Blogs from County Kerry, Ireland, Europe

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Europe » Ireland » County Kerry » Killarney April 4th 2014

In a country where we quickly determined there was more scenic diversity than advertised we began our journey to the southwest and southern part of this fascinating land. Our trip was already two weeks old and we’d seen and experienced so much, it was almost difficult to imagine what we could find next that would match what we had already experienced. But we found it…..and more. Dingle First….a little background. When we were in Dublin at a pub called the Brazen Head for an evening of story telling and music (to be described in our future Dublin blog), we had the good fortune of striking up a conversation with Johnny, who was the storyteller. He was extremely proud of his land and when we told him we would be in Ireland for the better part of ... read more
Headed out of Killarney
Azure waters of Sheepshead Peninsula
Connor Pass

Europe » Ireland » County Kerry » Killarney December 21st 2013

Yesterday I spent my last morning in Cork. I had just enough time to walk downtown to St. FinBarre's cathedral before going back to catch my train to Killarney. All told, the train ride was relatively short, and when I got to Killarney it was raining. Hard. I had booked a hostel which was thankfully only a 3 minute walk from the train station. Upon ringing the doorbell, I was greeted by the host, Martin - a young guy with a mohawk and a thick Polish accent, not exactly what I expected to see in Ireland. The hostel itself is very cozy, with a woodstove and dim lighting in the main room - very rustic and good for relaxing. As of checking in time, I had my own 8-bed room to myself! The rain didn't discourage ... read more

Europe » Ireland » County Kerry » Killarney October 18th 2013

If we were to travel directly to our next accommodation just outside Killarney we could be there in less than an hour. That would obviously be too easy and all we would be sightseeing would be farmland. So our plan for the day is to travel to the end of the Dingle Peninsula and back again and then onto our hotel, The 19thGreen. It would have been great to have been able to pull the curtains back this morning and seen the sun shining brightly but................. The reasonable day of weather we had yesterday has deserted us and there was rain hitting the bedroom window. We had given a breakfast time of 9am so we could enjoy a lie in and by delaying our departure as long as we could perhaps the rain would clear away. ... read more
Lush green hillside paddocks
Main street,Dingle
Stone walls separating paddocks,Dingle Peninsula

Europe » Ireland » County Kerry » Abbeyfeale October 17th 2013

When we were booking our accommodations in Ireland we wanted to get part of our time in some smaller towns and tonight will be one of them in a town we had never heard of before and nor could we initially find on the atlas page until we searched more closely. Our night’s sleep was a good one which might have been partly down to the long day we put in to get from Lewisham to Athlone but it was also because of the very comfortable bed although we did miss our pillows that had been with us for over 6 months. To anyone wanting to take a little advice on taking a lengthy journey such as this we certainly would recommend that you find a pillow that you are comfortable with, even testing it out ... read more
River Shannon at Athlone
Reputedly the oldest pub in Ireland,Athlone
Can't get much more Irish than this street name

Europe » Ireland » County Kerry » Dingle Peninsula October 14th 2013

My eyes lowered from the dim vaulted ceiling towering above me to the grand wooden shelves emblazoned by 200,000 fuscous books, their dull tones adding gravitas to one of the finest libraries in the world. The 65 metre Long Room at the Trinity College Library is a dream for fellow bibliophiles, but alas – so much knowledge and so little time. Two lines of marble busts sat beneath these rows of cherished tomes. One particularly noble bust caught my attention, it had the word “Burke” engraved underneath. Making no assumptions, though suspecting the answer, I asked a security officer standing nearby, “Which Burke is this?” “Edmund” replied the burly elderly gentleman, “And he attended Trinity College.” Looking around the marble busts, I enquired, “Did all these people attend Trinity?” “From here onwards” he remarked, marking an ... read more
Books in the Long Room of Trinity College Library - Dublin, County Dublin, Ireland
View on a morning walk at Waymont - Dingle Peninsula, County Kerry, Ireland
The Long Room of Trinity College Library - Dublin, County Dublin, Ireland

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Europe » Ireland » County Kerry » Dingle Peninsula September 13th 2013

Despite the overcast weather the Tour continues south towards the Dingle Peninsula which is in county Kerry and the westernmost point of Ireland. Or the next Parish to America :) This is a staunch Irish Catholic area where, to their credit, they managed to retain the Gaelic language and customs even when occupied by the English. It is dotted with beautiful farms and villages painted with bright colours and loads of thatched roofs. Idyllic scenery which you can't imagine can get any more lovely until you actually arrive on the peninsula. And we were lucky enough to have the front most seats on the bus ! Here the concept of Ireland being green is obvious. It is so vivid photos do it poor justice. The hedgerows are studded with red fushias and yellow gorse add to ... read more
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Europe » Ireland » County Kerry » Killarney July 27th 2013

After a night of lost sleep due to ‘boy racers’ all night (thought they were only in NZ!) we left Killarney at 8.50 and headed in an anti clockwise direction around the Ring of Kerry. The maps all advised to go in this direction but surely many people had ignored that advice. The road is not wide, it is twisty, uneven and certainly not fast. It seemed a bit strange that so much money had been poured into the motorways and main tourist routes, like the Ring of Kerry, had only a very good road in odd places. Most of the surface is patched and uneven though some of that may be due to bog or rocks under the surface. Our first stop down along the Dingle Bay inlet coast was at a Bog Museum which ... read more
The red team at Waterville
A scene looing out over the bay from Waterville
The 3rd round fort at Steig

Europe » Ireland » County Kerry » Killarney July 26th 2013

We got away early this morning in order to fit in more than just travelling. The weather continues to be changeable and we now figure this is normal. Every day's forecast is sun, cloud, rain, warm and cool - you get the lot. Don't go anywhere without an umbrella because you might want one 30 minutes later. We first went to Cashel where we wanted to visit the Rock of Cashel with St Patrick's Church. We visited here in 1976 and it was nothing like it is today. Then, we were able to simply walk up to the castle and walk all over and around. Now it is a primary tourist spot. The castle was first established very early on by a kingdom but was handed to the Catholic Church over 1000 years ago. Since then, ... read more

Europe » Ireland » County Kerry July 16th 2013

Day 3 We started our day with a killer breakfast at the Ballyseed castle and then off we went to explore the Ring of Kerry. Our first stop was to have an irish coffee at the Red Fox Inn and we walked through a replica of an old bog village. There were two irish wolfhounds there but they wouldn't get up. As we were driving thru Cahersiveen, we saw a small grocery called James Curran so we snapped a photo. This was also the town of Daniel O'Connell (the Liberator). Back in the van, we stopped at a lame museum, a bit disappointing. But we recovered by going to some castle ruins and got to explore them. We rode along the coast and got to enjoy more spectacular views, stopping at the Skellig cliffs, which rival ... read more
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Europe » Ireland » County Kerry July 14th 2013

Day 2 Today we started by touring St Johns castle in Limerick and received quite the history lesson. Damn British! But the Irish prevailed! We left Limerick and headed south to Killarney. We hiked up the Gap of Dunloe along with a ton of jauntys (horse driven carts). Beautiful views! Ate wild strawberries along the way and saw a lot of sheep grazing. We left the Gap and headed to Muckross house which is also part of Killarney National Park. There we hiked to the Torc Falls, very scenic. Got back to the gift shop with about 2 minutes to spare, but they kicked us out after buying some magnets ( I was soon disappointed, ha ha). Our driver then took us to an overlook that gave us great views of the Killarney Lakes. We made ... read more
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