On the Road to Dingle
Trip Start Jul 02, 2011
10Trip End Jul 12, 2011
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7/5/11: Evan and I started our day by eating a full Irish breakfast (Irish bacon, sausage, eggs, black or white sausage, tea, juice, and toast). Greg had bran, bananas, and coffee. Just what we needed for a long day. Our stay at the Kilkenny Rivercourt was pleasant. Our room was very comfortable, clean, quite, and staff were very friendly. Oh, and the shower was the same as back home and not like the one at Brook Cottage (it worked on a two dial system ).
Our first stop was to see the Rock of Cashel. The drive was about an hour. However it didn't seem like an hour as you are always on your toes driving on a narrow two lane roads. On my side of the car, it would occasionally brush the shrubbery, oh my! Overall, it was a pleasant drive to Cashel. Green hills, trees, flowers; it was simply gorgeous
Parking in Cashel was a little difficult. The first place we went to was a small parking lot near to the Rock of Cashel that had an entrance gate and you paid at the exit (even if there wasn't a parking spot). The Lonely Planet book advised us against using this place - but we forgot about that until we pulled in and there was no parking spots. We found a groundskeeper and complained about the situation. At first he stated that we would just have to wait until a spot was available. After about 10 minutes of waiting and other people coming in experiencing the same thing he let us go through the gate without paying the €4. That was very nice of him. :) We found a place to park down in the village and walked to the Rock of Cashel. We didn't pay an entrance fee as I had my OPW heritage card. I forgot to mention this in my first blog. An OPW card and book is basically a discount card and coupons for free admission into various sites throughout Ireland. When Evan found this out, he said, "leave it to you mom to find coupons in Ireland!". I was able to find coupons in Ireland, thanks to Rick Steves guidebook.
The Rock of Cashel sits high on a hill, which you have to walk up to get to. It was truly an impressive site to walk around! There was some scaffolding on one side of the building - but other than that, it was a magnificent old ruin and cemetery
The views of the countryside (Tipperary) were breathtaking. All the shades of green with some shades of gold; it was absolutely beautiful! We spent time strolling around the inside of the Rock of Cashel and gazing at the view(s) below. It was rather cold and windy today. So, after stolling around, we stopped at Granny's Kitchen to eat. Granny's Kitchen was located on the hill down from the Rock of Cashel inside a bright pink building. It is a very small establishment, that serves soup, sandwiches, some other small menu items, sweets, and drinks. Greg and I both had soup and split a cheese and tomato sandwich, while Evan had lasanga. Greg had coffee and Evan and I had tea. Evan and I have been drinking a lot of tea on this trip as it seems the thing to drink.
The drive to Dingle was long as we drove across Ireland to the west coast. It was a 4 hour drive. It was a very scenic drive through many quaint small towns and countryside. We drove through some rain- Evan was really excited
Coming into the Dingle peninsula was absolutely breathtaking! With the ocean, and the many, many shades of green - this is a little piece of heaven!
Our B & B (Pax Guesthouse) sits up on a hill outside of Dingle. The view is unbelievable of the Dingle Bay, the countryside, farm animals, and the hills! Our room is spacious with a little patio to sit and enjoy the scenery. The owner/manager, John had tea, coffee, and biscuits for us upon arrival. He made us feel very welcomed and gave us a brief overview of the area along with a map of Dingle. John also showed us around the house. The Pax Guest house was everything that I had hoped it be after reading the reviews on TripAdvisor.com. It was clean, had a large living area that overlooked the Dingle Bay and countryside and the eclectic art work on the walls was like being in a museum. Oh, and his dog, Rio, just hung out with us in our room for awhile. He is a really cool dog. Evan thought it was really neat that the dog gave us welcome to her house as well. After we relaxed, we headed into town.
Using the map that John gave us, we found a place to park and we walked Dingle in search of a restaurant. Everywhere we went either was full, took reservations, or was closing for the night. We finally settled upon Fenton's. The atmosphere and food were good. We didn't like the fact that they did the currency conversion right right when we paid the bill. There was a charge for that. We then headed to the market to get water and other items to put in our fridge in the room. Then it was off to find an Irish pub with traditional Irish music. We went to An Droichead Beag and we weren't disappointed
Tomorrow... Off to explore the Dingle Peninsula!