3/17/11

Southern Ireland By Car...


Myself and 3 girlfriends toured the Southern half of Ireland for a few weeks.  It's always fun traveling with girls.  Every time we took a potty break we took a shopping break. :) We flew into Dublin, rented a car and attempted to drive on the opposite side of the road while using a left hand stick shift.  It was quite a nerve-racking experience:  Roundabouts, narrow roads, animals in the road, rain, etc.  

In Dublin we visited:
1. Trinity College to see the Book Of Kells
2. St. Patricks Cathedral
3. Pubs &
4. Clubs


Dublin
 At Trinity College  
One night after dancing late at a club in Dublin we went to McD's for a quick treat.  We waited and waited in a very slow line when all of the sudden we hear someone yelling "those f***ing  Americans! That's why this line is moving so slow... blaw blaw, blaw, (one of my girlfriends had the American flag on her hat)."  We finished our sundaes and everything was fine.  We all ended up having a good laugh until we walked to the parking garage and realized it closed early.  Our car was held hostage... Good Times!  
                                                                       
Game Day

Needless to say we were ready to leave Dublin.  We were excited to check out the countryside and we figured the driving might get easier with less traffic to navigate around.  Our first stop was Glendalough in the Wicklow mountains.  We were ready for some fresh air!

If you dare drive in Ireland be cautious... 
it can be hazardous or an adventure!
  
In Wexford we accidently drove down a narrow walkway.  We had to back up on an incline with an inch to spare on either side of the car.  By the time we got to the top of the hill the car smelled like it was about to die.  A local women was laughing at us.  More embarrassing since she was the same person who had just stopped us from driving on the wrong side of the road on a one way (I'm sure she was thinking "those crazy Americans"). The next day the steering wheel wouldn't turn so we had to wait and get a new car.

Kilkenny
Kilkenny Castle
The Dunmore Caves were very cool.  It wasn't found until 1970.  They found 40 bodies in the cave that dated back to the 900's.  I won't bore you with anymore details just know I learned some interesting facts about coins stored in body parts.
Dunmore Caves
We had lunch at the Brog Maker and checked out the haunted pub... Kyteler's Inn.

Cashel
We visited the Rock of Cashel
Blarney
Blarney Castle
We kissed the Blarney Stone on top of the Blarney Castle.  It's suppose to give you the gift of gab and a twinkle in your eye... Not sure about that but we did later learn that the locals pee on the stone... NICE!
 Me kissing the Blarney Stone
We stopped in Sneem for Ice Cream.  Along with all the tour busses... not sure how they make it down the narrow roads.  Our small rental car barely made the narrow turns.

The Ring of Kerry
We went from rolling hills to mountains covered with boulder's.  Pine tree's to the most beautiful flowers near the ocean.  It wasn't uncommon to go around a corner and come upon cows roaming all over the road and we also saw lots of sheep.  
Beware of roaming cows

In Killarney we rented bikes and rode them to the National Park.  It's 10,000 acres of beautiful lakes and mountains.  We visited the Ross Castle...
Ross Castle

             ...and took a Carriage Ride at the Muckross House.


B&B:  Fitzgerald View of Dingle
In Dingle we: 
1.  Toured the Dingle Peninsula.
2.  Went through a town where they still speak Gaelic.
3.  Visited Slea Head.   Far and Away was filmed here.
Slea Head
4.  Took a hike at Clogher Head for a great view of the Peninsula.

We happened to be In Lisdoonvarna during the Matchmaker Festival.  We couldn't find a place to stay so a really nice Irish woman called her friend to help us find a bed for the night.  Her husband drove us to her friends house about 1/2 hour away.  We would have never found our way in the dark.  This is an example of how friendly the Irish people are.  I just don't see many people doing that.
Matchmaker Festival:  Interesting!  Pretty much sums it up!  We checked it out one night and that was enough for me.  My friend asked a man sitting at the bar how long he had been there and he said "23 years".  He was a funny local guy.  I don't drink so I think the Irish found me to be a novelty.  

                                                                 Cliffs of Moher
In Galway we went to a pub and listened to some Irish tunes before heading back towards Dublin.  Ireland is a beautiful country and has some of the nicest people you'll ever meet (except for the mean guy at McD's)!

My mementos from Ireland: 
 Irish Aran Wool Sweater,
Claddagh ring and my token Postcards and some cool Green Coasters.  

2 comments:

Blogging Mama Andrea said...

We went to Dingle two years ago and Muckross House. It is so beautiful there and I love the people. So friendly. Seeing your pictures makes me want to go back.

Karla said...

I love reading about all your travel adventures, past and present.