The Beach from Ryan’s Daughter
The Beach from Ryan’s Daughter
Above: That’s me with a view of some of The Ring of Kerry scenery
Above: Me in my new hand knitted Irish sweater at Torc Waterfall
Above: The Muckross house
The Ring of Kerry holds breath taking vistas of mountains fields of green, and views of the beach and ocean. You will see stunning fields of lush green grass that give Ireland the nickname Emerald Isle. There is also a good bit of history to see in the old famine houses, forts and old monasteries. I recommend getting a guide book if you are planning to drive the Ring of Kerry so you will not miss any of the points of interest. There are several churches with interesting cemeteries and statues along the way you might miss without a guide book.
Ring of Kerry is a place to truly cherish the solitude and the grader of nature. There are lots of opportunities for scenic photography. The Torc Waterfall is a short walk through the forest up a slight incline to a beautiful waterfall. The Muckross house completed in 1843 is a wonderful house to take a tour of. It was the home of Henry Arthur Herbert and his wife, Mary, a watercolorist. The rooms are furnished with period décor from the 19th century.
There are some quaint small towns along the way that offer a pub for lunch. All the pubs I visited had soup and wonderful Irish meals. One of my favorites is a toastie. A toastie is made like a grilled cheese sandwich but includes ham, onion, tomato and cheese.
It is recommended due to the narrow roads to drive around the Ring of Kerry clockwise, buses go counterclockwise. That way you do not get stuck behind a tour bus. It takes about four hours to drive the 109 mile Ring of Kerry.
The Ring of Kerry is a relaxing drive around the Iveragh Peninsula and is not to be missed. It is Ireland’s most popular drive in the country. We had a debate on the tour I was on as to which was best Ring of Kerry versus Dingle Peninsula. The results were split almost evenly with a third choice of loved them both. It truly is a personal preference. I voted that I loved them both.
Second is to figure out where the flushing mechanism is. This means you have to look high and low. (To left – note the paper behind you and the high tank flush.) Sometimes, it is a pedal on the floor, or a button on top of the tank, levers on the front or sides of the tank, pull chains from the ceiling if the tank is high or any manner of other hidden combinations. I have been in some countries that do not flush as continuous flow of water over a trough type contraption. The Irish do provide the necessary paper in the bathroom. I have been in places in Europe where you had to pay for the paper or carry your own. The Irish have two buttons on top of many of their toilets. One button gives you a small flush and the other delivers a full flush to meet your individual needs and conserve water.
The thatched roof is a dying art and we saw this beautiful example on our Jaunt.
Dunbrody Famine Ship
If you are a history buff the Dunbrody tour is a must! The reconstructed Dunbrody Famine Ship is open to tours and is quite fascinating. The ship is in the water and gives you the feel of how the passengers lived with the cramped conditions. The highlight of the tour is when Mrs. Annie White, a steerage passenger, and Mrs. Mary O’Brien, first class passenger, join your group to share their stories of passage to America. These actresses did a wonderful historical interpretation performance of life aboard the Dunbrody. Even on a rainy day, this is Ireland afterall, it was a wonderful tour!
Dunbrody Famine Ship is a three masted ship originally built in Quebec in 1845 for the Graves family by Thomas Hamilton Oliver, an Irish emigrant from the County Derry.
The Graves family, of New Ross, were merchants and they commissioned eight
such ships to carry cargo from America and Canada to Ireland. The ship was fitted out with bunks and facilities for passengers desperate to escape Ireland during the Potato Famine. Usually the Dunbrody carried 176 people but in the height of the Famine in 1847 the passengers climbed to 318 in number. The tour guide gives an explanation of the times, the ship and the Potato Famine. For more information about the Dunbrody tours
As a seasoned traveler I, Jan, have experienced many types of travel. I know when I first started with various forms of travel it was often difficult to find recommendations and suggestions. So I decided to share some tips of the traveler here on my blog! Feel free to post comments and enjoy the travel in the minds eye!
First up IRELAND:
Wow, talk about Green! I always heard how green Ireland is but the shades of green are spectacular and varied! A recent visit to Ireland to Ireland included Kilkenny, Killarney and Kinsale. Ireland is rather shaped like a plate in that it is flat in the center and mountains surround the edges. Farming in the number one industry and the green pastures offer constant proof. Approximately 10% of the population is employed in farming. There is a current population of 4.6 million people, 8 million sheep and 6 million cattle.Ireland is made up of Northern Ireland and The Republic of Ireland in the south. My recent visit was to The Republic of Ireland. Northern Ireland is part of Great Britain and in The Republic of Ireland where I was it is a sovereign nation of The Republic of Ireland. The monetary system is the Euro. One of the reasons that it was so easy to travel around Ireland is the vast majority of Ireland speaks English as their primary language.Folks always ask about the weather – There is a saying, “Don’t come to Ireland for the weather – it rains in all four seasons!” I found several t-shirts that commented on the weather – most involved rain. I found Ireland to be very pleasant mild and as expected occasional mist more than rain. After all, to be so green there must be some rain. There was also some mist, rain and sunshine. Historically it is 40 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter and 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer. The weather can change quickly turning from mist to rain followed by bright sunshine and back to rain all in a day. The weather is due to the effects of the gulf stream on the island and as with most islands the weather changes quickly. I was there in October and found it to be quite lovely and wore a sweater most evenings and some days.When traveling from the US stay awake the day you arrive and try to go to bed at 9 PM or later local time to help your body adjust. Just plan some light sight-seeing that first day and enjoy some of the tea and scones during your breaks, a personal favorite of mine!More to come on specific towns visited and general travel tips for Ireland.