Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ireland: Day 1

Killarney, Kerry

A couple of quick observations on this, our first trip to Ireland:
  • Everyone should fly business class (of course we'll probably never have the opportunity again but it was truly great).
  • Upon seeing Ireland from the air for the first time: It's really, really green!
  • Shannon Airport is very small.
  • My husband is trying to kill me in the car driving on the other side of the road and all.....You read it here first if anything happens to me!
  • Whoever said Irish food is bad, doesn't know what they're talking about!
  • I forgot what is was like to be cool, no heat wave here.
OK, that's off my chest. This morning we checked into our first hotel: a manor house in Killarney called Cahernane House. It's the former home of an English family called the Herberts who ran this property and another nearby estate called Muckross. Of course they abused their Irish slaves back in the day, but they're all dead now and their frizzy haired portraits adorn the walls of the halls and dining room. Did I mention, the family is also penniless? Revenge is sweet!

The hotel is lovely, a delightful blend of shabby chic and English counrry house with large, high ceilinged rooms, sitting rooms scattered here and there, fireplaces glowing (its cool here), a 5-star dining room where we just had a fabulous dinner, and white cows in the back acres. Ok, there is a rooster who was getting on our nerves but if you forgot to bring an alarm clock, he's here to accomodate.

Tea rules. Everytime you sit someone offers to bring you some, and with real cream yet (those white cows earn their keep!). We took a drive to Kiloghen for the Puck Fair but other than the uniqueness of the celebration of the goat, the fair was pretty American-like (balloons, jewelry, t-shirts). On the way back we saw a sign for the Kerry Woolen Mills which sounded interesting. We drove for a couple of miles down deserted, winding farm roads and only met a few cows along the way. Maybe a sign or two to encourage you to keep going would have been nice? In any case we turned back and will try another woolen mill.

We signed up for a bus tour of the Ring of Kerry, mostly to insure that I live another day. Will post a critique and photos tomorrow.  Meanwhile enjoy the photos...we're off to the pub in town! (note: photos will be uploaded later today...PCs are the worst!!)

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