And so it had arrived: the moment when we realized the trip was almost over. That in less than two days, we’d be sitting on suitcases to make them shut. That we’d have to say goodbye to another amazing holiday. Our last two days in Ireland gave us a mixed-but-beautiful bag of scenery, from vast beaches to mountain ranges to old castles. And more sheep and rocks too, of course.
We set off from Dingle on yet another sunny, spectacular day, and it wasn’t long until we arrived at Inch Beach, a massive, relatively unspoiled beach with sand that extends a mile to the waterline at low tide. Rolling up our pant legs, we spent some time making footprints and picking up shells while the cold, cold water chased after our toes. Our beach curiosity satisfied, we set off again to higher elevations.
The husband had identified a mountain range with a road going through it, and, if I’m not mistaken, I believe the range was Macgillycuddy’s Reeks in County Kerry. With the locals advising us against the Ring of Kerry and the time it would take, we opted to pass through the mountains instead. And we found ourselves on a one lane, two-way road with few options for passing. This, of course, meant we drove backwards at least once (with some frustration by the impatient local) to accommodate a passing car, but that certainly doesn’t take away from the views that we were rewarded with. And after surviving the pass, we came across a gorgeous, photo-worthy stone bridge en route to Killarney National Park.
The park afforded many more beautiful vistas, as well as a waterfall in a setting reminiscent of the Pacific Northwest. After exiting the park, we strolled through the grounds of the Muckross House, a former estate just outside of Killarney, our refueling and resting stop for the night.
After some indecision for our last day, we settled on visiting the touristy but interesting Bunratty Castle, a large stone structure that has been built and torn down a few times dating back as far as the 13th century. We were able to fully tour the interior, which had apparently been remade and is used to host medieval festivities in the evening. Departing the castle, we drove to our resting stop in Ennis, an enjoyable town slightly off the usual tourist map yet still convenient to the Shannon airport. We spent the beautiful evening sitting outside in a Parisian-like setting, watching the locals move their tables to follow the path of the sun.
And then we came home. I will soon post a link with all Flickr photo links to share all of the beautiful sights mentioned. Slainte!