Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Celtic Trip (Day 2) - Killarney

We woke up bright and early the second day to explore more of Killarney National Park. We got a quick breakfast at the hotel and set off towards Moll’s Gap (Kenmare in the south, I’ll use the above map to try and give you an idea)

Stopping off at the Muckross Friary, we walked along the lower lake and up to the House. Everything was so green, even this early in the spring.

The lake has a beatuiful view and the sun was just starting to get really bright.

We didn’t go into Muckross House, but it has really nice gardens and surrounding areas.

We walked south along Muckross Lake to the Torc Waterfall and up the Mountain a bit.

By then my feet were getting really sore as I hadn’t expected this to be a hike, so we took a carriage back to the Friary. There were only 3 horses working that day, but our driver said in the summer there are more than 30 that just run the Muckross roads (not including downtown Killarney)

Continuing our drive up the main road towards the Kenmare exit we stopped at Ladies’ View and another viewpoint.

I finally saw some sheep upclose!

And then it just got rediculous. Up until this point we really hadn’t seen too many sheep pastures close to the roads. So I didn’t understand why people were warning me about having to watch out for the fluffy animals. Then we got into the mountains. There are sheep everywhere. Literally just walking up the roads. We were told they were ‘street smart’ so they would get out of the way. But still unnerving.

Gorgeous views in the hills (can you spot Mike in this pic?)

In Kenmare we got some Fish and Chips and a Fish Pie. Both were very yummy and filling. Afterwards we walked around a bit. There weren’t many shops open so we decided to take the bar tenders advice and try to drive down into the Black Valley and through the Gap of Dunloe, since we didn’t have 5 hours to drive the Ring of Kerry.

We got some bad directions and missed the turn twice (also due to the fact there were no signs) Finally, we made it into the valley. This drive was the most fun, single dirt road with tons of twists, so you had to go slow and if you met anyone you basically played chicken to see who would pull over first to allow the other car to pass. I don’t know how tour buses did it. Thankfully we only met 3 or 4 cars.

More loose sheep going up and over the hills and cute thatched roof houses. The view from the top of the Gap of Dunloe was so amazing. These pictures don’t do it justice.

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