Hi again, I want to start out by saying I can’t believe all of the people who are reading the page. I really thought I’d be writing to myself! So when we last posted we were in Cahersiveen, halfway through the Ring of Kerry. Let me first tell you about our adventures at our hotel in Cahersiveen. For this trip we had planned on staying in B&B’s every night except for that one night. For one thing, B&B’s are WAY cheaper in Ireland, unlike in the USA. For two, they come with breakfast. It’s a great moneysaver since we’re trying to stick to Rachel Ray’s $40 per day plan (tricky in Ireland and in Euro). So anyway, we looked up the hotel on the internet and it looked very up to date, beautiful, fancy, and it was right where we planned on stopping for the night. Let me first say, whoever did their website should win an award for advertising. They found some good corners for the pictures because we didn’t recognize the place when we arrived. Everything seemed ok when we got to the room to check it out. But I knew we were in trouble when Chris pulled the door closed and the doorknob came completely off. The halls also smelled of something like fried grease and … I don’t know, something. But with the door closed, the smell muted some. The next morning I got up first to take my shower only to find that the shower knob was stuck on scalding hot. I made Chris get up but he couldn’t fix it either. So I figured ok, I’ll have to take a bath then. No can do! I started filling the tub with water and had to drain it fast because the water was yellow. gross!! So that morning my hair got washed under the faucet and I tried hard not to fill the sink with water in case I would notice that it wasn’t clear. We packed up and got out of there as soon as we could. We left Cahersiveen and started towards Valentia Island. The weather was freezing yesterday! In fact, not only did it snow overnight, it sleeted and then snowed in the afternoon. I drove in it all, on the left side of the road, on the right side of the car, on a one lane road (that’s one lane for BOTH directions, not each!), at 100 km/hr. If you notice a few more greys when I get home, this should explain why. Anyway, as we drove around Valentia Island we were able to see the Skelligs, which was one of the things we were most anticipating. They are 2 very rocky islands right off the Iveragh Peninsula and next to Valentia. Here are a couple pictures of us high up on a mountain of Valentia Island.
The next one is as close as we could get to the Skelligs but they still looked really cool.
The monks lived on them even though there is almost no vegetation and the weather was extremely harsh. They were attacked several times too but still managed to live out there in almost complete isolation.
So we drove the rest of the Ring of Kerry with our next stopping point in Kenmare. Karen and David, if you’re going to research moving to Ireland, this is the town we want to move to (so far…). We stayed at Virginia’s Guesthouse which was a B&B that was over a fancy smancy restaurant. I think this is my favorite B&B so far because it had so much character and our host was really nice, and a great cook! We had porridge with whiskey cream for breakfast..it was yummy. Anyway, here’s a last minute shot of Kenmare early this morning, right before we left town.
Before we left, we went to see this really cool “Druid Circle”. It sits up on a mound and is a set of large stones in a big circle around a dolmen tomb. The dolmen is a really heavy (like in tons) rock that is balanced up on little rocks. The whole thing can be dated back to the Bronze age with was 2000-1000 B.C. Can you imagine?
We drove out of town and back towards Killarney and finally left the Ring of Kerry. We saw a lot of really interesting sites, but it was time to move onto the Dingle Peninsula. Again, the landscape changed from beaches and sloping hills and water to cliffs and mountains, Mount Brandon to be exact. Mount Brandon sits right out toward the end of the peninsula and is the second highest in Ireland (first highest is another one we drove around in the Killarney National Park). Here are some pictures of our adventures today. Incidently, today the weather was much milder..cold but very tolerable. Yesterday was bitterly cold.
It was a tough day having to look at scenery like this all day…just kidding! One of the first places we stopped was another fort that was created out on the edge of a cliff. Chris really loves those forts and really gets into exploring them…literally.
They were able to radiocarbon date this fort back as far as 560 A.D. It was so easy to imagine a family living inside with the walls surrounding them for protection. There were little rooms built into the walls and walls on the inside where the little house must have stood. What was even more amazing was that there was no mortar used to create the walls, it was just great engineering, and here they stand 1500 years later.
Next we visited some beehive huts that within another fort. They’re called that because of their shape. After the huts we just continued along the scenic Slea Head drive which takes you out along the cliffs.
We stopped at this point at the same time another American couple stopped here. They took this one.
One of the last things we saw was Kilmalkedar Church. The church dates back to the 12th century and along with the church was a large stone cross, a hole stone with an ancient alphabet carved into it (called an ogham stone) and an ancient sundial. We were there late in the afternoon and you can see how awesome the light was as the sun was going down. You can see the hole stone and the stone cross in front of the church.
After that we stopped at a place called Brandon’s Creek and then headed back to our B&B in Dingle. And that’s where I’ll stop for tonight. Again, I’m not sure how soon I’ll be able to post again but I will as soon as I can.
Before I go, hello to Sissy, Kim, Betty, Andy, Robin, Christina, John, Victor, Freddy, Jo-Bob, and Suzy-Q. Thanks so much for joining in and reading the page. Hi to Chris’ parents, we can’t wait to talk to you when we get back. Cathy, thanks for stopping in too. We were sad to leave but no worries, we’ll visit again, we had a ball! Karen, Kenmare is the place!
A few fast facts…1) Irish people make the BEST chips (that’s french fries in Irish!). 2) It can go from Sunny to rainy to sleeting to hail (painful when it hits you in the lip..I know from experience) and back again within an hour. 3) The X-Factor is almost as good as American Idol..but not quite. Leona is going to win it. 4) In Ireland, there is one very small faucet for cold water on the right, and one very small faucet for hot water on the left. Everyday I want to shout to the world…”ONE KNOB IN THE MIDDLE…WARM WATER!”