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Going against the Grain: Too long of a trip

Going against the Grain: Too long of a trip

Oct 1st, 2019, 07:38 AM
  #21  
 
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I had to really psych myself up for the weather in Ireland. One thing that made a tremendous difference is that people of Ireland are the nicest, warmest I have encountered anywhere. If I did that many one and two nights stays, I'd be worn out too, I'm afraid.
I feel a trip is a great success when my husband and I are not weary and ready to go home, but instead verbalize "I could keep going."
Your photos look great!
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Oct 1st, 2019, 07:46 AM
  #22  
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thanks yorkshire. Actually, we had pretty decent weather for the first half and we weren't worn out. Just felt that we had seen what we wanted and it started to be the same thing. Think I needed more city time

Last edited by barefootbeach; Oct 1st, 2019 at 07:50 AM.
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Oct 1st, 2019, 07:49 AM
  #23  
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KINSALE

Mussels at Bulman's Bar

Bulman's Bar

Kinsale Harbor view from room

Lusitania memorial at Old Head
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Oct 1st, 2019, 08:25 AM
  #24  
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KILLARNEY

Here’s where I really needed another night or two. The Killarney National Park area was beautiful and I wish I’d had time to see the Gap of Dunloe. Also, it would have been easy to do the Dingle Peninsula from here rather than moving to Dingle.

We drove directly to Muckross House for a noon tour of this historic home full of interesting and beautiful items…inlaid wood designs, English plaster ceilings and views across the wide lawns to Muckross Lake and the mountains. If you like, you could arrive by jaunting car, a horse drawn cart. There’s a lovely craft shop and cafe in the walled garden area and I bought some woven scarves from Mucros Weavers.

We checked into Loch Lein Country House, outside Killarney in Fossa, which was a lovely and comfortable inn with a view across to Lough Leane, the largest of the three lakes in Killarney. The innkeeper welcomed us with tea and biscuits set up in the front garden. There was no access to walk down to the lake though. Our delightful room had large picture windows looking across to the lake and the misty mountains with a huge bathroom. We had a wonderful dinner at a nearby inn, Rozzer’s…scallop/shrimp ravioli starter and rack of lamb, Salmon with Risotto.

Breakfast the next morning was excellent in a lovely room but marred by the brusque and impatient manner of the male owner. Nothing like his sweet wife.

It’s a sunny day for our drive around the Ring of Kerry and we’re grateful for that. We set off about 8:20, driving counter clockwise, and really didn’t have any issue with buses. However, the first half of the drive was not that scenic. Perhaps spent too much time at the Skellig Experience on Valentina island. Had coffee and cake in Portmagee, saw the Kerry Cliffs with Skellig Michael in the distance. It seemed like the best scenery was after all this when we were running out of time and energy…no time to stop in Sneem because the place was clogged with buses and tourists in mid-afternoon. Just stopped in Kemare long enough to buy more scarves and hats at Quills. Stopped at the Avoca store in Moll’s Gap quickly…and caught Torc Waterfall and Ross Castle as the light was fading.

If I could do it again, I’d follow Rick Steves advice and stay near Kenmare and drive clockwise from there so you’d get the best of the ring in the morning when you’re fresh.

We made it back to Loch Lein by 7pm and rushed to dinner in the inn’s dining room. Mr. Congeniality waited on us again but the three course dinner was delicious and so convenient after driving all day.

Next: Dingle



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Oct 1st, 2019, 10:11 AM
  #25  
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Oct 1st, 2019, 10:13 AM
  #26  
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Captions: Muckross House; Muckross Lake, Killarney National Park; Lough Leane from Loch Lein Country House; and our room at Loch Lein.
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Oct 1st, 2019, 10:33 AM
  #27  
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Oct 1st, 2019, 10:34 AM
  #28  
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Captions: Good omen for ROK drive; Cliffs of Kerry; and Portmagee
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Oct 1st, 2019, 11:00 AM
  #29  
 
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I'm having trouble pairing the comment: "just didn't have the variety of scenery of others" with all the dramatic & amazing photos I'm viewing on this thread!
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Oct 1st, 2019, 11:02 AM
  #30  
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suze....I know...I guess I'm a glutton for MORE...selectively took photos when the weather cleared.
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Oct 1st, 2019, 11:11 AM
  #31  
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DINGLE

We ran out of good weather and the drive along the Slea Head Peninsula was cloudy and rainy. We wasted too much time at Dunbeg Fort with seeing the movie and trying to walk down to it with my bad knee…what was I thinking…it’s a fort! Good coffee and cake at cozy Stonehouse Cafe though. We walked up to visit some stone cottages abandoned during the Famine. The best part of the drive was visiting the Blasket Island Visitor Center…very modern but just really had time for the movie. By now, it’s pouring out. Stopped at a cool pottery workplace and cafe, Louis Mulcahy Pottery for an open crab sandwich. These are so good in Ireland. Didn’t buy anything…the prices seemed high.

