Monday, July 11, 2011

Bays, Fairies, Goats & Sheep! Welcome to Southwestern Ireland!

Saturday, June 18

This was a big day, traveling around the Ring of Kerry! It's over 100 miles of the most beautiful scenery in the world, and easy to see why it's such a popular tourist trail. I also learned that B & B may not always mean Bed and also means Bookies and Bars! (all are readily available in almost every small town along the way!)

The tour of the Ring usually begins counter-clockwise, travelling past Macgillycuddy's Reeks (a mountain range of peaks over 3,300 feet tall) and through the town of Killorglin. The oldest traditional fair in Ireland is held there every August, the three day Puck Fair. Yep, it's all about the King Goat!

The Red Fox Inn in Ballincleave, County Kerry.

It wasn't quite noon, but it's NEVER too early for a real Irish coffee! Nothing but some smooth Irish whiskey, coffee and pouring cream; you drink it just the way it's poured, giving yourself a cream mustache. No stirring allowed!

Obviously, it was delightful!

Gorgeousness around the Ring.

Near Glenbeigh, looking across Dingle Bay to the Dingle Peninsula.

More of Dingle Bay (I think!) Breathtaking!

Brendan, the sheep farmer, explaining to sheep novices ; ) the different types of these guys. Who knew?! Terry was wonderful about stopping many times to let us have a look at things that weren't on the itinerary, Brendan being one of them. He told us this would be the best €5 we would spend, and he was right!

He gave an incredible demonstration with two of his border collies. When we were leaving, he encouraged us to eat lamb and support the local economy, saying "Remember, if you're a vegetarian, so are the sheep!"

At Ballinskelligs Bay, in Waterville. It was darn chilly and windy, but the view was unbelievable! I picked up some beautiful purple and green rocks here.

This fabulousness is off the east shore of Ballinskelligs Bay, with views of the Atlantic and Derrynane Bay. I took an embarrassing, slippery, awkward, slow-motion fall here, just trying to jump from a 2' stone wall. -_- Yeah, that wasn't humiliating at all...

Near Derrynane National Park. See the fairy ring?!

Jim and Lauren dancing in the center, what fun! There are lots of legends relating to these rings : )

One look of the "Ladies' View" in Killarney National Park.

I attended Mass at Prince of Peace Catholic Church in Fossa, County Kerry, right up the road from our hotel. The building is  round and relatively plain, but what a view!!! Mass was literally 33 minutes long; they said the Our Father so quickly, I thought it was being said in Gaelic! (it wasn't)

Our trip is coming to an end! : ( But tomorrow holds the most spectacular weather of the trip, and my favorite, favorite "attraction", the Cliffs of Moher!

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