We did a day trip to Cobh and Cork. Cobh is the port town where the Titanic last stoppped before heading out to sea. Cobh was actually called Queenstown back when the Titanic left. We went to the Titanic museum and saw the wood from the old port where passengers would have gotten on a small boat to take them out to the Titanic. You are giving a ticket that a passenenger would have received when boarding the ship with a name on it. I received a ticket for a 29 year old female traveling on 3rd class. At the end of the museum, you look at a board to see if you were saved or lost. I was one of the lucky 3rd class passengers to survive.
We stopped at Cork on the way back. Cork is Ireland’s second largest city behind Dublin. It was a nice quick stop but I am happy we aren’t staying in the city. I generally prefer the smaller towns to the larger cities. We did go to the Butter Museum to learn about how Ireland exports a lot of butter. We also learned how Cork has changed over time and it actually used to be a larger harbor but they have infilled it to make a bigger city.
Here are pictures of Cobh. They had a beautiful large church that was overlooking the town below.
We drove from Kenmare to Kinsale but stopped at Killarney National Park before going to Kinsale. I think they have a lot of “K” towns in Ireland and I actually get confused on which one I’m going to next.
The main reason for the stop at the national park was actually to watch a sheep dog and sheep shearing demonstration. We booked another tour before that but unfortunately due to a bike race and then a run, we never made it to the tour. First the road was closed for the bikes and then the traffic was terrible after a run finished in another town. So we made the best of it by visiting some of the sites in the park on our own.
The sheep dog demonstration was intersecting. It takes the dog about 3 years to learn how to heard the sheep up. The dog looked happy to be working…the sheep looked like they have done the demonstration a couple of times since they knew exactly what was going on. We also went to a working farm but there wasn’t a lot going on. The best thing we saw was 12 piglets.
We made it to Kinsale which is a lovely little town. The houses are painted brightly to try to make the most of their gray days. They have a very walkable town and great food options. I would highly recommend Kinsale to anyone who is wanting to visit Southern Ireland.
We drove the Ring of Kerry on the way from Dingle to Kenmare. Unfortunately, the weather was pretty wet and cool. It was in the low 50’s for most of the day and rainy. It made it hard to really see the ocean and all of the scenerary. We still made it to the Cliffs of Kerry which were still nice but I liked the Cliffs of Moher better.
Kenmare is a really cute small town. Basically all of the city is on three streets that make a triangle so it is easy to see the town even if the weather isn’t great.
Today was very rainy and windy in the morning. We drove around to some of the beaches and over a mountain. We got pretty good weather anytime we got out of the car. I’m sure the farmers are very happy to get the much needed rain. Here are some pictures of Dingle and the beaches. Almost all of the beaches we have seen are very clean and have a blue flag. The blue flag is an European standard meaning it is very clean water and safe to swim in. Tomorrow we are off to our next town.
We spent yesterday driving around the Dingle Peninsula. It was a pretty short drive but we made it take all day by stopping at all of the sights. Luckily our B&B host told us which direction to go because some of the road isn’t wide enough for two lanes of traffic. We followed the same direction that the tour busses go so we didn’t have to backup for busses.
One of our first stops was to feed some goats. They sure are bossy about getting food. Then it was a lot of beautiful green hills and bright blue/green Atlantic. We had sunny but very windy weather. I do love that all of the wild flowers and fuchsias are in bloom right now.
Another very interesting stop was at stone building which is about 1300 years old. The roof is formed by the gradual rise of the side walls from the base upwards. The impressive architecture keeps the inside completely dry after several centuries of harsh Atlantic winters.
There are also quite a few Beehive Huts still standing on the peninsula. The peninsula has a lot to see and is very beautiful.
We had a 4 hour drive from Galway to Dingle however it took us from 9 AM to 9 PM since there were so many stops on the way. Luckily we caught a ferry to make it a little faster. Besides the Cliffs of Moher, we saw a castle, cave and an ancient burial site.
We arrived at our B&B pretty late for check in but the views didn’t disappoint. We are about 15 minutes outside of the town out in the country. I was so happy to wake up seeing cows walk down the street. They go out in the morning and come back at night.
We stopped at the Cliffs of Moher on the way to Dingle. This was by far one of the most impressive sights I have visited. I’m sure a little sun didn’t hurt. The Cliffs of Moher are almost 400 feet above the Atlantic and you can walk along the steep cliffs that go for about 14 Kilometers. Part of the trail had an electric fence on one side to keep the cattle in. I find it a little discomforting to have an electric fence on one side and a cliff on the other. I only hit my elbow on the fence once.
I’m not even sure why they post this sign. The trail is still open and people lay on the ground to look over the edge.
We had a 4 hour drive from Galway to Dingle yesterday. Of course there are always differences between the GPS and signs. When you decide to pick the signs but then go back to the GPS route, it will take you down some interesting roads. Fortunately, I only had one tractor come at me and one guy walking his dogs.
One of the highlights on the island was visiting a prehistoric fortress. I can’t imagine how long it took to build all of the perfect walls, not to mention how heavy some of the stones must have been. The van gave us two hours to walk up and explore the fort and the stunning views from the top. There were no railings to keep you from falling over the cliffs so you just had go as far as you felt comfortable.
Not sure I will ever understand how they built all of the rock walls around the island or how they don’t fall over in the harsh winters but it does make for a beautiful backdrop.
We took a ferry over to the Aran Islands for the day. We visited the largest island which is 9 miles long and 3 miles wide. However, they have over 7,000 miles of stone walls. Most of them were created to build the plots of land and for farming. They don’t have many sheep on the island but they do have a lot of cattle. They also speak only Gaelic on the island but they all know English for the tourists. It was pretty misty out in the morning which meant I had to sit inside on the ferry. We took a tour in a van…the other alternative was horse and carriage. The driver was a local who also is a cattle rancher.
Of course the sun came out when we were getting ready to leave the island. It was nice to see the sun for a little bit and sit outside on the ferry ride back. If you see a small house next to the house that looks pretty identical to the main house, that is the house for the leprechauns.