I didn't realize that Ireland is such a paradise for hikers. When we go back, we'll pack hiking gear, drive out to the tip of the Iveragh Peninsula and get a boat out to Skellig Michael and climb its stairs. I considered doing it for this trip, but we didn't have time, and it turns out they were filming Star Wars on it while we were in Ireland, so I imagine tourists were banned. We could see the island from Dingle and Beara. So near and yet so far!
After Skellig Michael, we'd drive to Dingle and take the ferry to Great Blasket Island and do the 6.5 km hike around the island and perhaps some of the other Dingle hiking loops. From Dingle, we'd take the Tarbent ferry across the Shannon into County Clare and see the sites there, particularly the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren. Then we'd head north to County Mayo, where a big branch of my family comes from. I love fantasy-planning travel!
And now I give you way more pictures from our visit than you probably want.
This was our neighborhood for our first two-night stay in Dublin. The other side of the street was the DART embankment. Possibly not the greatest neighborhood, but the house itself was very nice inside and comfortable and there was a convenient Aldi nearby and we were still within walking distance of the city center.
|The bell tower in Cork that we climbed. (Note the Salmon weathervane.)|
|Approaching the belfry. We had to wear protective headphones.|
|At Dzogchen Beara|
|Meditation room at Dzogchen Beara|
|Village of Allihies, Beara Peninsula|
|Our hike around Allihies.|
|Fishing boats in Castletownbere|
|Driving to Healy Pass|
|Looking down from the top of Healy Pass|
|Killarney National Park|
|Killarney National Park|
Dingle town. The yellow and green bunting are the Kerry colors for Gaelic football. Luckily, we were in Galway when Kerry lost to Dublin for the All-Ireland SFC title. We were in Dublin for the celebratory parade down O'Connell St.
Slea Head Drive. The space between the dashed yellow lines is for two way traffic. That wider bit is a parking lot. See the bus taking up the entire road? And the cliff? Luckily, most people are driving clockwise around the peninsula. My favorite Irish road sign was, "ONCOMING TRAFFIC IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD." The speed limit was always 20 kmh faster than what felt safe.
|Bee Hive dwellings on Slea Head|
|The closest we got to Skellig Michael--the pointy island in the distance|
|Blasket Island Ferry|
|Slea Head selfie|
|Lynch Castle, Galway|
A pub in Salthill. Somewhere along the line (in Dingle, I think) I asked a bartender if it were possible to order a beer in a portion smaller than a pint. He was like, "I can pour a HALF pint," perhaps a tad sarcastically. Those half pints saved me. I know it's feeble, but I can't finish an entire pint of beer.
|At a roadside overlook.|
|Dublin Gargoyle--Christ Church Cathedral|
|Ancient inscribed cross at Glendalough|
|10th century cathedral ruins, Glendalough|
|Round Tower, Glendalough.|
|You might want to reconsider a trip to Ireland if you have a sheep phobia. There are sheep everywhere.|
|The hike to the upper ruins at Glendalough|
|Jon sits in the ruins of St. Kevin's Cell|
|Rainbow on the Wicklow Mountains|
|Insouciant James Joyce statue on O'Connell Street|
Dublin Castle. I forgot to mention this in my "last day in Dublin" post. We didn't go inside because we couldn't find the door, although we did blunder into the subdued (though free) Revenue Museum trying to find the door. I'm not even sure if the castle itself is open to the public. We were so over sightseeing at this point, we didn't particularly care if we got in or not. After Dublin Castle, we tried to find a sector that was labeled on my map as an "antiques district," got lost, gave up, and started pub hopping our way back to our hotel.
|Titillating display of drug paraphernalia at the Revenue Museum.|
|Bridge over the River Liffey in Dublin.|