Ireland 2012 Greetings Day One

Nov 2nd, 2012, 08:49 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 38
Loving the report! Am also planning a trip to Ireland in May (2014). Had a lot of difficulty when trying to set up an itinerary and where to visit, etc. This report is great, totally helping me figure where to go!

Looking forward to the next one!

Mandy
Mandy4305 is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2012, 09:59 AM
  #22  
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Dac, we are staying in room 11, level 3, it is a grand room, great breafast. i highly reccommend it. thanks ya all for following along. Another blog shortly.
brookums71 is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2012, 11:37 AM
  #23  
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Greetings from Ireland
2012
Day7
Killarney
"Following the light of the sun,we left the Old World."
Christopher Columbus
Well, strap your comfy jammies on, get a nice cup of cocoa, let me tuck you in , with a lovely Irish bedtime story of discovery and exploration. Today after a elegant fireside breakfast, sitting by the window overlooking the splendid grounds of the Cahernane Hotel, we feasted on a fancy spread of delicate cheeses, exotic fruits, hand squeezed orange juice, and all the other goodies we have had along the way. We set out very early, as the sun was out, no rain in site, and we were fueled by motivation, intrigue, and a croisant or two.
Our first stop was Ross Castle http://www.heritageireland.ie/en/south-west/rosscastle/, a 15th century castle. We walked around the dewey grounds, fresh from a light sprinkle. The inside was closed, but the castle faced the water, with spectacular views. After the castle, we made a spontaneous decision to do a horse jaunting tour http://www.killarneyhorseandcarriagetours.com/ . This is a guided tour with a jarvey (a driver) and a horse drawn wagon attached. The jarvey (Patrick) and his lovely companion Diamond, took us to several of Killarney's highlights including: Muckross House http://www.muckross-house.ie/, a mansion from 1843, with impressive gardens, the winding nature trails of Killarney National Park http://www.killarneynationalpark.ie/ with spellbinding views of the Lakes of Killarney, and with an impressive end at the Torc Waterfall http://www.vacationkillarney.com/Tor..._killarney.htm. Standing at the waterfall, I made note of all the senses I was using. My eyes took in all the abundant nature, the lush green overgrowth,with the white, foamy water falling down the jagged rocks. My ears took in the thunderous roar of the water, as it made its way downstream, my face felt the cool, dampness that hung in the air, and my nose smelled the grassy, moist vegetation. Along the way, Patrick gave us commentary in his interesting and lively accent, in between speaking softly to his co-pilot Diamond. The experience was well worth the 35 euros, and one of the main highpoints of the trip.
After the equestrian adventure, we on a wim decided to go to Dingle, http://www.dingle-peninsula.ie/ . About 40 miles from Killarney, (takes about an hour and half) it is a seaside, fishing village. The town is colorful and artsy, but the real action is in the scenic drive. We first stopped for lunch at The Half Door http://www.halfdoor.ie/home.html. A cutsie, cozy seafood restaurant, known for its fresh lobster. Frank chose his little fellow (who we actually saw brought in fresh from the Fisherman) and waited in anticipation for his culinary splurge. I started with cream of leek soup. Hot and creamy, with some dark irish bread. Frank had a spicy (needed an emergency dose of Tums later) Lobster Bisque. I also had a dreamy caeser salad, with some lovely hot vegetables. Frank ate his lobster with all essential tools like a pro, it appeared like a lot of work, for a little bit of food, but he seemed pleased. We took a short walk through the town and went back to the car to set off on our penisular adventure.
The drive towards Slea Head Drive http://www.dingle-peninsula.ie/sleahead.html was abundant with mountainous views, the sea below, as waves crashed into the rocks. We went through the tiniest, curvy roads I have ever seen. As we barely drove by other drivers, I felt myself sucking in my tummy. As the road got narrower, only one car could fit through the space, and smiling obliging drivers, would pull over to let you through. We paid 2 euros to see a prehistoric religous beehive, they are huts made out of large stones, dating back from the 1200s. They were essentially prehistoric condos. The fact that they still remain, and are in fairly good condition, is pretty amazing, since here thay are tearing down the local diner that's 20 years old. The huts were situated on a very steep hill, with oblivious sheep flanking both sides. A quick photo op, that also included a beautiful rainbow that went from mountain range to sea (no cost in that-that was free).
We made a couple more quick stops, one with a ramshackled hut with no roof (and a prehistoric beehive) for sale. Frank contemplated the purchase, as we mentally constructed a plan, where he would charge for the beehive, and I would have a world selling hummus line that would make us independently wealthy. The rain pelting on our face and sheep turds littering the lawn, shed some reality on that one.
We made our way back to the hotel, with little traffic and still some light calling it an extremely successful day.
The trip is winding down and only a couple more days left -so continue to tune in.
Love and sheep turds,
~Brooke and Frank~
brookums71 is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2012, 08:57 AM
  #24  
 
