Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Left is Right in Ireland - From Kinsale to Kenmare

Leaving Kinsale we took the Wild Atlantic Way to drive along the coast.

We stopped in Timoleague, County Cork, at the Abbey, founded by the Franciscan order in 1240. The Abbey was sacked by English soldiers in 1612 and all the stained glass windows were destroyed, however, much of the architecture remains.

Driving down a narrow road, we found the Drombeg Stone Circle which is said to be probably Ireland's must famous stone circle.

Narrow main street in Skibbereen, County Cork

Stopped at Cronin's Forge in Durrus, County Cork, to see fine hand wrought iron products.

 Lunch in Baltimore at Casey's of Baltimore. 
Sarah and Rita each had an open prawn sandwich on brown bread.

Chuck had the seafood chowder and an open crab sandwich with a Murphy's.

 Arrived at Whispering Pines B&B in Kenmare, County Kerry. Mary's hydrangeas were beautiful!


 Walked to downtown Kenmare and stopped at O'Donnabhain's pub to eat and listen to Irish music.

 First breakfast at Whispering Pines, Sarah had the French toast.

 Chuck had the traditional Irish breakfast

 Rita had scrambled eggs and smoked salmon. After breakfast we talked to Mary about our plans to drive the Ring of Kerry. At her suggestion, we drove counterclockwise following the tour buses and we didn't meet a single bus! Thanks, Mary, for the excellent and well appreciated advice!

Outside of Cahersiveen, County Kerry, we stopped at two stone forts in close proximity.

 The first was Leacanabuile stone fort with circular drystone walls built sometime between 500 B.C. and A.D. 300 without the aid of mortar or cement.

 Nearby was Cahergal stone fort. Sarah is standing near the top of the back wall.

 Near the stone forts, we also stopped at Ballycarbery castle, a picturesque castle ruins

 Beautiful Kerry Cliffs in Portmagee

Skellig Islands in the distance and the beautiful blue Atlantic Ocean

Surfers on the Ring of Kerry between Portmagee and Waterville

Posing with Charlie Chaplin in Waterville (in the rain). Chaplin and his family were said to often vacation here.

Right passed Castlecove, we drove down an extremely narrow lane and found Staigue Fort, another example of a dry-walled stone fort.

At Mary's suggestion we had dinner at Coachman's. Chuck had the fish chowder with puff pastry.

Rita had fish and chips (the best she had in Ireland)

Sarah had Irish casserole and a well deserved beer for driving the Ring of Kerry!

After dinner, we went to the Wander Inn pub to listen to Irish music.

We loved Mac and Mel's music and bought their CD.

Before leaving Kenmare, we walked downtown and saw this picture in the barber shop window. We learned the Kerry Irish football team was to play the championship game against the Dublin team on Sunday. All of County Kerry was excited.

We really enjoyed Kenmare and hope to return someday. 

Next. . . Kenmare to Dingle

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Left is Right in Ireland - From Shannon to Kinsale

We have neglected the blog recently but we have a good excuse. We took a long awaited vacation to Ireland. We were accompanied by our daughter, Sarah, who offered to do the driving which made it a pleasant vacation for us and a little stressful for her. She did a great job and the rental car was returned with both side mirrors still intact. Many weren't so fortunate on the narrow roads. Here are a few of our photos from the first leg of our journey. Hope you enjoy them.

First view of Ireland's coast as we were flying to the Shannon Airport.

Sign in the airport . . . we're not in Kansas anymore!

These thatch roofed cottages in Adare, County Limerick, were built in 1820s. Some of the cottages were devastated by fire in June 2015 and are currently being restored.

Adare Town Park

We had brunch at Aunty Lena's in Adare

Spent our first night at Cloister's B&B in Kinsale, County Cork. Wonderful B&B, excellent food and helpful suggestions by Orla and Aileen.

Had a great first night's sleep

All the B&B breakfasts we had in Ireland offered a variety of breads, scones, Irish butter, jams, fresh fruit, yogurt, cereal and granola in addition to a hot breakfast selection. Needless to say, we usually only had two meals a day.

Our first B&B breakfast was delicious. Sarah had the mini Irish breakfast.

At Orla's recommendation, Rita had the classic brioche French toast. It was Rita's favorite breakfast of the trip.

Chuck had scrambled free range eggs with smoked salmon.

Colorful street in Kinsale

With all the rain, the flowers were beautiful

Kinsale harbour

We enjoyed fresh fish at a local restaurant, Fishy Fishy. Chuck had the catch of the day, John Dory over creamed cabbage. It was fantastic!

Sarah and Rita shared the Fishy Pie - white fish, salmon and shellfish cooked in a cream sauce topped with herb bread crumbs and house mash. Excellent!

The next day before leaving Kinsale, we drove up to Charles Fort in a light rain. This is looking back at the town and harbour.

Charles Fort, a star shaped structure, was constructed in the late 17th century and named after 
Charles II of England.

We wish we had another day in Kinsale!

Coming up next. . .from Kinsale to Kenmare.