Where: Killarney and the National Park
When: May 2013, part of our 10-day trip around Ireland
Hotel: Oh the hotel – we’ll get to it later, but we were booked at the Dromhall Hotel, before being moved to the Randles Court Hotel
Why Killarney: One of the destinations we all wanted to see was the Ring of Kerry, and a great place to start that drive is Killarney. As it turns out, Killarney is home to an awesome National Park and is itself a very cute little town.
The Trip: When we booked the trip, we choose the hotels that included breakfasts to save time and money each day. But it has to be noted – while I found the food in Ireland surprisingly good (honestly, I was expecting to spend the entire trip eating french fries), the Irish Breakfast was something I could just not get used to. By definition, an Irish Breakfast consists of bacon (not typical bacon – think canadian bacon, which I think is gross!), fried eggs (no eggs eaten here!), white pudding (made of pork and other ingredients…I like sausage, just not enough to trust the white sausage), black pudding (think white sausage, but with pigs blood – you can guess how tempted I was to eat that), fried tomatoes (I like tomatoes – just not for breakfast) and baked beans (same situation as the tomatoes.)
So, this is pretty much what John and I’s plates looked like on a daily basis:
Back to Day 5! We were heading to Killarney, which is about a 2-hour drive from Cork. We weren’t in as big of hurry as we had nothing on the agenda except for a quick stop in Kenmare before resting up in Killarney for a night to gear up for the big day on the Ring of Kerry.
As usual, the Irish landscape was amazing!!
We made a quick stop in Kenmare to see an Ancient Stone Circle – which proved to be an adventure in itself just to find. I’m sure the Kenmare folks value this, but they don’t advertise it at all. We couldn’t find it because there were no signs (save for the small one that we finally saw on the side of the road) and when we pulled up – there was no one there. Not even at the entry gate, which was a small hut with a box asking for a 2E contribution. In all, a bit of a letdown – especially compared to other ancient sites we had seen. Very historic, but I think the best part was the scenery around it.
In all the stop took maybe 10 minutes, then we were off to Killarney. Which got off to a rocky start – thanks to the owners of the Dromhall Hotel, who upon our arrival let us know they had overbooked, and would one of the two couples take a room in another hotel? Um, no – try another solution. So, they put us up in the sister hotel right next door at the Randles Court Hotel in a junior suite at that! Which was really nice until the wedding reception that was supposed to end at midnight was still raging at 2 a.m. and our junior suites bore the brunt of the music. Awesome. Two thumbs down for both hotels!
Although – the view (before the party) was quite nice:
The town of Killarney was very cute and quite walkable, so we spent a little bit of our afternoon walking around the town before heading to the National Park, which was another one of my favorites. I especially liked the Muckross Abbey – one of the prettiest ruins we saw.
We continued our walk to the one other sight we definitely wanted to see – the Torc Waterfall. The walk from the Abbey to the Waterfall was so pretty.
We made it to the Torc Waterfall, an easy walk from the Abbey!
If heading to Killarney, you have to eat at Molly Darcys! Located right next to the park heading into the main part of town. The food was awesome, the entertainment was Irish Dancers (so cool) and just a great place to unwind! I suggested this to a co-worker and he said that his family had the most fun at this restaurant!
Final Impressions: Killarney is another place I would love to spend more time in – we didn’t get close to seeing all of the National Park and it definitely seemed like a place worth exploring. I wouldn’t make a whole vacation there, but a long weekend would be good – and it is a good place as a base to visit other areas!