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Had to chuckle at your most recent sign off!

sorry that you only have a few more days.
irishface is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2012, 10:51 AM
  #25  
dac
 
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Patiently waiting..
also Brooke I was thinking of spending 2 nights in Dingle and 2 nights in Killarney. However after seeing your hotel and your report of a daytrip to dingle I am thinking of staying 4 nights in Killarney and doing daytrip as you did? What do you think?
Thanks so much for any advice. Did not mean to hijack your report but it is so timely for me
Dax
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Nov 3rd, 2012, 12:27 PM
  #26  
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Dac-
love that your following. 3 nights in killarney is plenty. There are some minor issues w Killarney. Traffic is crazy. If you want to dine in town, parking is an issue. A night in Dingle could be enjoyable. There are some beautiful sights,also the ring of kerry which will be my next installment, has some amzing b&bs overlooking the water. Waterville was exspecially beautiful. The hotel is lovely but very limited wifi in the lobby. Read on and fell free to ask any questions. I love it and I hope I can be helpful.
also thanks irishface.
brookums71 is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2012, 01:50 PM
  #27  
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Greetings From Ireland
2012
Day 8
Killarney
Ring of Kerry
“When anyone asks me about the Irish character, I say look at the trees. Maimed, stark and misshapen, but ferociously tenacious.”
Richard Alfred Milliken (Millikin) Quotes
Source: Groves of Blarney

