Ever since I first heard the song “Christmas in Killarney” (the most cheerful Christmas song I know), I’ve wanted to go to the town. It was well worth the journey! Lauren and I are both glad that we cancelled our trip to another town and got to spend a day extra there.
Much like Canterbury, the town was fairly small and quaint. It was slightly shocking coming from Dublin – definitely one of the cities that never sleeps. By contrast, shops in Killarney close at around 6:00, and the same goes for restaurants. The first night we were there, Lauren and I began looking for something to eat at around 7 or 8 I’d guess. Only find one restaurant in the whole town that was open as far as we could tell. We’d hoped for some traditional Irish food, but fish & chips was a good enough substitute.
To emphasize the warmness of the Irish people, I’ll tell this story – my friend thought she’d left her glove in a little convenience store we’d visited earlier. Despite the fact that they were officially closed, the man working opened the doors and let us look around for it for a minute. That would *never* happen in the States – they would just shake their head at you through the window signaling you to go away.
The next day we got up and took a tour around the Ring of Kerry. The tour was 7 hours long, but I honestly could have stayed there the rest of my life. I’ve never before felt so at peace as I did then.
Notice the goat statue on the RH side of this picture – every year in the town of Killorglin, a wild mountain goat is crowned king, reigning for three days. Where else but in Ireland!?
A beautiful beach location where we got out of the bus to take pictures.
At first we were disappointed because it was supposed to rain fairly heavily that day. However, it ended up not being too bad after all, and I lost track of how many rainbows I saw on that day ^_^ You can faintly see one in the background here, ending behind the house.
One of our stops was right next to a sheep field. Lauren and I really wanted to get close to them, so we trekked through the fields after them. This is as close we got, because they’re fast little buggers.
This reminds me a lot of where Buckbeak’s flight scene was filmed (Loch Shiel, Scotland).
That night we chilled in our hostel for a couple hours or so, recouping and deleting pictures to make room for new ones. While we were hanging out in the main room, we met a couple of extremely nice Aussie girls. They were backpacking around Europe for 2 months, essentially living from hostel to hostel. We sat there for quite a good hour or two and listened to their incredible & hilarious adventures thus far.
Afterwards, we ate dinner. Not a single thing was open, so we grabbed some ham & cheese from a convenience store nearby. You do whatcha gotta do. After finishing our sophisticated meal, we joined the Australians at a pub with live music. It was definitely fun to get to hang out with them a bit longer.
On our last morning in Killarney, we’d planned on biking around part of the national park. But truthfully, I’m sort of glad it fell through. It gave us a chance to walk around Killarney and explore some in the daylight without any pressing time commitments.
During our last day in Killarney, Lauren and I took a “jaunting tour” – aka horse-drawn carriage ride around the Killarney national park. Since no motor vehicles are allowed on the pathways, it was a very efficient way to see the sites.
Killarney was absolutely fantastic. It was wonderful to see the Irish countryside that I’ve heard about all my life. No matter how many times I thought that the scenery couldn’t get any more incredible, it always grew in beauty.
I’ve added a ton of photos to the gallery to avoid completely filling up the page itself. There are a good many there, but at least it’s a step down from what I started out with! (5,000. yep…)