I confess: I expected to hop off the plane in Ireland and fall in love. Maybe it was the years of anticipation; maybe it was all the “you’ll love it more than England” departing comments I received; maybe it was my love for beer at pubs surrounded by rainy hills and sheep, who knows.
It wasn’t till day 6 that I felt my heartbeat quicken and eyes glaze over in admiration. I fell head over heels for County Kerry.
Having learned a lot about this area of the country from a friend of the family, and the founder of the walking tour company Walking Experiences, Terry Carruthers, it was, for me, the most anticipated part of the trip.
We drove the Dingle Peninsula, stopping to wander along its rocky shores and take in the snow-capped peaks, and through, or over is more like it, Conor Pass, which took us into the bottom of the cloud cover. Mesmerizing!!
We looped up to explore the north side and ventured into Killarney. Maybe it was because I could sense the nature close at hand—literally the park is a quick walk from the city centre—but I fell in love with the city after one drive-through.
Triple A and I dropped off the other gals to do some souvenir shopping while we trooped off to see what we could of Killarney National Park.
We ventured in to Ross Castle… another ruined piece of history that still stands in a physical state defined by nature. This was one of many castles, churches and who knows what, that we visited, drove by and saw in the distance that stood in a ruined state—not rebuilt to accommodate tourists.
Ross Castle was cool and as all the boat ride options were closed for the season we quickly visited and moved on. It was getting dark and there was a lot to see. So we followed directions into the park and drove along looking for sights. We visited Muckross House—an old estate that, well, I have no idea why it’s there. We still had Torc Falls and Ladies View to see, according to our trusty National Geographic Traveler Ireland guide book—awesome guide book I must say!
We got back in the car when it started to drizzle and took off in search. We saw signs for Torc and other sights, but no Ladies View… Triple A’s sight of choice. So we drove and drove and drove, stopping at every turn off. We drove over the slick wet roads, winding up into the hills, through stone tunnels inches away from stone walls and branches up the one-lane road.
Then… we pulled over to the right of the road when we saw a parking area… we reached Ladies View. And it was spectacular…
It was dusk, cloudy and we were late to pick up our shopping friends, so we took a few pics and moved on. But it was the perfect view to end the trip and put a smile on these Ladies’ faces!
I definitely love Ireland and can’t wait to go back and hike the Kerry Way!