Monday, 1 September 2014

Just chilling......

.......yes, that's exactly what Mr JK and I have spent the last week doing. It has been total a total chill out in Ireland. We stayed  in Kenmare, County Kerry again. The south west coast of Ireland is particularly lovely and we were keen to revisit some of our favourite places. Despite the somewhat unseasonal weather, we went out and about every day. We spent one day in the Killarney National Park, stopping en route to enjoy the vista at Ladies View, so called because of the pleasure the sights gave to Queen Victoria's ladies in waiting.

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As well as going on a tour of Muckross House, we also went on the farm trail, looking at what it was like to live and work on a farm in the 1930's. A simple, but hard life is the conclusion we came to.

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One afternoon we went on a Seafari down the bay at Kenmare, in search of seals and sea eagles. The eagles were not playing ball that afternoon, and the seals were also quite shy - apparently a motor boat had been racing down the bay earlier and scared them off the rocks. It was a lovely way to spend the afternoon however, and I think you will agree that the views were amazing! (You will have to indulge me with my photos - my new camera has a 'panorama' setting, and I had fun playing around with it!)

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Our favourite day was spent firstly on Garinish Island; this was our third visit to the island and it definitely won't be our last! The gardens there are just beautiful, and even though you cross from the mainland with other visitors, the chances are that as you are walking around, you won't bump into anyone else at all! It really is one of the most peaceful places to go to. The Italian garden is stunning.

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Plenty to feast your eyes on around every twist and turn of the path. The walled garden is currently being renovated, it will be interesting to see it again in a couple of years.

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We saw seals again as we were crossing over to the island - these were braver and didn't bother to go into the water as we approached. They must be used to the little boats going back and forth each day.

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Afterwards, we drove around the Mizen Head peninsula, stopping off at Crookhaven for a lunch and a walk on the beach .......

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We then went to Barley Cove, a truly stunning beach that you reach via a floating walkway. 

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It was pretty windy, and despite the lifeguard's red flag, someone was crazy enough to be trying to swim. These photos show the beach from different views......

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We drove on to the Mizen Head lighthouse. Last time we came, it was closed because the bridge was being rebuilt. It was pretty rickety, so we were very pleased to see something far more substantial, especially given how windy it was while we were there. Seeing the waves pounding against the rocks, you get some idea just how powerful the sea is and how treacherous it can be. The number of ships that have been wrecked in this area bears testament to that.

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On our last day, we drove part of the way around the Ring of Kerry, as far as Derrynane House, the ancestral home of one of Ireland's heroes, Daniel O'Connell. He apparently loved to come down here to escape the bustle of both London and Dublin. No mean feat when you consider what the roads must have been like back then. But the tranquillity of his surroundings must surely have been so soothing. We walked down to Derrynane beach, and although the weather was rather dull, it was still wonderful.

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There was plenty of knitting, which I will share with you in another post.

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There was also a LOT of cake munching!! I could indeed make a whole cake mosaic for you, but since I don't want to show what little piggies Mr JK and I were, I will just share my favourite cake of the week!! A slice of coffee cake, enjoyed with a cup of tea at the Mizen Head. And now I shall love and leave you. I need to get my head around the fact that it's school tomorrow! Where did the holidays go?! See you soon. xxx

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TT in MD said...

Wow - what a gorgeous place - the scenery is beautiful! Torre

Una said...

Great photos. They bring back happy memories of when I drove the Ring of Kerry many years ago.

Claire said...

Such wonderful photos. I don't blame you for getting the panorama setting out, it certainly warrants it.

Lynne said...

What gorgeous photos, and the panoramic ones are great. I'm so glad you had a lovely time in my part of the world; that said, I haven't been any further south that Dublin. I really should make more of an effort! And that cake looks delicious...

Michele in Maine said...

I Love all your photos, Helen! What an amazing place. It does remind me of the rocky coast of Maine a bit. So glad you continue to take your cake tasting duties very seriously!

I'm sure Flo is glad to have you home again! Happy school year!

Jenny said...

Beautiful photographs, it all looks incredibly relaxing and I hope has set you up for going back to work. Have a good week.

knittingsandwich said...

oh goodness - such gorgeous photos! you definitely put your new panorama feature to good use!
glad you enjoyed your trip! thanks for sharing it with the rest of us!

snoopydog said...

Wow! Looks beautiful. So glad you had a lovely time AND that plenty of knitting got done and plenty of cakes were eaten! Ros x

DebbyMc said...

So incredibly beautiful! And, yes, cake, please!

SapphireBlue said...

I just want to escape this cubicle and be there right now.

Marie said...

Gorgeous photos, Helen.I've never been to Ireland but would love to visit one day. A few years ago I visited Isle of Wight, Devon, Cornwall, Guernsey, and Jersey. Some of the cliff and sea pictures remind me of Sark.