We are slowly approaching the final days of the trip. I have enjoyed this country so much, the culture, the food, the people, the agriculture, the glorious hues of green, those darling sheep, the music, the beer, and the beautiful coast line and sea, that greeted me every day in different ways.
We had a scrumptious breakfast of porridge, so creamy and decadent-how could this possibly be for breakfast? We started out early, as we had a big driving day ahead of us. We were driving the famous Ring of Kerry http://www.ringofkerrytourism.com/. I suggest, if you ever visit Ireland and do one thing----this is the one thing you do! The Ring of Kerry is an established route around the Iveragh Peninsula. It can be taken in either direction, but the tour book suggested counter clock-wise to avoid going against tour buses, since they go counter clock-wise, and the route has the narrowest of streets we have encountered. The ring is approximatly 112 miles, and takes about half a day.
Along the way, some of the most captivating scenery lies around each turn. Around one bend, mountain and coastal scenery, turn a corner, a different weather system awaits you. We went from sunny skies, to sleeting rain, howling wind, to forceful winds, and back. We made a couple stops along the way, pulling over several times just to take in the breathtaking views. We took a long walk along the water, in a town called Waterville http://www.visitwaterville.ie/ . This may be one of the most beautiful things I have seen on this trip. We walked down a sloping road, with the crystal blue Atlantic Ocean below us. Sandwiched between the road, nestled on the protruding rocks were vocal sheep and peaceful cows. The white capped sea shimmered on the bright sun(one of the few times the sun emerged) as the waves crashed into the black stone below. There was not a single human being in site, not a car around, the only sound came from the sheep, and the whisper of the wind. Between the solitude and the silent stillness, I found a happy place that kept me warm as the chilly winds whipped my face. I broke the silence, only to share my thought with Frank-that only the two of us have shared this one moment together. This moment was ours.
We stopped along the way at a most unique, ceramic place http://www.originalkerry.com/produce...rner-ceramics/ nestled in a secluded place, off the side of the road. The owner Cara Turner, has her home and workshop there. Leading up to her studio are cute little ceramic angels and creatures, welcoming you to this creative world. She was very friendly, introducing her beautiful dogs Sandy and Rosie, and allowing us to use her bathroom. We made some rather affordable purchases, made friendly chit chat and went on our way. A black cloud was looming overhead,as we made our way to Staigue Fort http://www.kerrytourist.com/details/staigue_fort.shtml. At this point, the weather had severely turned, with sleeting rain. We ran to the fort, (which is known for the being the best preserved in Ireland), took a couple snapshots, then darted back into the warmth of the car.
We drove through bucolic, villages as the road curved, and at one point, I felt like we were on a wild mouse roller coaster. Frank maneuvering that wheel with pecision and ease, as our bodies took gforce turns. After 8 hours on the road, we made it back to the hotel, had a light snack and a much needed nap.
After our rest, we headed out to downtown Killarney for dinner. We ate at a lovely establishment Gaby's Seafood Restaurant. A cozy restaurant with a nauticle theme, with excellent service. We dined fireside, nearby the lobster tank bubbled. Frank had a lovely cold seafood medly with all sorts of tentacles and eyeballs suspiciouly checking me out. Frank cracked, slurped, tackled, and munched with zest. The only vegetarian item on the menu was consumed by me- a creamy pasta dish with hearty mushrooms. After dinner, we returned to the hotel, as the rain is pummeling down outside.
Tune in tomorrow for the final blog.
~Brooke and Frank~
brookums71 is offline  
Nov 4th, 2012, 12:44 PM
  #28  
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Greetings from Ireland
2012
Day 9
Malahide, Ireland
The rose and the shamrock
Will always remind me
Of lanes in the hills
That I left far behind me.

E. GARY BROOKS
Its been a day of rain and travel. We left from Killarney this morning after filling our tummies with that delightful porridge, soaking in the last of our elegant dwelling. We commended our host for the unforgettable stay, and went on our way. The rain was coming down pretty hard, but Frank was a champ, navigating with the best of driving skills, through the difficult waterlogged, soft shouldered, flooding puddled streets.
Our destination and halfway point was Rock of Cashel http://www.heritageireland.ie/en/sou.../rockofcashel/. The Rock of Cashel, a medieval group of limestone buildings, dating back from the 12th century. We leeched onto an interesting tour, where a perky redhead offered enlightening facts and commentary about the Rock. We toured the grounds, which had beautiful views of the valley below, and Athassel Friary in the distance (the ruins of a monastery from the 12th century).
We continued straight through another 2 hrs to Malahide, a darling town 5 miles from Dublin. We are staying at a small B&B http://www.evergreendublin.com/. We were greeted with enthusiasm and a hot cup of tea by our host Olive. We aclimated ourselves to our new digs, although not a manor, as our place in Killarney, it was warm, clean and most important, close to the airport for tomorrow.
We went into the lively downtown, and dined at a warm and invitng establishment Sale e Pepe http://www.saleepepe.ie/. The place was hopping with families and well behaved children. We had some hot, flavorful soup, and a unique vegetarian dish for me, a pasta dish for Frank. The food was interesting, good service, but a little overpriced. After dinner, we took advantage of the dry weather, although chilly, and walked through the quaint, tree lined neighborhod for some much needed exercize.
Tomorrow we fly out of Dublin. Before our flight we plan to visit Malahide Castle http://www.malahidecastleandgardens.ie/. A castle dating back from the 14th century, nestled on 250 acres of park land and it is only 2 miles from where we are staying.
I would like to sum up my top 10 on our Irish Extravaganza:
10) Being Frank's navigator and side kick
9) My fried egg from Steven at The BlueDoor B&B
8) Running on Ballinesker Beach with Frank pretending we were Chariots of Fire
7) My pretzel from the outdoor food market in Kinsale (and Frank's cookie)
6) Indian food first night in Wexford
5) Opera in Wexford
4) Our tea and scones in Cork upon arrival
3) The glorious cliff walk in Ardmoore
2)The jaunting horse and buggy ride in Killarney
1) Walking in Waterville, during Ring of Kerry
***These are my oponions and my oponions alone. The views expressed here does not reflect Frank, or anyone else. (No animals were injured during production of this blog (except, a lobster or 2)
I have really enjoyed sharing my thoughts, travels and insights with you all. We will meet again in Prague in March. See you soon.
~Brooke and Frank~
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Nov 4th, 2012, 01:51 PM
  #29  
 
