Well, today’s adventure was a driving tour over to the Dingle Peninsula and back and it was a mighty fine day topped off by a nice pub we found at the Best Western in Kiillarney of all places…so without further ado here’s a few images from the day.
Of course…it goes without saying that we had lunch…we stopped at the town of Ballyferriter and ate at the Bar an Bhuailtin…a couple of pints and a a plate of Lemon Sole for Connie and a Steak Sammy for Neil and we were good…so good in fact that we again just had an appetizer for dinner…but more about that later. We basically went on a counterclockwise loop around the Dingle Peninsula
The view from atop the ridge overlooking the north coast of the peninsula.
Nothing really special about this establishment…it’s some roadside cafe…but it’s the first and only building we’ve ever seen that is not only stone but has a stone roof. We didn’t go inside so no telling what is holding it up; but you can see from the pitch at the let end of the photo that’s it’s not all that peaked but I don’t think any wooden rafters would stand the weight so it must be some sort of interlocking construction that holds itself up.
The Cliffs of Dingle…named by Neil. They’re similar in geology to the much taller Cliffs of Moher that we’re going to see on Tuesday but Neil liked them…and given that it was a sunny day and another sunny day on Tuesday is not assured at this point he decided some sunny cliffside shots would be nice. These are only 80 or 100 feet tall instead of the 700 that Moher boasts.
This sheep was grazing alongside the road and took exception to Neil stopping to get a picture.
One of a bunch of abandoned dwellings known as Famine Huts…we didn’t see anyplace that had any details but are assuming they were abandoned by the owners during the great potato famines of the 1800s here in Ireland when the Irishmen emigrated to America.
A shot looking up the mountain side from where the Famine Hut was shot…essentially Neil turned about 90 degrees to his right from the above shot. In both this one and the Famine Hut shot you can see a whole bunch of fences that separate pastures from fields from homes…all of these are stone fences, mostly hundreds of years old and they’re both still in use and still in excellent repair. Stone fence repairmen are not uncommon here since there are many of them to keep in shape and it’s an art more than a science.
Speaking of roads…this is the main road on the route around the peninsula…the speed limit is 80 or 100 kilometers (50 or 50 miles) an hour, the road is about 12 feet wide with no lane lines, it’s two way, and they let full sized tour buses go around it. Scary when you pass one…I gotta tell ya.
A little beach we spotted just north of the road shot above and around the next bend…you can drive all the way down the 150 or so high cliffside at that point to the beach and there were maybe 4 or 5 parking spaces at the bottom with lots of Irish lasses sunning themselves.
The Gallarus Oratory…this is a complete stone building from about the year 500 or 600. The builders were purged during one of the Viking or Normal invasions and no written record of them survives. The oratory is about 25 by 16 feet and 18 high with walls about 4 feet thick. Entirely constructed of stone but the walls sort of lean in until they touch…no wood structure at all and no mortar holding them together…they’re just carefully piled up stone…technically it’s known as piled rubble construction. Neil took a shot of Connie on the inside as well.
After that we were getting sort of tired and it was after 1500 so we headed home. We took a short side trip off our route to journey the 6 or 7 kilometers up to the top of Connor Pass which is the route from Dingle north to the coast of the peninsula…it went from bright blue sunny weather at the bottom to cloudy and overcast just a few klicks away and 1500 or so feet up.
One more shot of the Cliffs of Dingle.
And finally a shot of our destination for tomorrow. This was looking almost due south from the far western end of the Dingle Peninsula towards the Kerry Peninsula to the left and the Skellig Rocks off of the west end of Kerry to the right of the picture. Skellig Michael is our destination on our boat trip tomorrow to see the monastery from the 800s…it’s the taller and larger island on the far right. The smaller one was never inhabited. They’re about 6 miles offshore and we’ll leave on our boat trip from Portmagee which is just out of the frame to the left on the north coast of Kerry. We’re looking forward to the trip…our hose Eileen verified with the boat company (Eoin Walsh…nice Irish name) that it is running tomorrow (bad weather can cancel it ya know) and has fixed up a take away breakfast for us to haul on the 90 minute drive over to the pier since we have to leave before breakfast at the B&B.
That was it for our day and we got back to the room…had a short nap then headed off to Mass and after that had a little dinner. A couple pints of Murphy’s…Neil sampled a really tasty Irish whiskey named Glenmore and we had Mussels (Connie) and Fried Mushrooms and Garlic Bread (Neil).