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….
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.
Bray-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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
All across the countryside of Ireland, you’ll see the remains of various houses that look like this…
These 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.
Before heading back to Dublin, we stopped by Killarney National Park to view the Torc waterfall. It was seriously gorgeous.
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.