Drove back to Dingle and checked into The Greenmount House, where we had a wonderfully large harbor view room from on high and very convenient parking outside the door. Of course, with the rain, there is no view but we suited up and walked over to the town. Saw the Henry Clark stained glass windows in the convent chapel…tried the infamous Murphy’s ice cream, checked out the shops. But, Dingle leaves me cold. When I booked, I tried to stay two nights here but could only get one. Now, I’m glad. The town is known for trad music, which we had intended to hear, but on a cold, blustery, rainy night, the last thing we wanted to do was walk. We did have a good dinner at the Charthouse in town.

In hindsight, I would’ve skipped Dingle all together since we drove the ROK, and added the night to Killarney.
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Oct 1st, 2019, 11:54 AM
  #32  
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Trying to upload my photos is driving me crazy...have to try multiple times and randomly they upload. So, i apologize that when I can post them they won't be in order of the commentary. Maybe I need to try late at night
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Oct 1st, 2019, 12:07 PM
  #33  
 
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On the trip report I just posted I was able to upload them ok but then had to arrange them once they were uploaded. Dragging them to the order I wanted them in was a pain but it eventually worked. Still enjoying your report.
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Oct 1st, 2019, 12:21 PM
  #34  
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CTY. CLARE: LAHINCH & the Burren

We made the 11:30 ferry from Tarbert to Killimer and enjoyed a cafe lunch in Kilkee at The Pantry. However, it’s drizzly, cloudy and raining, not pretty at all, the coastal views of gray seas merging into gray skies means no pictures.

I’d really been looking forward to staying two nights at the Moy House, near Lahinch as a special treat. It’s a pricey place so had booked their least expensive room. You get what you pay for. The room with a double bed was the size of a closet, as was the bathroom. Unfortunately, I bruise or bleed at the slightest bump, so this was hazardous to my health. Barely had room for our luggage.

The inn is situated on top of a bluff with a walk down to a beach, which we didn’t get to try. It was slightly sunny when we arrived so decided we better pop over and explore the town. We learned the forecast for the next day was more rain, so drove over to the Cliffs of Moher, about 20 minutes away, to catch them. It was about 5p when we got there and only 2 buses so that was good. Just as we walked up to the Cliffs there was a brightening and a bit of sun. If my knee had been better, we would have walked longer along the tops of the cliffs. Photo recommendations are not to be there in the morning as the cliffs aren’t lit, but in the afternoon you’re also shooting into the sun.

Dinner was back at the Moy House…a 6 course tasting menu. It was the best meal of the trip.

Awoke to drizzly skies and decided that driving around the rocky Burren, our plans for the day, would not be very photogenic. And, that we didn’t want to spend another night in that room. We tried to change rooms but they were totally booked and agreed to let us leave a night early without penalty. My first thought was to spend the night in Galway as there would be things to do even if it’s raining, but we ended up staying just outside the city.

On the way there, we stopped in the Burren Centre to watch the movie and visited the Burren Perfumery and had lunch at their great cafe. It’s a rather desolate area and the weather contributed to that feeling.

We arrived during rush hour at the Glenlo Abbey, which is a large old historic mansion sited on a 9 hole golf course, fronting Lough Corrib on the edge of the Connemara. It was sunny then so went for a walk around the golf course and just ate in their pub. It’s a rather large, corporate type place, and this felt like a wasted day.

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Oct 1st, 2019, 12:22 PM
  #35  
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thanks John183!
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Oct 2nd, 2019, 06:58 AM
  #36  
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CONNEMARA: Lough Inagh

My spirits lifted as a sunny day promised a scenic drive through Connemara. We took the coastal route and had a good pub lunch at O’Dowd’s in Roundstone before continuing on to Cliffden. The landscape is a lovely mix of rocky fields, water inlets, bog-like little lakes, background mountains fronted by yellow wildflowers, and red berry shrubs lining the roads. Tried the stores in Cliffden without success but had good cake and coffee at Walsh’s bakery cafe.

Drove on to our Lodge at Lough Inagh passing sheep grazing along scenic streams. The Lodge is across the street from the lake with surrounding views of the 12 Bens and the Mam Turks mountain ranges. Guests sat reading in the sun and enjoying a pint with the lake views. Thank God we got Room # 1, ground floor, huge with views to the lake, as my knee was the worst ever but hobbled down to their dock for a closer look at the lake.

The two night package included dinner one night, so we ate in their dining room and had a lovely meal. (mussels, rack of lamb, goat cheese/beet salad, salmon, rum raison/coconut ice cream,

So far, we like Connemara the best.

