Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Killarney National Park, Ballyseedy Castle, and the Dingle Peninsula (part 1)

After a quick stop in Cashel (we were only there one night), we moved on to the Castle du jour, Ballyseedy. Our route took us through Killarney, where we decided to stop and hopefully hike at Killarney National Park.

Yeah, not so much. The park is a Park... literally... hiking was not to be had. Some nice paths to meander... and, of course, a castle to view... also, so lovely vistas of County Kerry, but... the park left something to be lacking. We spent a couple hours wandering around and then headed on to Ballyseedy.

This was our splurge lodging for the trip. What a beautiful castle! I don't have any pictures of the exterior. Lori took a lot, though, and you can see pictures of the exterior on the Ballyseedy website. I should note that there are multiple spellings for the word Ballyseede/y. They are, apparently, both correct.

At the castle, apart from our huge room and a super awesome bartender named Paul, there were 2 fantastic canines that gave us loads of entertainment. Arthur, the Irish Wolfhound, was the most gentle, mellow, affectionate wolfhound I've met (besides the late Frankie, Debbie's wolfhound mix). He was there to lean on me and let me snuggle him right about the time I was most missing Tag and Noah. The other pup's name was Einstein. He was a black and white terrier mix with super intelligence. His favorite thing to do was fetch pieces of gravel that you threw for him. He'd collect the little stones in his mouth (I never threw more than five for fear he'd choke on them!), and you'd have to coerce him to drop them or... more usually... wait for him to decide to spit them out. More than once, I looked down from my bar stool to see Einstein standing there looking at a little pile of rocks he'd placed at my feet. Loved those dogs!

After Ballyseedy, we were off to Dingle. I have a few photos of Dingle to share with you here, but the bulk of my story about Dingle is for the next post, so you'll just have to check back again later :)


The castle at Killarney National Park

Killarney NP

Jaunting cart. This horse gave me a good long look...

Killarney NP is smaller than it looks...

Our castle room at Ballyseedy.

The view

Arthur the Irish Wolfhound

The welcome donkeys of Ballyseedy

Arthur and Einstein

The welcome lion

Lion detail

beautiful weather followed us around Scotland AND Ireland

Lori posing with one of the suits of armor. I love this face!!

The beautiful Dingle peninsula.

A wet dog :)

And... lest we forget... Drive On Left. This rental car sucked. It smelled like cigarettes and the clutch was so tight I had a tough time shifting the lower gears. But I sure as hell didn't forget to drive on the left!

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