Ireland
Co Kerry

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    • Day 19

      Roots

      June 20, 2022 in Ireland ⋅ ☀️ 63 °F

      After bidding goodbye to Bridie and her lovely home, we headed to St John’s Church in Tralee. What another amazing old structure. It was humbling to think that my grandma received the Sacrament of Baptism in this church in 1890. Off to the office where we got contact information for the archivist of the church. I’ll email him details and any pictures of documents we have. The parish cemetery is a few miles away, so we headed off to Rathass Cemetery. The caretaker of the cemetery was so helpful. He took both my great grandparents names and did a search, but found nothing. He said the data base is very incomplete before the 1920’s. We took a few pictures of headstones with Reidy names and will try and do more research through Ancestry. It’s amazing how easy it is to spend 2 hours in a cemetery.
      We had at least another hour to get to Kilcolgan in Galway county just south of Kilorglin, where we stayed many years back with Jen and Kelly. Our hosts for the next two days are Kate and Michael at Rafterys Way. So we hit our first Motorway of the trip. M18, with a speed limit of 120km/hr. We think it’s around 75miles/hr but the 120 is much more impressive! Kate offered us tea and biscuits when we arrived, had a chance to explore her garden and talk flowers with her and politics with Michael. As in the US, there are varied opinions about how each government handled the Covid lockdown. Tourism is such a huge component here that many businesses never could reopen. One owner we spoke with in Dingle said they learned some very important lessons from the lockdown. He said it rekindled their family time which had been lacking due to the business. He has chosen to close on Sundays for family time. Many businesses don’t have that luxury.
      Had an early dinner and bedtime. Heading to Inisheer, the smallest of the Aran Islands by ferry tomorrow.
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    • Day 6

      Morning at Ring of Kerry

      April 19 in Ireland ⋅ ☁️ 50 °F

      Driving tour around Ring of Kerry Iveragh Peninsula the center peninsula,between Dingle and Barea. Today is perfect slightly cloudy, now sunny day.
      Saw Skellig Micheal Island where movies have been filmed as well as many on Ring of Kerry itself.
      At the southern point of the R of K, the Statue of Liberty sits due west across the Atlantic Ocean.
      Past some ruins of towns / homes abandoned during the potato famine starting in 1845.
      I missed the Leprechaun 🍀 at the crossing.
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    • Day 18

      Dingle

      April 20 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

      Dingle ist eine kleine Hafenstadt auf der gleichnamigen Halbinsel im Südwesten Irlands. Die Gegend ist bekannt für ihre raue Landschaft mit Wanderwegen und Sandstränden. Am Hafenbecken steht eine Statue zu Ehren des Delfins Fungie, der seit Jahren ein häufiger Gast im Hafen war, bis 2020.Read more

    • Day 18

      Slea Head Drive

      April 20 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

      Auf dem absolut traumhaften Streckenabschnitt, Slea Head Drive, fahren wir bis zu unserem Schlafplatz mit fantastischem Meerblick. Es ist Samstag und viele Irländer genießen das schöne Wetter auch am Meer.Read more

    • Day 12

      Day 11 Ring of Kerry, Part 2

      May 5 in Ireland ⋅ ☁️ 14 °C

      Since the beginning of planning this trip, Bill really wanted to see the Staigue Ring Fort, a few km from the Ring of Kerry road. However, it's up a narrow rural access lane. "So what," you say???? Well, we are getting our fill of those, but he was up for the challenge, where you're supposed to honk on blind corners. The fort was probably built in the early centuries AD before Christianity came to Ireland. There are no buildings left today, but it must have been a very wealthy landowner who had a great need for security.
      As we walked back to the farmhouse from a fantastic halibut dinner at the Inn Between Bar and Restaurant, we had to wait for the dairy cows to cross the road. A driver said, "Only in Ireland!"
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    • Day 327

      Ring of Kerry

      May 10 in Ireland ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

      Bisher hatten wir in Irland "beautiful weather", "nice weather" und sogar einen vormittag "irish weather". Gestern und heute aber durchgehend beautiful weather. Die Sonne strahlt, der Himmel ist blau und es sind etwa 20°, das hatten2 wir in Irland nicht so erwartet, umso mehr freuen wir uns.

