Kaitlyn’s Visit & Ring of Kerry


So after our Oktoberfest trip last year, Toby’s cousin Kaitlyn came over to visit us again. She was actually our first repeat visitor! While she was here, we saw a few things outside of Dublin, went to Kerry, AND went to London. Looking back, we did a lot while she was here! But in this post, I’m just going to cover what we did in both Dublin and Kerry. Of course to start out, we revisited a couple staples….

Temple Bar

Temple Bar

Powerscourt

Powerscourt Estate is an old estate and gardens in Co. Wicklow. The house, originally a 13th-century castle, was extensively altered during the 18th century by German architect Richard Cassels, starting in 1731. A fire in 1974 left the house lying as a shell until it was renovated in 1996.

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Approaching the Estate House

Approaching the Estate House

Looking at part of the gardens from the back of the house

Looking at part of the gardens from the back of the house

Part of the stairway heading down towards the gardens from the house

Part of the stairway heading down towards the gardens from the house

Looking back up towards the house from the back

Looking back up towards the house from the back

Part of the Gardens

Part of the Gardens

The Japanese gardens at Powerscourt

The Japanese gardens at Powerscourt

Having a little lunch while overlooking the gardens.

Having a little lunch while overlooking the gardens.

Bray-Greystones Cliff Walk

Bray to Greystones Cliff Walk

Ring of Kerry

We then decided to do the Ring of Kerry in ONE DAY. Looking back, we probably should have not done it in a day trip. But that being said, this is now one of my FAVOURITE parts of the country. We boarded a bus at something like 6am to start the trip over to the ring of Kerry. Most of the bus trip, there wasn’t much to see till we actually arrived.

Adare, Co. Limerick

This was the first town we stopped in. It was SUCH a cute, small, quaint town. It’s often called one of Irelands prettiest villages. Within the village is a Franciscan Abbey founded in 1464, a Trinitarian Abbey founded in 1230, and Desmond Castle built in the 12th century. We didn’t stay here long, but it was a really neat village to quickly walk around and stretch our legs. Just to keep in mind how small this village was, there were two main roads, and the rest was surrounding farmland.

One of the houses on the main street that still uses a thatched roof.

One of the houses on the main street that still uses a thatched roof.

Desmond Castle Remains

Desmond Castle Remains

Trinitarian Abbey

Trinitarian Abbey

Killorglin, Co. Kerry

Although we didn’t stop here, we drove through another small town called Killorglin. Here, every year they have a “Puck Fair” or goat festival. The legend is that in the 17th Century, a goat broke free from a herd, causing so much ruckus in the town over night that the entire town woke up. It’s a good thing that they all woke up, because they quickly discovered that Oliver Cromwell was about to attack the city during his attempt to conquest Ireland. Once they realised what was happening, they were able to protect the city from being conquered. Puck is Irish for Male goat, so now it’s the Puck Festival. Each year, the name a new goat king of the town for the entire year.

King Puck statue in Killorglin

King Puck statue in Killorglin

Countryside

We stopped over a few times in the middle of the country (although I don’t know what the nearest village was) and captured some pretty neat photos.

An Irishman with his donkeys and doggy just hanging out.

An Irishman with his donkeys and doggy just hanging out.

A woman selling jams and pottery on the side of the road

A woman selling jams and pottery on the side of the road

Kaitlyn and I in Kerry

Kaitlyn and I in Kerry

 Dingle Peninsula

Shortly after leaving Glenbeigh, we were able to see the Dingle peninsula from the Kerry side. It is seriously some of the most beautiful water I’ve ever seen.

View of Dingle Peninsual from Ring of Kerry

View of Dingle Peninsual from Ring of Kerry

Kaitlyn and I being silly with our tour guide mascot

Kaitlyn and I being silly with our tour guide mascot

More views of the peninsula as we drove around

More views of the peninsula as we drove around

Cahersiveen/Waterville

After stopping for some lunch, we drove through Cahersiveen and Waterville. Waterville is acutally where Charlie Chaplin used to vacation every year. So, every year they hold a comedy festival there in his honor. In Christmas of 2013 we actually stayed just outside of Cahersiveen for our Christmas vacation, but I’ll cover that more in depth in a different post.

Caherdaniel

As the ring starts to turn back towards the East of Ireland (and I can’t remember if this was just before, or just after Catherdaniel), there is another pull of with AMAZING views. There was also man there with his pets playing music. We ran into him on another trip as well where one of his lambs punched me, but again… a story for another post. This is also where Toby and I took our Christmas pictures last year.

Man who was playing music with his pets

Man who was playing music with his pets

Oh you know, just sheep on the side of the road

Oh you know, just sheep on the side of the road

Monument of Mary at the pull off

Monument of Mary at the pull off

View from the pull off.

View from the pull off.

Famine Houses

All across the countryside of Ireland, you’ll see the remains of various houses that look like this…

Driving around County KerryThese are actually famine houses. They are houses that were abandoned by families during the famine as they fled the country to seek refuge in other countries (mostly the United States and Canada). In 1841, before the famine, the population of Ireland was 8.2 million. Just 10 years later in 1851 the population dropped to 6.6 million. Even today, the population of the entire country is only 4.6 million, so it goes to show just how drastically the population has changed here since the famine days.

Killarney

Before heading back to Dublin, we stopped by Killarney National Park to view the Torc waterfall. It was seriously gorgeous.

Lake at Killarney National Park

Lake at Killarney National Park

Walking towards the Torc Waterfall in Killarney National Park

Walking towards the Torc Waterfall in Killarney National Park

Walking towards the Torc Waterfall in Killarney National Park

Walking towards the Torc Waterfall in Killarney National Park

Torc Waterfall

Torc Waterfall

All in all, it was a great trip, but if you decided to do the Ring of Kerry, don’t do it in one day like we did. I’m so glad that later on we did the trip again, but over the course of a week so we could explore the towns more.

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