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9 travelers at this place

  • Day6

    Skelligs Chocolate

    August 18, 2017 in Ireland ⋅ 🌬 14 °C

    Unsere ersten beiden Ziele auf den Ring of Skelligs wären eigentlich Baillinskeilligs Abtei (Ruine) und der Brach gewesen. Nachdem der Himmel aber gerade alles abwirft, was er hat, beschließen wir diese Ziele auszulassen und direkt bis zu Skelligs Chocolate 🍫 durchzufahren.

    Am Ring of Kerry finden sich relativ viele Chocolaterien. Bei dieser Chocolaterie handelt es sich um ein größeres Unternehmen. Der Besucher bekommt einen Eindruck von der Produktion und kann ausgewählte Produkte probieren. Eine Mitarbeiterin erklärt die Besonderheiten einer jeden Sorte.
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  • Day142

    Day 142: Ring of Kerry

    July 7, 2017 in Ireland ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C

    Super long day today, driving the Ring of Kerry! Apparently it's the second-biggest tourist destination in Ireland behind only Dublin, so I was a little apprehensive about it. Though we'd had one good tip: the tour buses all drive the ring anti-clockwise, so it's better to drive clockwise as it's much less crowded.

    We got off to an early start, as we had 200 kilometres of driving to do as well as all of the stops! First up wasn't too far away, with a lovely waterfall to start things off. This first part of the drive was quite spectacular, going through a rugged national park with jagged stone hills and glacial lakes. Very pretty, and we stopped a couple more times to take some photos.

    Up next was Ladies Point, which was a great lookout across a valley. Apparently it was named because of Queen Victoria's ladies-in-waiting, who were super impressed with the view from that spot during a visit in the 19th century. It certainly looked nice, and the cafe there was doing a roaring trade, so we skipped.

    Next stop on the loop was the town of Kenmare, a pretty but again very heavily touristed town. Denis our Airbnb host had told us to visit the old stone circle (a la Stonehenge) just near town, but on arrival we found it cost 5 euros each! No thanks. Instead we had an ice-cream and coffee here and a poke around the "cute little shops" (Shandos's term, not mine) before heading on.

    Up next we visited a town called Sneem, which to me just looked like they'd spelled the name backwards. But Meens doesn't make sense either, so I assume not. Grabbed some lunch from the bakery and had another look around. More cute little shops of course.

    Following the road we eventually made it to the Atlantic, where the ring (which had been heading vaguely south-west) started to turn northwards. The main highlight down here is a place called Skellig's Chocolate Factory, where they make delicious artisan chocolates out of local Irish dairy. Lots of samples available and they were all extremely tasty, though I didn't see any glass elevators or oompa-loompas. We of course bought some supplies for the remainder of the drive!

    Around the tip of the peninsula we drove over a couple of spectacular mountains, where we could see the island of Skellig Michael just off the coast. This was a little heart-breaking for us, since it's a UNESCO world heritage site but we weren't able to visit. We'd tried a month ago to get tickets, only to discover that it was completely sold out! Given the precarious state of the natural environment there (it's only a small rocky outcrop and home to several unique wildlife species), it's fair enough that it's protected from mass tourism. Just annoying that it's Star Wars fans going to see Luke Skywalker's home rather than people who'd appreciate it a bit more. Another time I guess.

    We turned away and started heading north-east back up the ring, through a few little towns. Stopped at Portmacgee which had a nice little harbour, though not much else to see. Found a ruined castle nearby as well which was great - a crumbling ruin that you could climb all over and hardly anyone else around. Though we did get talked into a photo with a baby goat by a local farmer - for a small price of course!

    Final stop on the long drive back up the peninsula was the Gap of Dunloe: a long narrow pass between two tall hills, bordered by lakes, large boulders and a tiny, winding road. Apparently the done thing is to ride a donkey cart through the pass, but because it's at one end of the loop and we'd gone the opposite way to the tour buses, the donkeys had all gone home!

    So we had the place almost entirely to ourselves. Drove very slowly through the Gap as it's a very narrow and windy road, almost like the roads in coastal Italy! Stopped constantly and took lots of photos along the way of course.

    Finally we turned for home, though we stopped for dinner at a bar in Killarney - a much larger and busier town than we expected. Since it was a Friday night many places were booked out or had long queues, but we managed to find a bar that could seat us immediately. Good traditional food, though we didn't get to see the traditional music as it was starting later than we felt like staying!

    Back home very tired after a long day, where we went to bed fairly quickly. Denis wasn't home as he was out at a wedding!
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