Celtic Discovery

Day 10 - April 2, 2004 - Dingle Peninsula Touring - Sightseeing Day

We woke up to a sunny morning and had our breakfast with the group and we were off to Dingle and the coast by 9 AM.

The drive was a bit bumpy and we are in the back of the mini-bus but it was very scenic as we followed the road to the Dingle Peninsula, another spectacular coastal area.

There are some 2,000 sites of antiquity that have been identified at the village of Inch, and we took a stroll on the Inch Strand, a long white sandbar that was used as a scenic backdrop in the film Ryan's Daughter.

We were able to go into the Strand Bar where we were warmed with tea, scones, butter, and jam. When we went back into the café to wash our hands and us the restrooms, Gennie and Judy were the last ones out.

The owner, thinking that everyone had gone, locked all of the doors with a deadbolt and key and drove off. They tried the back door but it was also locked. They found a window on the first floor and crawled out.

In the mean time Jerry had phoned Dora, the owner, who came back just a Gennie was crawling out of the window of the bar - what a sight!!! After many laughs as they got back in the bus we were on our way along the coast to the small fishing village of Dingle.

This village was the principle harbor in Kerry in medieval times and still retains a significant fishing fleet. Gaily painted houses line the streets leading to the harbor.

We walked up and down the narrow streets while I took many “people” pictures today. We found a small internet shop where we were able to send out the Day 9 journal.

We then hurried to have a little lunch at a pizza shop called the Oven Doors. This was a real treat as pizza shops are rare in Ireland so we had a stone oven baked 3 cheese, tomato and olive pizza.

It was starting to rain again so most everyone was back at the bus at the designated time. Elaine had seen some very exclusive jewelry so DeeDee took her to the Brian de Staic Gallery where we were given 10 minutes while Elaine ordered her jewelry.

Little did DeeDee know that so many of the women were going to shop. It was just at 30 minutes until we were on the road again.

Along the road we stopped many times for photo opportunities - this is truly the land of 40 shades of green. Grand views greeted us around every turn on this stretch.

As the road wound around Ventry Harbor and opened up to a panorama of Dunbeg Promontory Fort, hanging above the sea. As the road continued westwards around Eagle Mountain, we saw Slea Head and beyond to the Blasket Islands.

Although there are a few homes in this remote area at the end of the peninsula, it is a very poor area. The people here only speak Irish (Gaelic) so many students from the rest of the country come here to Irish College to become proficient in Gaelic to pass the language requirements for graduation.

We continued along to Ballyferriter and the Gallarus Oratory. Probably dating from the 8th century, Gallarus is a perfect example of the dry stone building style of the time. It has stayed weather tight for over 1,000 years.

We made a small circle at the end and then began to retrace our steps, returning to Dingle to pick up the jewelry people ordered and for a quick stop at the off-license store to buy wine for dinner.

Tonight’s dinner was at the private home of a local family in the small town of Miltown. Our hosts were Cira and John and their 5 month old baby Charlotte, and their large dog Ambrose.

We had a delightful evening, and got to meet Cira’s mother and brother as well as several young cousins from the city who were just as excited to be out in the open country side.

Our traditional dinner was shepard’s pie, peas and carrots, and blackberry/apple crunch for dessert. We left their house just after 8 PM and drove through Killarney back to Friars Glenn where we arrived just before 9.

Breakfast, Dinner - Friars Glen Hotel

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