Sunday, July 28, 2013

Ireland 2013: Part 4

After a fun and relaxing day hanging out in Kinsale, it was time to continue our journey around Ireland. We started out our day by driving about 30 minutes from Kinsale to Old Head. Adam and his family love to play golf, so this golf course was on the "Must See" list for our trip.

Though we didn't have time for anyone to play, the folks at Old Head will happily let you drive in and tour the clubhouse...oh and buy something in their shop. And of course, we enthusiastically obliged.

View on the way to Old Head.

Beautiful view as you prepare to drive through the gate into Old Head. 

Welcome to Old Head of Kinsale!

Lighthouse on the tip of the golf course.

After touring Old Head, we continued our journey from Kinsale to the Muckross House and on to the Ring of Kerry. We had several beautiful views along the winding dirt roads as we made our way through the mud to the Muckross House.

*A tip to anyone traveling to Ireland...pack your wellies. Even if you don't use's better to have them just in case!

A somewhat disheveled sheep we met on our way to the Muckross House.

When we arrived at the Muckross House, we signed up for a tour and decided to walk around the grounds and get some lunch while we waited for our tour time to arrive. The house itself is beautiful and was exactly what I picture when I think of when I imagine a 19th Century Victorian House in Ireland. It was cozy, and warmly furnished with antiques and beautiful artwork.

The stunning Muckross House.

Beautiful flowers at the Muckross House. 

Loved all of the different plants and trees at the Muckross House and Gardens. 
After leaving the Muckross House we started our journey around the Ring of Kerry. This drive is a tough if you have a tendency to feel woozy on long, winding car rides...just be prepared. The views are stunning and the drive is worth it!

Love this guy!
Awkward family photo...another traveler on the road offered to take a picture of us...
unfortunately, he just forgot to tell us when he was going to take the photo
(hence my awkward hand...)

Finally on the coast with lots of sun...and wind!

Note: Sheehan's Point!

This gives you an idea about how the drive went!

We had a great day of sightseeing and driving before landing for the night in Portmagee. Stay tuned...more to come!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Ireland 2013: Part 3

After a great night's sleep at our first B&B, we continued on our way. Our first stop on Sunday morning, was  in Cobh (pronounced "Cove"). Cobh was a very small town on the coast made famous by the Titanic. As the Titanic was travelling along the coast before hitting the high seas to head to New York, it stopped along the way in Cobh to pick up a few more passengers.

On Sunday morning, Cobh was very quiet, and made a perfect first stop. We walked around the town, walked through the beautiful Cathedral, in between Masses, and decided to take in the Titanic Museum. Though the Museum was small, it had plenty of interesting information about the Titanic and travel at sea during that time period. We were all surprised by some of the interesting information we learned.

The exterior of the beautiful Cathedral in Cobh

The interior.
After our tour, we stopped for a snack and a coffee and then we were back on the road to Kinsale. We arrived in Kinsale a little after one o'clock. We went our separate ways for a bit and during that time, Adam and I had a nice lunch at the Fishy Fishy Cafe. We split a bowl of seafood chowder, and a huge bowl of mussels with a side of frites! It was delicious!

Cute little side street in Kinsale.
Excellent lunch, mussels and seafood chowder with a glass of crisp white wine. Perfection!
Fun sign on the way to the hotel!
When we all got back together, we checked into our bed and breakfast, Cloisters Kinsale. It was perfect! Clean, bright, quiet and very comfortable! Our lovely hostesses recommended a great walk to the Fort in Kinsale. It was about a 45 minute walk from the hotel to the fort. A beautiful path that followed the coast, our walk had outstanding views and a great breeze. Once at the fort, we toured and then headed to the nearest pub!

The walk to the fort included some beautiful views!

A view of the fort.

And another...

Once inside the fort, we could see the Irish coast and the stunning green green grass!

The Bulman was a great little pub and the perfect stop for a Murphy's !

We had a great day in Kinsale, exploring the town and seeing the many sights. Adam and I ended the day with another wonderful meal. Afterwards, we walked back to the bed and breakfast and went straight to sleep to rest up for another busy day!