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Posts: 165
I have enjoyed reading your trip report! We are heading to Ireland in 6 days and I am getting excited. My biggest concern is what to wear! I am planning to wear layers since it sounds like it will be cold. Although, here in Ohio we have been in the 30's & 40's now for well over a week with rain & no sun. I guess I will be prepared for the Irish weather. Any packing tips you would like to share?
fluff224 is offline  
Nov 6th, 2012, 09:50 AM
  #30  
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Fluff 224---layers,layers,layers. I live in Florida, so the weather was shocking. But, the locals said it was very cold for them. I would bring thermals, warm pajamas, i found the b and bs are very frugal w the heat. Warm boots. Be prepared to be wet and cold. I loved the trip and glad you enjoyed it. Have a great time!!
brookums71 is offline  
Nov 6th, 2012, 10:31 AM
  #31  
 
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Thanks for sharing your woderful trip. Looking forward to hearing about Prague.
irishface is offline  
Nov 7th, 2012, 06:40 AM
  #32  
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also, fluff 224, be aware that most things, attractions and restaurants will be closed. It is off season and everything was shutting down until xmas.
brookums71 is offline  
Nov 8th, 2012, 04:51 AM
  #33  
 
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Hi fluff - I live here in Ireland and it is all go - no closures here, not sure what exactly brookums experience was but there's no cause for concern re closures as I see it...
littlejane is offline  
Nov 8th, 2012, 04:56 AM
  #34  
 
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Hi fluff - I live here in Ireland and it is all go - no closures here, not sure what exactly brookums experience was but there's no cause for concern re closures as I see it...
littlejane is offline  
Nov 8th, 2012, 09:08 AM
  #35  
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Littlejane, when I was in Ireland, Killarney,Dingle, Bantry, many things were closed (Bantry House) and many things were set to close this week. So, mainly tourist spots. Many hours of the attractions were shortened at the fort in Kinsale, and things of that nature. So yes, I assure you things will be closed. It is no longer the season, so depending where you are going, you will find the hours at the very least abbreviated.
brookums71 is offline  
Nov 14th, 2012, 05:40 AM
  #36  
 
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Lovely report! I'm glad you enjoyed the wonders and views of the west coast, my favorite area. Next time you must make it up to Donegal. I didn't think I'd like anything more than Dingle and ROK, but I was wrong. Ring of Beara is also stunning. We stayed in Kenmare and did day trips to ROK and Ring of Beara... So, are you planning the next trip to Ireland yet? I'm planning my fifth!

littlejane - I thought some of the more touristy areas (that you might not use, being local) like manor houses and sites, might be closed during the winter?
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Nov 14th, 2012, 05:00 PM
  #37  
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Green Dragon-
Thank you. I loved it. I want to go back so bad.
brookums71 is offline  
Nov 15th, 2012, 03:58 AM
  #38  
 
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It is addicting, isn't it? Just keep in mind each trip that you WILL go back, and you will enjoy the trip more.
GreenDragon is offline  
Nov 18th, 2012, 09:22 AM
  #39  
 
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Thanks for à lovely trip report, I am just starting with the very first outlines for a family trip to Ireland next summer, and your report is very helpful (apart from being very pleasant to read). I will definitely try to work in your top three. Food experiences are more complicated to plan, although you had my mouth watering with the porridge/baileys combination!
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Nov 18th, 2012, 04:31 PM
  #40  
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Grendel, Thanks. I wish I had more time to go more West and North. Next trip. Thanks for reading.
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