      Nach unserem Frühstück sind wir noch durch Bantry gebummelt. Der alte Friedhof liegt mitten in der Stadt und wirkt ein wenig verwunschen. Auf dem Rückweg zum Auto haben wir uns noch den Markt angesehen. Vor allem ein Trödelmarkt wo man eigentlich alles bekommen kann. Altes Besteck, Möbel, Gemälde, Werkzeug, Kettensägen, ....
      Von Bantry aus sind wir auf der N71 geblieben und haben den Wild Atlantic Way abgekürzt (Wir haben halt "demnächst" einen Termin in London und müssen jetzt etwas auf die Zeit achten. 😉) Aber auch diese Strecke war wunderschön, durch die Berge und kleinere Orte, mit toller Aussicht.
      Etwa auf halber Strecke nach Kenmare gibt es einen Aussichtspunkt mit schönem kleinem Souvenirshop und Café. Leider waren wir noch satt vom Frühstück, dabei gab es sogar hausgemachtes Eis.
      Hinter Kenmare sind wir links abgebogen und waren damit auf dem Ring of Kerry. An fast jedem Aussichtspunkt mussten wir zumindest kurz anhalten um Fotos zu machen. Es ist einfach wunderschön!
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    • Day 11

      Day 11 - Motorcycling Ecstacy

      August 11, 2019 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

      It was a little treat to watch Match of the Day in bed this morning with it still raining outside. I was having such a lovely time that I made Jackie a cup of coffee only for her to tip it over & spill half of it on the bedside table & carpet. We decided to give breakfast a miss because we didn’t feel we couldn’t do €12 each justice.

      It was not long after 10am that we finally donned out motorcycle gear again & left the comfort of our hotel. Luckily for us the rain had now stopped & it was a cool overcast day, perfect for motorcycling.

      As we were saddling up, visitors were already arriving at the hotel, Kells House & Gardens. We drove back down the long fern lined driveway, then headed to Kells beach for a quick look. One hardy family were on the beach building sandcastles, they weren’t going to let the weather stop them having a beach holiday!

      We then rejoined the Ring of Kerry where we had turned off the previous evening. We continued clockwise through Dooks, Glenbeigh, then took the first right turn after crossing Caragh Bridge, on the recommendation of Chris.

      The road soon became a single track road with next to no cars on it, more walkers, cyclists & the odd motorcyclists. The road took us alongside the spectacular Lough Carag, occasionally stopping for a photo, but it’s such a faff.

      To take a photo, I have to pull over, take my gloves off, dig my camera out of my pocket & take the photo whilst trying to balance the bike upright with Jackie wobbling on the back. If I want to get off the bike, then Jackie has to get off the bike first, usually with a sigh. As a result, most of the picturesque views have to be committed to our memory instead of to an SD card!

      We crossed the raging River Caragh at Blackstones Bridge, then climbed up into the mountains, passing through the stunning Ballaghbeama Gap. After an hour or so of tricky, but exhilarating riding, we reached the R568 & raced up to Molls Gap to rejoin the Ring of Kerry.

      We popped into the cafe at Molls Gap, but nothing too our fancy, so we had a wee & left. We now followed the Ring of Kerry anti-clockwise down the mountain with all the other tourists towards Killarney. We stopped at Ladies View for a scenic vista over Upper Lake. We even treated ourselves to a proper photo be getting of the bike to admire the views.

      We continued on in a procession down the mountain, through Killarney National Park, past Muckross Lake & towards the outskirts of Killarney with it’s massive hotels. We stopped at a petrol station for fuel & discovered it had a very tempting cafe, which prompted us to stay for brunch.

      The staff couldn’t have been nicer & more helpful. We had ham & egg salad rolls, scone, doughnut & coffees, all for a bargain price! After we cruised through, well stop / started through Killarney town centre, which was easy on the eye, but very touristy & way too busy. We didn’t stop other than to use an ATM.

      We then embarked on an approximate 2 hour ride across country to our new Cottage for Week 2 of our trip. We picked up the N72 & were able to ride at a decent pace on the relatively flat roads. The occasional hefty bump gave me a reminder to stay vigilant.

      We rode through Barraduff, Rathmore & Banteer to Mallow, nicknamed the “Crossroads of Munster”. We had a cruise around Mallow, primarily because I took a wrong turning, then picked up the N72 again. We continued through Killavullen, Ballyhooly to Fermoy.

      Fermoy was a very attractive, but less touristy, looking town with a an impressive bridge crossing the wide River Blackwater to the main street of Courthouse Road. Whilst in Fermoy, we stopped & took an ‘on bike’ photo of the Cistercian Monks statue.

      As a point of interest, during the War of Independence, Fermoy was the scene of the first attack for arms by the IRA against British troops, during which a Private Jones was killed. This resulted in several reprisals, including when British troops looted and burned part of the town centre. One of those who led the raid, IRA Commandant Michael Fitzgerald, was subsequently captured but never tried for the offence. He later became the first IRA man to die on hunger strike during the War of Independence.

      We continued eastwards to Tallow Bridge, where Chris had told me that the cottage was just a short distance further on. Unfortunately my SatNav told me to continue around the hairpin bend & that we were still 30 minutes away. Stupidly, I followed the SatNav until we got up the road to Lismore. We pulled over & used google which took us another route & just 6 minutes later we pulled up at Bride Valley Fruit Farm, the farmhouse of which is our cottage.

      Bride Valley Fruit Farm is still a working farm with cattle, sheep & Bramley cooking apples that are bought by Bulmers for their cider. The farmhouse has marvellous views across Bride Valley & the River Bride running through it.

