Monday, June 15, 2015

Kerry: The Kingdom

The Ring of Kerry

Torc Waterfall, Killarney National Park

It was pouring rain! I mean it was really coming down buckets at a time. People were thinking that "we must be mad" dragging kids out to see this waterfall. But a little rain doesn't hurt anyone, right?! I didn't think so... We all made it up the short walk/hike and got this fun family photo. I wish you could see the rain drops, there must have been a million or billion fall just as we took this shot! The waterfall was absolutely beautiful, and all the rain just made it ten times larger. 

Our Swanky Place, Coad

The view from our back garden in a little bungalow in the middle of nowhere, up a small country road, just off the Ring of Kerry in a little town called Coad.

This place was so weird. It had all sort of odd art work, and weird stuff just lying about, not to mention all the photos of the communist leaders from Vietnam, Korea, and Cuba... And obvious IRA fans! But what I did love about the place is that it had a sauna next to the bathroom, so after my shower I warmed up quickly in there and almost fell asleep... very nice. And the backroom off the kitchen had this breathtaking view. It was a sun room so the whole place was made out of glass windows. It was nice to sit in there and enjoy the view in whatever weather.

Skellig Michael, An Island off of Ireland

"The Skellig Islands, Skellig Michael and Small Skellig, stand aloof in the Atlantic Ocean some 12 km southwest of Valentia Island, County Kerry. From any angle, or from any vantage point on the nearby Ring of Kerry, they are spectacular pinnacles, which have magnetised viewers throughout all history – and beyond. These Skellig islands are world-famous, each in its own right: Skellig Michael is known throughout the world of archaeology as the site of a well-preserved monastic outpost of the Early Christian period – now designated aUNESCO World Heritage Site; Small Skellig is equally renowned in matters of ornithology as the home of some 27,000 pairs of gannets – the second largest colony of such seabirds in the world. A wisp of cloud often adorning the peaks of these pinnacles creates a volcanic impression! But there is nothing volcanic about these Skelligs rocks; they are created of the same 350–million-year-old Devonian Sandstone that runs right through the backbone of Kerry – from the county’s south-western headlands to the shores of Killarney’s lakes" (credit)

 All bundled up in two rain coats. The waves splashed into our boat as we sailed to Skellig Michael, an island off the coast of portmagee.

 And off we go!

Puffins! These cute birds were everywhere! They let us get pretty close to them too. I think they are accustomed to visitors.

We went to the island with some of our friends! Megan and Andrew made the trip especially fun! 

These beehive structures were amazing. They were apart of a monastery that began sometime most likely during the 6th century. It is incredible that these buildings have endured for such a long time, and they were in great condition. It would be a hard life living on this island with so little, and many were killed or starved to death by Vikings that would come to the island and take monks as prisoners.  

Staigue Fort

"13 miles from Sneem, just off the main Sneem Waterville road you will find the imposing monument that is Staigue fort. Staigue fort is one of the largest and finest ring forts you are likely to see in Ireland. (there are others in relative close proximity Leacanabuaile in Cahersiveen, Lohar stone fort and Caherdaniel stone fort). It stands on an low hill, commanding a fine view of Kenmare bay to the south and is very impressive in size and stature. The fort consists of a massive circular rampart surrounded by an external bank. The wall is up to 5.5m (18ft) high and 4m (13ft) thick, surrounding a circular area of 27.4m (90ft) in diameter. Staigue fort shows great skill and craftsmanship in the area of stone building. The technique of dry-walling so well demonstrated here has a long tradition in Ireland. The survival of so many early structures throughout the Irish countryside is partly due to the mastery of the craft of interlocking stones to achieve total stability, even in large building works like Staigue fort. One of the most intriguing things about the fort is that there are ten flights of steps, built in an X shape, along the circular internal wall giving access to the top of the rampart.
Dating of this site is difficult but it may have been built during the Celtic period and may possibly have functioned as a tribal centre."

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Derrynane Beach, Caherdaniel

This is the number two best beach in Ireland! I am glad we checked this place out because it was gorgeous! It was the perfect beach day except for the wind. So our friend Joe found a place hidden behind some rocks where we could sit, relax and enjoy the sunshine for a while. Before we did that though the kids ran wild on the white sandy beach. 

And that concludes our June 2015 bank holiday to Kerry. It was a great three day weekend, and I'm really happy that I was able to see the Ring of Kerry and experience why Kerry is known as the Kingdom! It is full of historic treasures, and it was great seeing just a few of them.

1 comment:

  1. Such a great, awesome, fun weekend! These are all on my Irish bucket list. Right now I will live through your adventures.