Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Killarney and the death-defying roads of the Ring of Kerry

Day 3 Ireland –

Day 3 of my Ireland vacation I decided to play tourist. After cleaning up and blowing up my hair dryer (good hair was just not meant to be on this vacation), I got in my car and drove to Killarney. I walked around the town centre and the first thing that caught my eye was a place called Murphy’s Bar. There was a gentleman out front cleaning the windows and door.

It caught my eye because that is the last name of my new heroine. I passed it by and went my merry way visiting a bunch of shops and then wound my way back to Murphy’s.

At that point, I asked the gentleman if he minded if I took a picture of the pub. He answered, “Make it a good one.”

Then I went inside and learned more about the pub and how it opened in 1955 by a man named John Murphy. After I left Murphy’s I wandered the town some more until I came across a shop that served hot cocoa. I got it to go then got in my car to drive part of The Ring of Kerry and visit the Killarney National Forest Park.

I got some great pictures there! Take a look.

Let me tell you...the scenic route of the Kerry Way is more like a trip into white-knuckle driving. The narrow roads are death-defying.

You're either driving on the inside near the rock wall and any minute may end up smashed against its side or you're driving on the edge and may meet your maker in a tumble down a cliff. Not kidding! Beautiful scenery, but hair-raising drive.

I drove the narrow and windy road of the Ring of Kerry until I got to Moll’s Gap. I paused there for a quick stop into a little shop then was on my windy way again.

Back in Kenmare, I parked the car at the cottage then was back to walking into town where I watched a man cutting stone for a rock wall. I never knew how they did that.

OH! And the top of their rock walls that they build now are different than I have ever seen. They place the stones standing up on the top. I should have asked why they do that, but check out the picture.

On the way into town, I took a side detour, found a way up to Cromwell’s Bridge, and actually walked over it. HA! That was way cool and no simple feat. Very steep getting down and very little space for footing. I wonder how they did that back in the days of people actually using the bridge?

I walked back to Stone Circle this afternoon and yes! It was open. I left my 2 Euros and went in. I don’t know, I guess expected to feel the energy. I’ve visited other places like this and the vibrations or energy you feel or I felt was overwhelming. I walked into the center of the circle and never felt a thing. Kind of bummed.

This Bronze Age Stone Circle is reputed to be one of the largest remaining examples in the South West of Ireland.

The Kenmare Stone Circle is actually an oval (which is unusual, most are round) With 15 Stones in the circle and a boulder dolmen in the centre, which has an impressive capstone weighing about 7 tons. The Circle has been thought to have been orientated toward the setting sun.

Stone Circles were often aligned to specific solar, lunar and celestial events. Archaeologists believe that these events may have been linked to the rituals and ceremonies performed at the circles.

I’m sitting at Davitt’s Restaurant and Pub having an amazing Irish Burger with first a pint of Murphy’s and now a Guinness.

Shhh! Don’t tell the guys I work with but they were right, Guinness is much better over here than I would have ever guessed. Even the waitress said there is a difference in drinking Guinness in Ireland than from tap anywhere else in the world. I believe she may be right.


Emma Leigh March 23, 2011 at 7:44 AM  

Love the pictures, Denise. Sounds like you are have a great time.

Denise March 24, 2011 at 2:30 PM  

Had a fantastic time! Looking forward to going back.

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