Ireland Road trip Itinerary — Cork and the Ring of Kerry

This is Part 2 of the series “Ireland Road trip Itinerary”.

We are visiting the second congregation in Ireland and head up to the famous Ring of Kerry – where we all got sunburnt!

A  few years ago The Mr and I decided to move abroad to serve where the need is greater. Read more about it at “We’re moving to Ireland!” and “What is a Need Greater?” That’s why in 2017 we spent 2 weeks in Ireland, to see if we actually like the country we might call home soon. Here is a Recap of our Road trip through the country.

Read about the Part 1 „Dublin and the Wicklow Mountains“ or Part 3 “The Cliffs of Moher and Galway

DAYS 6 -8 CORK TO KILLARNEY

  • Blarney Castle and the Kissing Stone

The castle is a number one location in Ireland for Tourists all over the world. On top of the castles battlement there is the ominous Blarney Stone, which is said to give the person who kisses it the gift of eloquency. Irish politician John O’Connor Power defined it this way: “Blarney is something more than mere flattery. It is flattery sweetened by humour and flavoured by wit.“

Nontheless my motivation to go there was as usual a different one. I needed to shoot one particular picture: From the top of the castle down to the round tower and the landscape in the background. Preferably without any tourists. What seems to be an easy task, turned out to be personally challenging.

Since we needed to go, where every single tourist wanted to go (The Blarney Stone), we were in line for one hour to get to the top of the castle at all. After finishing the last few steps I had to realize, that I needed to climb a small wall to be able to reach over the battlement for my picture. Inbetween the battlement and the wall though was a hole in the ground, where you could see right down to the grass below.

Acrophobia is an extreme and irrational fear of heights, and although I tried to remind my legs, how irrational this fear actually is, I just wasn’t able to climb that tiny wall of 40 cm. I couldn’t even see if the round tower was behind the battlement. Hence I reached up, with my camera in my hand and took as many pictures as I could, totally blind and in every possible direction.

This is what I got:

Blarney Castle

In the end I got exactly the picture I wanted and additionally I didn’t have a heart attack. Lucky me!

In the beginning we nearly decided not to go in due to the 16€ fee we had to pay to get in at all, but it was totally worth it. The garden around the castle is just amazing. When we go back one day, we could easily spend a whole day there and enjoy walking in the garden.

  • Cork City

The City Cork was The Mr`s favorite. He loved the combination of modern and 19th century architecture. We spent our time here visiting the „English Market“ and following a trail visiting every public fountain.

In the evening we visited the local congregation and we will never forget the 2 hours we spent with such welcoming and loving brothers and sisters there. Every single person in this congregation is amazingly unique and we never felt so many different emotions in just a short time.

  • Gougane Barra

Gougane Barra was a little secret on the road up to Killarney. We sadly only spent a few hours there, walking around the lake and enjoying the beautiful landscape.

The hotel at the lake has wonderful activities for their visitors. We might come back here and spend our holiday in this hotel.

DAYS 9-10 RING OF KERRY

  • Dromore Castle

In the beginning of our trip on the Ring of Kerry we visited Dromore Castle. It wasn’t as easy to find as we had thought, since we had to park alongside the road and walk for at least 30 minutes on a private road to the castle itself. Sadly the castle was locked and we could only visit the surrounding gardens.

  • Sneem

Although we only spent like an hour here, we immediately fell in love with this beautiful little town. I’m still not sure if it was the wonderful sunshine, or the colorful painted houses, but the „Fish and Chips“ we had at the Hungry Knight were our absolute favorite during our whole trip.

  • Derrynane Beach

Derrynane Beach is a blue flag beach along the Ring of Kerry. Since the weather was beautiful and the sea warm enough, I couldn’t help myself but to go in. The boys really struggled to persuade to leave again.

A little further along the beach is Abbey Island, where the ruins of Derrynane Abbey are located. The famous Daniel O’Connell (Irish political leader) lived nearby and his beloved wife and other family members are buried here until today. I spent such a long time swimming, we weren’t able to visit the Abbey ourselves, because the island can only be accessed when the tide is out.

We spent the night in the inland of the Kerry peninsula, especially because it is a Dark Sky Reserve and we wanted to take some starry night pictures.

  • Ballycarbery Castle

It seems we have been some of the last persons to climb the ruins of Ballybarbery Castle. The time we arrived we we’re able to enter and explore as much as we liked. In contrast to many other castles along our way, this one was a little gem, without many other tourists. The wonderful location and the overgrown walls of the ruin were perfect for exploring and taking pictures.

Because of an accident in the autumn of 2017 the castle was closed for public, but for enjoying the sight it is still worth passing by anyway.

  • Rossbeigh Strand

On this beach we could find an old shipwreck, which has been a landmark of the area for over 100 years. Due to several storms the remains of the ship were dislodged from the previous placement and washed away 5 million  tons of sand over the last 5 years. Additionally the Rossbeigh Strand Tower collapsed in 2011.

Rossbeigh is also the location of a very popular legend about ‘Tír na nÓg’.   Specifically Rossbeigh Beach, is the acclaimed area where ‘Oisin’ and ‘Niamh’ take to the sea on their magical white horse to live in the land of the youth.

We stayed for a long time, some for taking pictures, some to sleep on top of the dunes. Finally the incoming tide forced us to go back to our car and find a place to sleep for the night.

  • Gap of Dunloe and Dunguaire Castle

At both locations we only stopped very shortly to take some pictures. Of course we also enjoyed the landscape until we continued on the road.

Read about Part 3  „Ireland Road trip Itinerary – Cliffs of Moher and Galway“.

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