There’s a place in Northern Ireland I’ve wanted to see for years. When I was with Stephen and Maurizio I told them I intended to go directly there after leaving Dublin and in the kindest, most gentle manner they said, in so many words, “What, are you nuts?” They said I’d be remiss if I didn’t take the time to go to western Ireland and see some of the sights there and I’m so grateful they did.
I had intended to write just one blog post about all of my adventures in western Ireland but when I went through my photos of Killarney, Muckross Lake, the Dingle Peninsula, Galway and the Cliffs of Moher I realized I had so many photos I wanted to share with you that I would have to write two separate posts in order to do it. So, in this post I’ll stick to Killarney, Muckross Lake and the Dingle Peninsula, all of which are in County Kerry. Even whittling down my scope leaves a lot to cover, so here goes:
I didn’t take all that many shots of Killarney itself. It’s definitely a nice little town, but I think nowadays geared mostly toward the tourist industry. Hey, you make your living where you can. But, I was here mostly to see the surrounding sights anyway. Here are a few shots of Killarney.
A few pics of a church in town with nice paint- and tile-work and a gorgeous pipe organ.
At my hostel I met a really great young woman from Namibia named Dani. That’s one of the best things about travel and, I think, especially staying at hostels – you meet some of the nicest people. We went out one night for a drink at this sweet little pub, a bit off the beaten track.
We had a great conversation and also sat and listened to this phenomenally talented brother and sister duo. I don’t think there’s an instrument he can’t play and her voice is lovely.
I’m not sure if this was originally a visitor center or maybe a groundskeeper’s home. I couldn’t find any helpful signage. But, look at the great thatching on the roof.
Yet one more thing I want to needlepoint (below).
Muckross Lake is also a part of the National Park. I’d wanted so badly to take the full walk around the lake, but time forbade. I went to the lake on the same day that I traveled from Dublin to Killarney which meant I was starting too late in the day to be able to accomplish that and still get back to the hostel before dark. Being that I have to leave the country by a certain date, this was really my only day to see it. Still, I did take a nice walk by the lake.
But first, I headed up to see Torc Waterfall.
My first sighting of the lake.
I was so excited to get this tiny glimpse of a Red Deer stag. Little did I realize at the time that I was soon to have a rather closer encounter.
I stood mesmerized a long while watching and listening to the wind in these trees.
A bit further on I had that previously mentioned encounter with the deer.
I was standing at that very sunny spot at the stag’s feet when I heard and saw an incredible rustling in the shrubs that are just behind his present position and suddenly his head popped out! I’d been told it’s rutting season so it’s best to steer clear of them. It’s not as if I’d have tried to interact with the huge beast even outside rutting season so I made a quick (and hopefully unstartling) move away from him, then turned around to take this picture. I figured there were plenty of trees to climb if need be (though I can’t remember when was the last time I climbed a tree!).
Actually, he seemed completely unperturbed by my presence. He’s really beautiful, though, isn’t he?
Further along I found Muckross House which was built in 1843 in the Tudor style.
In 1932, the house and its 11,000 acres were presented to the Irish nation and formed the basis of the current National Park.
This is the view of the lake from the house. Not bad.
The skyline’s not too shabby, either.
The next day I took a bus tour to the Dingle Peninsula…
…and it was beautiful.
(Don’t forget – you can click on a picture to see it fully).
I saw this little guy hiding out under a rock!
You can look out to sea at a Star Wars movie location for, I believe, The Force Awakens. It’s on the Skellig Islands seen out in the distance here.
Then you turn around and see these beehive houses, also called clochán, which are believed to have been built anywhere between the 6th and 12th centuries.
Little fella keeping an eye on his domain.
This was Dolores O’Riordan’s home for about a year. The winters are pretty harsh here, they say.
Another stop at the coast and then on to the town of Dingle.
My travels have exceeded my ability to keep up with blogging about them. What I’m thinking of doing is skipping ahead on some and posting others. Then, when I’m back in California and things have settled down a bit I’ll have a few ‘leftover’ (so to speak) posts that I will then write. It’s just, plain getting ahead of me and there’s still lots that I want to see. So, I won’t be keeping them in order of occurrence, but I’m not sure that really matters all that much, does it, really?
So, onward and upward. I hope you enjoyed my post on County Kerry, Ireland.