Our week in Ireland began with Aer Lingus to Cork, and a car rental. We stayed right in the center of Cork at www.gabrielhousebb.com for two nights where we got our bearings, had a personally guided tour with good friend Greg, and went on our way west toward Dingle via the south coast.
We went for a walk in the park behind Blarney Castle:)
It was our first full day in Cork, where we were met by dearheart Greg Stretton, an Irish American living there.
He and his wife K own and run the Shaolin Martial Art Center in Cork, both being 4th degree black belts.
He devoted his entire day to showing us his Cork. We walked for hours.
It was full of hidden places, nooks and crannies, gracious good kindness,
trad pubs and a long restful slumber afterwards.
He saved this til last…ancient Druidic grounds of days gone past ~ and not…
Thank you, Greg!
From Cork we drove south to Kinsale, loved it so much we stayed overnight in a great stripped down b&b called Joe’s right in the heart of it all. From Kinsale to Old Head, Old Head to Drombeg Stone Circle, north to Bantry Bay on our way to Kenmare.
What a great town is Kenmare; a gateway town entering the Ring of Kerry, a spectacular though hair-raising drive. Irish roads are — well — fast, narrow, opposite, full of potholes and no shoulders, and — well — dangerous.
Liam did all the driving. It was too much for my brain hemispheres. It took me two days to stop gasping, bless his soul.
I will have a go next time we go to Ireland, and HE can have his go in the passenger seat.
Kenmare is full of shops that support all the best of Irish artisans from wool to metalworks. It is a great place to find all that is authentic Irish. We will return — in fact we’re heading over in September for a family reunion!
We spent the night there before heading onward to cousins in Tralee, and were very surprised with how *grand* Tralee is. It’s a lovely city and worth exploring in its own right, but we didn’t.
We wanted to go to Dingle.
The Dingle Peninsula has to be one of the prides of the country. The town of Dingle? We decided we could easily live there. Just up our alley. Fishing port, marine environment, hills to the sea, weathered faces, the name Moriarty is everywhere, and we stumbled upon our favorite b&b to date, http://www.ancapalldubh.com.
Patrick & Helena are gracious beyond measure; the rooms are full of fresh air, bright light, warmth and comfort. We decided to stay an extra night and look forward to going back.