Day 3: Ring of Kerry Tour, Skellig, Liam O' Connor

Trip Start Apr 30, 2006
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3
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Trip End May 07, 2006


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Where I stayed
Glendale House
What I did
Moriarty's
Liam O' Connor Show
Bridge Bar Restaurant

Flag of Ireland  , Munster,
Tuesday, May 2, 2006

We woke up today to see that it was very cloudy and looked like it might rain for the Ring of Kerry tour :( We had a traditional Irish breakfast cooked by Anne our host at the bnb before Tony came to pick us up. As we were leaving Killarney it started to rain :( I was very disappointed. I was hoping for great weather to take pictures of the Ring of Kerry.

Tony took us past the Lakes of Killarney to the Gap of Dunloe to Moriarty's to shop before we started the Ring of Kerry. Moriarty's is a pricey store but they have alot of high quality and authentic Irish products like Aran sweaters, Donegal Tweed, and Waterford Crystal. I got an awesome wood and pewter Celtic photo frame and some leather bookmarks for the ladies at work. My parents also bought gifts for other members of the family. When we left Moriarty's it really started to pour. I was afraid it was going to ruin sightseeing for the Ring of Kerry.

As we got further away from Killarney the rain stopped and the sky was just overcast. The sun came out at just the right time as we were going through the costal towns of Glenbeigh and Kells. We saw some gorgeous scenery and I managed to get some decent photos through the bus windows. I was really wishing we could get out more than we did but there was nowhere to pull the bus over.

Our first stop was at Valentia Island to visit the Skellig Experience. It was a center that showed a film about the monks, the beehive huts they built and their hard life of isolation on the Skelligs. It was interesting but I would have much preferred to take the boat ride to the Skelligs and get to wonder around the island and take pictures.

After the Skellig Experience we stopped in the town of Portmagee, just across the bridge, for lunch. We ate at the Bridge Bar Restaurant. I got some really good Irish Stew there. The prices were a nice deal for lunch.

By then the weather had pretty well cleared up so I went outside to take some pictures. Portmagee is a very colorful town and there is a dock there with all types of nets and other fishing gear strewn around, there are lots of docked boats which made for some interesting photos.

As we left Portmagee we passed through Waterville, which is a cute little city with gorgeous mountains and a bay in the background. I got a wonderful picture of it with a cross monument, I really love that picture!

Tony then stopped the bus at the Coomakista Pass and let us out to take pictures. The view of the valley below was outstanding and on the other side was Ballynaskelligs Bay. The scenery was lovely. There was a statue of Mary at the top of the pass that had an inscription in Irish on it. My dad took my picture in front of it...then he had to be a smart ass and ask me what it said. To my suprise I could read the entire inscription. Tony the tour driver was impressed. We had talked about the Irish language and I had told him I could speak a bit of it but he didn't think I could understand that much.

Next we passed through Caherdaniel which had some lovely beach scenery and an old runied fort. Our next stop was the town of Sneem. Tony was going to take us to this little ice cream shop and let us take pictures for a bit but unfortunately it started to hail like mad! Talk about unpredictable Irish weather! We didn't get to do anything in Sneem and had to get back on the bus.Next we drove through Moll's Gap where we saw a rainbow in the sky. Then it was onto Ladies View, which really had a nice view of the Lakes of Killarney. That pretty much rounded out the Ring of Kerry and we returned to Killarney to go to our bnbs for dinner.

When we got back to Glendale House Anne had a nice dinner of roasted pork, potatoes, carrots, cream of vegetable soup and ice cream waiting for us.

After dinner we showered and got ready to go to the Liam O'Connor Show playing in Killarney. We got a taxi driver to take us into town. This guy was like Flash Gordon on speed. I swear he was doing about 100 m.p.h. on a tiny ass road! He almost hit a truck infront of us and we had to swereve out of the way to avoid an accident. Everyone was laughing hysterically on the ride into town because we were all nervous that we were going to die before we got there. We managed to make it into Killarney in one piece!

We met Tony and a few other people on our tour who were going to the show. Tony had recommended the show to us. He said it was sort of like Riverdance. The show was held at a hotel in town. Tony got us seats right up front! We couldn't have been any closer unless we were onstage. Liam O'Connor used to perform with Micheal Flatley and Riverdance. The show was really wonderful. Liam could really play the accordian and concertina and his wife sang very beautifully.

All of the girls who did Irish Step Dance in the show were All Ireland Champions and were very good. One of the neat thing is that this show was filled with locals, it wasn't a tourist attraction so it was a very authentic Irish experience of Irish music and dance. After the show was over we took another taxi ride back to our bnb to go to sleep for the night.
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