And then, the next day, more gloom. It started cloudy and only got worse. We started at Kylemore Abbey, about a 20 minute drive, stunningly sited below a forested mountain. There’s a beautiful view of this from across it’s lake. We started with walking to the small gothic chapel built like a little cathedral in honor of the owner’s beloved wife who died of Nile Fever (dysentery) while on a family trip to Egypt. Very charming and featured different colored marble from the region. The house had a few rooms decorated in the Victorian style and displays on the Belgium Benedictine nuns who fled during the war and opened a school for girls here. Notre Dame University has now entered into a partnership with them.

There is a shuttle bus you can take up to walk around their large walled Victorian Gardens and a nice gift shop on the property. Going early helps avoid the crowds.

Next we drove to eat lunch at Oliver’s on Cleggan Pier overlooking a working fishing harbor. My first taste of garlic Crab Claws…amazing!…and again, seafood chowder, washed down by our favorite, Smithwick’s Ale. Watched the wet fishermen working their boats.

Our last stop was the Visitor Center at Connemara Park, where you can go for some hikes. Of course, with my knee and the rain, this wasn’t going to happen. So, instead we watched the movie. Nothing looks good today in the rain. So, now I don’t like it here. I’m way too dependent on weather for my moods!

Best part was coming back to our lodge to find red and blue sheep grazing outside our window. Tonight we just ate in the pub part of our lodge.

By the way, I CANNOT post any more photos. I’ve tried every which way. So, at the end of this report, I will post a link to a site if you’d like to see them.

Next: WESTPORT, Cty. MAYO



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Oct 2nd, 2019, 07:40 AM
  #37  
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WESTPORT, Cty. MAYO

Rained ALL Day again. i am so tired of this.

So, our “scenic” drive today was along the Killary Fjord, which would be quite beautiful if you could see it and take a ride on one of the fjord boats. We did see the mussel farms below in the wind swept water. Then, we took the Doo Lough Pass, site of where so many starved to death seeking relief and being turned away. The low lying clouds, and mist shrouded mountains added to the desolate feeling. I couldn’t believe the bikers that braved this weather for a ride. Jumped out in the rain to see the Aasleagh waterfall and some hardy souls were baiting their lines.

The best part was lunch at The Tavern, in Murrisk, at the foot of Croagh Patrick, which we couldn’t really see. It’s dark, cozy atmosphere fit the rainy mood.

From here, it was a short ride to Westport, where we checked into the Westport Plaza. I don’t like this hotel at all, although it has all the comfort features. It feels like a business, group type of place, with dated ‘modern ‘faux luxury touches and dark/ugly colors.

I tried to drop the second night in Westport and add it to Dublin where we could at least visit museums, but our hotel in Dublin was booked and I didn’t want the hassle of changing hotels once we got there.

Tried walking around the town in the rain, but on a Sunday, not much was open. I was looking forward to dinner at the An Port Mor, which has gotten so many good reviews, but it was probably the most disappointing meal of the trip. The sirloin steak was a bad cut…very tough and chewy. They were very nice about changing it to rump of lamb…but had the same issue with that.

The next morning..what a difference a day makes. It started out cloudy with a mediocre breakfast in the hotel, but on the way to tour Westport House, I got my favorite photo of the trip…even with the overcast.

The tour of Westport House was very interesting. Lots of history to absorb about the Famine besides the fine furnishings. What an entrepreneur the current owner is!

And then…the sun came out…so decided to drive out to Achill Island and see their beach. For those of you who like to ride, there’s a wonderful bike ride you can take from there back to Westport along an old railroad path. Again, when planning this trip, I thought we would do that. The scenery was very pretty and we made it to Keel. There’s a charming and excellent cafe there with a good craft shop, The Beehive. Here I tried my first Banoffee pie and a Tuna Bap…type of warm sandwich. Very good! The server gave us directions on how to walk down to the beach past grazing sheep. Watched the surfers ply the waves for awhile. Happy to get some good photos today. Dinner was at Sol Rio, which was just OK and very tight and noisy.

Next: DUBLIN


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Oct 2nd, 2019, 09:25 AM
  #38  
 
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Rained ALL Day again
That's how it gets to be the Emerald Isle.... It rained all the time I was in Northern Ireland in the 60s, likely one reason I haven't been back.
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Oct 2nd, 2019, 12:00 PM
  #39  
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Thursday’s.....yes, I get enough rain here in Wisconsin....maybe it reminded me too much of home.
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Oct 2nd, 2019, 12:11 PM
  #40  
 
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The Tavern was probably one of my fav places. We climbed Crough Patrick, walked in there looking like hell and they treated us so good. We were starving. They called us a cab and we went back to Westport. Glad you ate there.
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