Those Lucky Irish

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Aaand we're at the 4 day countdown! Our flight to Italy is coming up so, so quickly. We are pumped and, I'm happy to say, almost all packed and ready to go! I'll write more about Italy soon but let's not get ahead of ourselves -- I'm still catching up on our beautiful trip to Europe!

Our fourth day in Ireland was by far, my favorite. We spent it driving the Ring of Kerry as we traveled from Killarney to Kinsale, and finally to Cork for our flight out. It was a stunning, sunshiny day, and it was so quiet (YAY for the off-season!) that we felt like Ireland was our private playground. We stopped in a couple of cute towns, drove off track to the tops of some mountains, and met some friendly and some not-so-friendly Irish livestock.

Valentia Island was my favorite part of the drive. The whole Ring of Kerry offers amazing views, but taking the time to drive out to the highest point on Valentia Island was worth the trip to Ireland in itself.  

When we were almost done driving around the Ring we got out for one more stunning view, because I'd suddenly realized it was our last day in Ireland and the sun was going down!

Earlier, in Cahirciveen, Jim had picked up the business card for a woman who works with clay, specializing in customized fairy houses. So we stopped by her little studio near Kenmare as we finished up our drive around the Ring. Would I be a freak if I said I was dying for one of those little fairy doors?

After a long day of driving and exploring we finally made it to Kinsale. It was definitely out of our way seeing as we had to make it to Cork that night, but Jim and I had both heard great things about it so we made the trek, which turned out to be well worth it (I think we're seeing a pattern here).

We had heard amazing things about the restaurants (Kinsale is the gourmet capital of Ireland!), so we checked out not one, but two. I'm not lying when I say that the combination of The Spaniard and Blue Haven Bistro created one of my most amazingly memorable travel experiences YET - it was sooo wonderful. The Spaniard was rugged and dark, filled with smoke from a roaring fire and about ten locals who are clearly there each and every night. Jim and I both went for tall dark beers and we sat as close as you can safely get to the fire, listening to (and then attempting to talk to) this adorable old Gaelic speaking man who we couldn't understand for the life of us. I could have stayed there forever. But instead we eventually headed to the Blue Haven Bistro for melt-in-your-mouth entrees and some live acoustic Springsteen cover. 

My memory card ran out of room at this point which explains the lack of pics at the end of the night. We eventually found our way to Cork and had a short, short sleep before boarding our flight to Memmingen early the next morning!

More to come soon!

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