      After emptying the panniers, Chris & I retreated to the kitchen to watch the Man Utd v Chelsea game on the iPad with a cold beer. When I thought the day couldn’t have got any better, Man Utd’s youngsters thrashed Chelsea 4-0. Nothing better than to see that smug self-satisfied look wiped off Frank Lampard’s face!

      As soon as the football finished, Angela served up a delicious Chicken Pasta Bake with garlic bread & salad with a drop of red. After dinner, we cleared away & got ready to play a game of Cribbage. I dealt out the first hand, but before we could play we had an unexpected pitch invasion, in the form of the farmer, Willie McDonnell.

      Willie walked straight in, sat himself down at our table & picked up the dealt cards. He then proceeded to tell us that he used to play ‘45’ & started selecting random cards that were apparently bonus cards. Willie was a lovely old man, who certainly had the the gift of the gab. No doubt he had kissed the Blarney Stone!

      Willie stayed for 30-45 minutes telling us all sorts of stories about his life on the farm & the people & history of the area. It was fascinating & amusing stuff. We ascertained from him that we were allowed to fish in the river for brown trout, but not salmon. Willie also told us that 10 years ago he bought a donkey for €1000 for his cottages guests as well as investing in the luxury of internet. He couldn’t have been more different to Mr Hegarty.

      We played Cribbage & Logo ( note: where Jackie was the victor over an out of form Simon) & finally went to bed at the unearthly hour of 11.30pm.

      It had been a top top day.

      Song of the Day - The High Road by Broken Bells
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    • Day 32

      Kerry Cliffs

      June 6, 2022 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

      After a morning of driving the most scenic 3 hour route in Ireland, in total fog and rain 🤣 the skies finally cleared and gave us a gorgeous 2 hours bang on cue for our venture up to see the Kerry Cliffs. The rain returned as soon as we'd finished lunch and set of driving again 🙃
      We saw lots of the various birds you are supposed to look for here... But sadly no puffins today
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    • Day 32

      Laharn Viewpoint

      June 6, 2022 in Ireland ⋅ 🌧 15 °C

      Went to camp in the clouds, apparently there's usually an amazing view 😁

      Early start for a swim this morning (not in a small way for the nice indoor warm showers 🙃) Lennon loves swimming now after taking a few months to suss it out with a permanent confused look, never crying never smiling... He's finally a little waterbaby 🤗 and now we are headed for a ferry to our last section of the Southern Irish CoastRead more

    • Day 75

      CÚIG GHRIANGHRAF-Ireland Day 10

      June 27, 2022 in Ireland ⋅ 🌧 14 °C

      We woke up to a brief display of clear skies before the weather began to change rather quickly to what felt like a combination of Pacific NW winter rains and Wyoming's strong winds. I've dubbed the weather Hurricane Patrick.

      One of the things we've noticed about the locals is that they tend to be rather apologetic about the weather. They seem perplexed that it should be better this time of year. We reassure them that we are happy to be here and a holiday during inclement weather is better than a day in the office on a sunny day.

      We departed Limerick for an overnight side trip to the Dingle peninsula today, part of the Wild Atlantic Way. We took the Slea Head Drive (Slí Cheann Sléibhe) enroute to the town of Dingle. Along the way we saw film locations for free 1970 movie Ryan's Daughter and one of the Star Wars movies. The old ruins of a tower and the dramatic cliffs and countryside were spectacular.

      At one stop, I took photos of sheep grazing in a pasture. I really did think that one of the larger sheep was going to charge through the fence at me, and I was a bit embarrassed at being intimidated by it. I think I was haunted by reliving childhood memories of benign petting zoos only to get head butts from goats.

      We stopped for a lunch in Dingle before proceeding to some additional coastal sites.
      We stopped by the Gallarus Oratory which is thought to be a 10th or 11th century stone church. The shape of the arch is comparable to an overturned boat, and the arch doesn't have a keystone like other architectural arch structures.

      After departing the Oratory we made our way across the Conor pass. The vistas were quite spectacular despite the gloomy weather. The roads were very narrow at certain points, and they were reliant on the courtesy of travelers to use the turnouts in places where only one lane can pass at a time. Stray sheep along the roadsides added extra navigation challenges. We imagined what it must be like to be driving a tour bus through the area as we were followed by one in other parts of the drive.

      After we made it through the Pass, we arrived at our B&B about 10 minutes further down the road. We were greeted by Mary, the proprietor, who gave us dinner recommendations with a newly opened family restaurant down the road. I never thought I would be seeking the comfort of a wood stove at the end of June, but it was a welcome feature of this quaint restaurant. We struck up a conversation with other guests who are two college friends traveling from Kansas. One was a kindergarten teacher, and we enjoyed sharing travel tips.

      We arrived back at our B&B, and we are enjoying the white noise of the wind and sea beckoning us to sleep. Sweet dreams!
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    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Ciarraí, Ciarrai, Co Kerry, KIR

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