I suppose I’ve committed a blog fail. We’ve been in CA for a WEEK today, and I have yet to update you with the last few days of our Irish adventure. So without further ado…
DAY — E I G H T — Cashel
We began our day with a casual encounter with insanity. The Cliffs of Insanity, that is. Otherwise known as the Cliffs of Moher. How many other names can we come up with?
We drove through a marvelous natural wonder known as the Burren, which could have had an entire twelve days devoted to it. Check it out.
I’m thankful I didn’t read about the number of “accidents” that happen at the cliffs until after we visited, as I probably would not have ventured as near to the edge as I did. At all. I get sick thinking about it. The cliffs were as insane as they had been made up to be. Gorgeous.
Afterwards we set out for the inland town of Cashel, home to the infamous Rock of Cashel. And when I say rock, I mean castle. We explored the castle, once in the control of the McCarthy family (to whom my bloodline has traces of) so it was basically a grand homecoming for me. Ha ha. Then we meandered over to Hore Abbey, the ruins of a 13th century monastery. I tried in vain to make friends with the nearby cows, but all in all, a lovely experience.
DAY — N I N E — Killarney
Back over to the coast for us. It was funny to see what weird route our GPS would take us this time, as it had a knack for strange little roads that seemed like they weren’t meant for driving. We were virtually the only car on our trip from Cashel to Killarney we saw.
We decided to go have a peak at the national park, and stayed because you can’t just have a peak. It was beautiful. We visited another castle and Mulch convinced me to go in a rowboat on the lake. ‘Twas fun.
We explored a bit more and then made it to our home for the night with a really cute family and listened to stories of mountain rescues and horse-sized stags and drank our eightieth cup of tea.
DAY — T E N — Dingle
We had an early start and drove to the famed Dingle peninsula. We decided to forego the Ring of Kerry and venture through the smaller Dingle ring, which many said was just as beautiful and less touristy. It didn’t disappoint.
We visited rock homes from 3,000 BC, I found a real crystal on the beach, we explored the ruins of an ancient church and the greens were just greener. Apparently some scene from a movie with Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman was filmed along the way. So, how could we not enjoy ourselves?!
Seriously, if you make it to Ireland, make sure you visit Dingle.
DAY — E L E V E N & T W E L V E — Kinsale
Cork county got two nights from us for two reasons; 1. I know I have family from there 2. It was our anniversary and we didn’t want to drive around on it.
Kinsale is a sleepy little town on the coast known for it’s fantastic food. Somehow we didn’t end up eating out there though (funds were getting tight).
We had a really nice apartment to ourselves WITH a television, so we may or may not have ended up watching all three of the Pirates of the Caribbean…
Our drive from Dingle was a long one, so we got home later in the day. The next morning, our anniversary, we went out to a delish breakfast in Cork City and wandered around, managing to find a good coffee place along the way.
Next we had to make our visit to Blarney Castle, because what visit to Ireland is complete if you don’t kiss the Blarney stone, right? Well we did, and are marvelous orators now, just as promised.
The grounds of the castle were amazing, much larger than we had anticipated, so we spent a good while just wandering around. It was a fun day without deadlines and hours of driving. We visited Cobh afterwards, another sleeply seaside town near Kinsale and then called it a night. Happy tres anos, mi amor.
DAY — T H I R T E E N — Shannon
We left after a lazy morning in Kinsale for our final journey to a little town near Shannon where’d we be staying and flying out the next day.
We stopped along the way to visit Lough Gur, the location of many Neolithic remains dating back to 3,000 BC. Fascinating. Then we made it to Limerick, wandered around some more, and then drove to our final airbnb lodging, which turned out to be our favorite one.
The house was a restored farmhouse built in 1712, with the remains of the old chapel and barn still on the property. We felt like a king and queen, and our room was GORGEOUS. If you’re ever going to be in the area, I’ll give you the info for the place. Wow. Our host also had the sweetest pooch, so we explored the property for a while in her company.
It was a good last day. Ancient ruins, friendly strangers, tall grass and an irish hound.
DAY — F O U R T E E N — The End
Nothing exciting happened other than our plane being delayed 7 hours, us barely catching our connecting flight from Chicago to San Francisco, and a free hotel voucher and food vouchers while in SF before flying to…Hawai’i.
Ya, we ended up spending our last four days away from CA unplugged and on the North Shore. Not a bad four days, my friends.
Thank you for sticking through the journey with us, I hope you enjoyed our travels as much as we did. It’s within reach, friends. It’s within reach! Don’t quench your desire to see the world; just tell it to wait patiently until the right time occurs.
(there’s no drought in Ireland, so I felt no guilt using this royal bathtub)
(oh hey Hawai’i)