Thursday, January 24, 2013

Ireland Vacation Part 2

You can read about Part 1 of our Ireland trip here.

After grabbing lunch at a pub in Cobh we headed to our next stop - Blarney Castle and Stone. The grounds were huge and we loved walking around and seeing the castle grounds. And of course we played around taking more pictures. Hey, have to put the tripod to good use, right? ;-)

And what would a trip to Blarney Castle be if we didn't kiss the Stone?! You are supposed to gain eloquence after kissing it. However, we didn't see anything that stated when this is supposed to kick in. I'd say we haven't gotten it yet, but we are hopeful!

We finished our evening by driving to Killarney, the next stop on our tour. Once again we arrived around dinnertime and after checking in headed to Murphy's, a traditional Irish pub. Jason ordered Guinness stew and I opted for a traditional Irish stew. I tried Jason and preferred my own! His tasted very much like Guinness and I wasn't having it.

We spent the rest of the evening researching what we were going to do the following day. We had talked about driving the Ring of Kerry, a 5 hour drive around the peninsula that we were staying on. However, after looking at a few websites, we opted instead to visit the Killarney National Park and skip the rest of the drive around the Ring. A lot of websites suggested the less touristy and more scenic Slea Head drive.

But first Killarney National Park. We stopped at Ross Castle, but it was closed for the season. We walked around the outside though.

Next we headed to Torc waterfall, a very short walk up the path from the road. It was a very beautiful waterfall!

We drove partway on the Ring of Kerry to get to Ladies View, one of the best viewpoints along the drive.

The  drive was pretty and we stopped a couple times to take pictures of the beautiful Ireland surroundings.

Our last stop in Killarney National Park and the Ring was the Muckross House and Garden. Again, the house was closed for the season so we walked around for a bit and visited the gift shop before hopping into the car right as it began raining. Talk about good timing!

We got these little booties at the gift shop. Perfect for the cold Norwegian weather our little one is going to grow up around!

Next we headed north to start the Slea Head drive. It was a shorter drive (around 2 hours, but it took us longer since we kept stopping to take pictures). We are very glad that we decided to do this drive instead and got blessed seeing a few rainbows in between the rain spurts.

The websites we looked at said Conor's Pass was a must along the Slea Head. We made sure to stop there on our way through the peninsula, however, I didn't think it was as good as Ladies View!

We caught this beautiful sunset shot as we began the drive north to our night's accommodations at Ashford Castle.

Read about our stay at Ashford Castle, Ireland's oldest castle, and the rest of our time in Ireland in Part 3 here (coming soon!).

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