Eye-catching County Kerry
Trip Start Oct 12, 2010
84Trip End Mar 24, 2011
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Where I stayed
International Best Western, Killarney, Ireland
We stopped at the Gap of Dunloe as well as a Bog Village to view some thatched cottages and to see how peat is harvested and used in this area. Boy, do those peat fires smoke! They had a peat fire going in one cottage and your eyes water just stepping in the door due to the heavy smoke
As we drove along, eyes glued to the windows, our charming and personable driver and guide, Dermott, regaled us with stories of leprechauns, fairies and goat festivals - boy, these Irish are gifted story tellers :)
We drove along the Dingle Bay around lunchtime and stopped at a nice hotel for lunch (fish and chips of course) before driving through the picturesque and colorful fishing village at Portmagee to go over to Valencia Island.
One of the highlights of the day was learning more about the Skellig Islands - remote, rocky outcrops that lay about 8 miles off the western coast of Ireland on which monks built a primitive and almost completely inaccessible monastery in the 6th century. The conditions under which they lived and the hardships they endured to live there are unimaginable, from building hundreds of steps up the rocks to the top of the islands to subsisting on seabirds and shellfish. These islands are dramatic and remote and you cannot help but to be touched by the lives and intentions of those that felt compelled to live there and to suffer in harsh conditions in order to atone for not only their perceived sins and transgressions, but those of others
We completed the ring drive early in the evening back where we started in the hopping little town of Killarney and back at our fabulous and luxurious hotel for a great dinner sitting near the fireplace in the stately dining room. This is the life!