The sun has finally gone down (about 9:30) and the tide is up, the winds howling, and the sea is actually hitting my second story windows in this quiet 1909 row-type house on the bay in Dingle. What a town this is, fascinating. So much to share, but let me start with dinner last night. My hostess suggested a 1740 hotel for dinner in Cashel last night. I walked over (an advantage of B&Bs in town, particualarly since parking is difficult at best in medieval towns). I was not too hungry so passed on the formal dining room and ate in the bar/pub, ordering what I thought would be a small light chicken breast. WOW, the plate was full especially with two types of potatoes and many vegetables. I mentioned this to my hostess this morning and she said, “In Ireland we prefer to look at our food instead of having to look for our food.” Afterwhich she said, the more you pay for a meal, the less you get it seems — so true. Well in Murphy’s Pub tonight I had the same experience – a mounding plate – corned beef and cabbage and many vegetables.
I was at the Rock of Cashel when it opened this morning, and spent a fascinating 3 hours. The English video was not until 10:40 and an English tour not until much later, so I started off on my own to explore and read the plaques (I read a great deal last night to be ready). Not wanting to be an ugly tourist I had not brought my camera, but soon went out to get it (fortunately). Much of the structure is currently under conservation to stablize the sandstone, and also there were men everywhere working on sprucing things ups — seems Queen Elizabeth is coming for a visit on 20 May my B&B family told me. The place started filling up with tour buses, so my timing was right, but as I was walking out a private guide was starting with an American tour group, so I slid right in — she was an amazing historian, equal to those I have had with Road Scholar trips. Afterwards I walked downtown to the small history exhibit in the TI (Tourist Information center) and learned much about the development of a typical medieval walled town. Even with having had an Irish Breakfast at the B&B I thought I should get a small bite, so did something Cathy and I often did in England, I went into the local grocery. Well, it is always important to go into foreign stores to get a flavor (no pun intended), and after looking at all the unique items I picked up a BLT and salad selection. A bargain, and “living like the locals.”
I then headed off for Dingle taking about 5 hours for a 3 1/2 hour trip making a few stops and circuits. Different countryside from what I saw on Sunday. I drove through the Glen of Aherlow back up to Tipperary to Limerick then to Tralee, but stopping at the interesting town of Adare. From Tralee I headed along the North side of the Peninsula on the Atlantic, and chose to take the Conor Pass over the mountain instead of the easy route. Was this great – some images below. Tonight after eating I walked around this neat town. Music does not start until about 9:30 in the pubs, so I will give it a try tomorrow, starting at one that “spans three centuries.” I don’t think there are many “tourists” here yet, and imagine the pubs are really hopping then.
Well, I have a slow internet connection here, so will start uploading a few images and then study my trip around the Peninsula for tomorrow – actually can start that while images upload, and once they are done I can post and email you. Good night, RAY