Friday, April 28, 2017

The Dingle Peninsula

After all the research, and reading many accounts of trips in Ireland, Dr. C. and I settled on doing the Dingle Peninsula.  Then I read about the road.  I've done fine here on the left side in a right hand drive car, but this drive sounded like it would be tedious, narrow in spots, and filled with 40 passenger buses, and since I was driving, I probably wouldn't see very much.  So we decided to hire a guide/driver for the day.  Rory from Dingle Slea Head Tours picked us up at 9 a.m. at our hotel in Killarney, and we headed out.  Born and brought up in Dingle he knows this place and his love for his part of Ireland is evident.
The day was all about the scenery, which is spectacular, and the small town of Dingle which has lots to keep you busy.
Inch Beach

Homes dot the hillsides

The light here changes by the minute; we had a bit of rain, but some sunshine as well

We got to hold some new lambs; after this I'm not eating lamb again for a while

Bee hive huts, circle 600 AD

These were reconstructed by the owner of the land in the early 1900's
Blasket Islands, no longer inhabited

Memorial for those lost at sea

Dr. C. on the "Ryan's Daughter" beach

Natural springs stream down to the beach and flowers grow through the rocks

Shaggy horse

This path on its way to the oratory is lined with fuschia, in another month this path will be blazing red

7th or 8th century monastery and grave site

Pilgrimage church

Promise stone, tradition has it that the hole in the top is to 'seal the deal' with each participant putting their finger through the hole to agree, whether it is a property deal or a marriage proposal.

Famine graves, no markings, just a stone

A stop for lunch in Dingle Town, after lunch we had to try Murphy's ice cream, famous all over Ireland, I highly recommend the Dingle sea salt and caramel ice creams.

a little shopping

 After lunch Rory took us up Connor Pass, which is a narrow, tight 1 1/2 lane road.  The views are spectacular.  After this it was back to Killarney to our hotel.  

This was a day filled with nature's wonders.  Many films have been shot in this area, most famous was Ryan's Daughter where the village was totally constructed on site.  The last Star Wars movie had a few scenes here, and the next one will as well.  And a part of the movie Far and Away with Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise (remember them?)was filmed here.
I highly recommend getting a guide/driver, Rory was terrific stopping along the way so I could snap photos and we had a great lunch in Dingle at his favorite spot, Ashes.   Rory also does guided tours for extended periods in Ireland, if you need a driver for a complete Irish tour.
We are headed East for our last 2 nights in Ireland, we'll be in the Kildare area at this gorgeous place.

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