Monday, February 4, 2013

Ring around the Kerry

I spent this weekend on the move! I was itching last week to wander around the country and national park so I did. On Sunday I went hiking/wandering in the park; I almost made it to the next town. :) 
BUT........Saturday was the greatest day ever! 

The hostel I'm staying at offers tours in the area including a day bus trip around the Ring of Kerry.

The Ring of  Kerry is a road path that circles around the sides of County Kerry. By the time your finished you see the vastly different landscapes that fill it.  

I lucked out and had a older gentleman as my tour guide that has traveled around the ring for years. He knew the best view points to stop at and the best stories about the passing villages. 
Many towns have harvest festivals in the fall but one of the villages has a very "unique" tradition. Each year the men of the town go into the mountains and catch a wild mountain goat. They give him a crown and make him the king of the town for three days as the towns people celebrate. At the end of the time the goat is released back in the wild, probably shaking his head at how odd people are. :)

Another town we passed through was a popular vacationing place for Charlie Chaplin and his family. Chaplin  loved Ireland and the ocean so he eventually bought a house there and became part of the community. The town has honored him by statue and plaque next to the sea as well as a local museum that displays local art depicting him. 

I totally understand how Chaplin felt, every stop we made was  breathtaking with valleys, mountains and rivers around every corner but the ocean and coast are by far the most heart-stopping.  

We stopped at Chaplin's seaside town for lunch. The moment I saw the ocean, I made a bee line to it. As many of you know, I love water and take any chance I can to play in it. The day was so incredibly beautiful. The sun was out and the sky was a bright blue. 

I climbed around on the rocks and before long had my shoes off and my jeans rolled up.

 I was so happy  and peaceful standing barefooted in the ocean with the wind blowing past me and only the sound of the tide and birds around me. I stopped worrying about everything and just breathed in the clean cool air.
I think I could have stayed there forever. 

 The last stop we made was at Lady's View that is located at the top part of Killarney's National Park. 

The story goes that Queen Victoria was visiting Ireland and requested that her ladies in waiting set up a picnic at the viewing point. 
Well, the Queen arrived early and the ladies didn't have everything prepared, so she screamed at them for several minutes in front of all the locals.  
In solidarity, the locals named  the view point after the ladies in waiting rather then in the Queens honor. 

The trip was amazing and I would definitely recommend it to anyone passing by. Its the best way to see this part of Ireland in a short amount of time.  
I took a lot of pictures and it was extremely hard to pick ones for the blog because each pic is so different. I uploaded them all online so definitely take a peek. The ones here barely scrape the surface. 

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