Monday, June 11, 2012

Ring of Kerry

Today is all about Co. Kerry (County Kerry) and driving the 'Ring of Kerry'. Our bus driver, Mike, is also from this area so we're getting a few special treats along the way.

Before getting out of town, we took a group photo and got to browse around inside this church. Some phenomenal patterns in one of the side chapels.

We headed towards Dingle Bay and passed through the town of Killorglin, known for the famous "Puck Fair" (see goat), before stopping along Dingle Bay. The tunnels visible along the mountain used to be the old railway. It was removed many years ago and recent discussions include making it a cycling path. We all thought that was a grand idea since the roads are so narrow and there are a lot of people cycling in this area.

The next stop was at a sheep dog demonstration. Some of us chose to pay 5 Euros and others chose to take photos of flowers along the road side.

Next stop was at a bog. These 'sticks' can be used for fuel to heat homes, etc.

This cottonweed was interesting. Very soft.

Further to Valentia Island where the Telegraph first crossed the Atlantic. Very interesting! Duncan made a dash for the top of the hill where the tower was, but didn't have enough time to make it :(
Here was his panoramic view.

This location was, so far, my favorite! Just stunning. The cone shaped island in the top left of the photo is an early monastic island of the Skelligs.

Here we stopped for lunch. Turns out that our driver's home is the house straight above the yellow bouy. Lucky guy!

Drove up to where we could see both sides of the mountain. The circle fort in the lower right hand part of the photo was used when under siege. All women, children, and livestock would be brought inside the circle for protection.

The stone walls are so interesting. Variety of different styles can be seen throughout Ireland. Fun to see this ewe and lamb up close.

We stopped in Sneem and I saw this church down a road off the main square.

Can't go through a country without a stop at the post office. Most of their stamps now use generic images and the amount that you need is printed on it at the post office. I was able to get one commemorative stamp at this Post Office and Duncan found a terrain map of the mountain he wants to climb tomorrow.

We stopped at a point called Ladies View. A family on the trip was asked to take the ashes of one of their friends from church back at home in Texas and spread them. Our driver decided this was a beautiful place for it to occur. Pam videotaped the whole thing.

We were on our own for dinner and found a great restaurant that gave us a break from typical Irish Food. Stonechat Restaurant had some asian influence, but italian as well ;-) ....we both had 'tagliatelle' but it was really fettucini. Duncan's had veg with coconut cream and essence of chili sauce, mine was a creamy mushroom and spring onion sauce. I also had for a starter the Toasted Goat Cheese! YUMMY!!!!

Pam Holland brought out the two quilts that she had in the festival and explained them at a late meeting. Hope that we get to see Cathy's work (and mine) before we all go home.

Duncan found a book shop (no tax on books in Ireland!) and was able to pick up a few of interest.

Wonder what our 'day off' tomorrow will bring!

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