some sheep on the road, so we stopped and admired the scenery and Clare chased the sheep.

After that, Clare, Dean and Andrew walked — despite the gale force winds — to the top of a hill. I was too tired, or cold or apprehensive of the height to accompany them.

After our brief break we drove onto Dingle and had a lunch of cheese, bread and fruit. Irish cheese is delicious — creamy and filling. We looked around at the shops in Dingle, but everything seemed too touristy.

Doorway to Dunbeg Circle fort

Doorway to Dunbeg Circle fort

After Dingle, we drove to Dunbeg Promontory Fort, not too far out of Dingle, towards the end of the peninsula. We watched an embarrassingly amateur video about the fort in the visitor’s center and toured the fort. Had I known the fairy folk may have built it, I may have had more interest in it.

Afterward we drove to some “beehive” huts — more “fairy folk” homes.

Gallarus Oratory -- Dingle Peninusla

Gallarus Oratory -- Dingle Peninusla

We drove on for a while, stopping to look at the Blasket Islands. These islands were evacuated in the 1950’s and hosted many poets and writers. We missed the Blasket Island Info Center, but did go to the Gallarus Oratory which was an early Christian church.

We then drove home, through Dingle and stopped briefly at Inch Beach where Dean and Andrew checked out the beach and Clare and I examined slugs.

For dinner we cooked pork chops braised in Druids Celtic Cider with an apple and brown bread dressing. Clare made killer mashed potatoes.

Dean retired early and Clare, Andrew and I stayed up to listen to Prince Caspian and watch the news. The weather man seemed so sad that his prediction was nothing but rain, rain and more rain.

More Day 3 Photos on Flickr

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Co. Kerry::Killarney National Park — Day 2

A Cathedral in Killarney

A Cathedral in Killarney

Dean and I got up at 10:00 am this morning — although I was awake from 2:30 – 4 am. Andrew was awake from 3 – 5. Clare and Andrew got up at 11.

We decided to visit Killarney today. It is only a 15 minute drive away and we figured we needed an easy day and drive.

We had to first visit Liam and Áine’s house because we were having trouble with the keys in the doors. The front door was impossible to turn (we didn’t want to break the key) and the back door lock was sticking too. We didn’t want to lock up and then not be able to get in when we returned.

Ross Castle, Killarney

Ross Castle, Killarney

They followed us to the house and after a few minutes and a few sprays of WD-40, fixed the locks. Then they lead us to Killarney where they’d planned to visit that day as well. We met the rest of their children — the twins, Evelyn and Ruth, and their toddler, Maeve.

Ferns in Killarney

Ferns in Killarney

In Killarney we toured St. Mark’s Cathedral, then walked to Ross Castle and took the tour there. Ross Castle was one of 3000 castles built during the 1500’s. It was restored in the 1970’s, thanks in part, to an Irish American from Philadelphia.

We walked back to Killarney by way of the River Walk. Along the river are primitive looking plants — horsetails and ferns.

Clare and Andrew playing Connect 4

Clare and Andrew playing Connect 4 in the lounge

Back in Killarney we stopped in a cafe for a mediocre meal, then we shopped for food at a Tesco and walked back to the car. We’d not realized that it costs money to use a cart in a grocery store nor the 22 cent (50 cent — usd) surchage they put on plastic grocery bags in Ireland.

Back home we played cards, then had a quiet evening in the lounge after the kids had turns at driving a stick shift and steering wheel on the right along the gravel driveway.

New birds I saw today were:

pie-billed wagtail
Goldfinch
Jackdaw
hooded crow

More Day 2 photos on Flickr.