Celtic Discovery

Day 8 - March 31, 2004 - Cruise to Garnish Island - Explore Glengarriff - Drive to Killarney

We had our suitcases out and in the lobby at 8 AM as we went to breakfast. Today is a travel day so we said goodbye to the nice folks of County Cork and we are on our way to Killarney through the mist and fog.

Jerry had some help taking the luggage out and he began to pack all of our stuff into the small trailer. He got it all in - this is not a big shopping group!!!

After a drive on a very bumpy and windy road we stopped at Ouvane Falls Bar and Restaurant for tea, scones and jam. We saw several older Irish gentleman already drinking at the bar at 10 AM. There is a big mussel industry in this bay as well as sheep and cattle on the hill sides above Bantry Bay.

We boarded a small ferry (Harbor Queen II) at Glengarriff, a picturesque village tucked between the Caha Mountains and Bantry Bay. Garnish Island was once barren rock, but the owner of the island began planting it with tropical and sub- tropical trees, flowers, and shrubs starting in 1910, and the exotic specimens are still flourishing.

To create this unusual botanical garden all the topsoil had to be imported and the plants nurtured for years. Today, the island was just beginning to bloom and we could imagine the colors and the contrast to the stark mountains nearby.

We spent a few hours wandering around the island and visiting the tropical gardens. On the trip to the island we passed some native harbor seals.

We returned to Glengarriff where we had lunch on our own at the Cottage Bar and Restaurant and we were able to walk around while waiting for the others to finish. Glengariff is sheltered by rugged mountains and has a rather warm climate, which supports oak and holly woods that hug the shoreline.

This is the area where Braveheart was filmed in the oak forest and along the rocky coastline. We had some magnificent views of the coast and Bantry Bay.

We left Glengarriff at 2:20 and drove along a steep road that climbed the Caha Mountains and through the oak forests. As we climbed above the tree line, we saw huge rugged rocks, many peat bogs, and pastures with herds of sheep.

We stopped at Kenmare, a planned town, that was founded and laid out in the early 1800's. There was a street market so we had the opportunity to see the locals selling vegetables, fruits, cheeses, and some antiques.

School had been dismissed early for Parent-Teacher Conferences so it was fun to watch the students getting snacks, treats, and socializing in the center of town.

After another very brief ride, we arrive at the Friars Glen Guesthouse where we were greeted by Mary, John and Lizzie Fuller. We were shown to our rooms - ours is #7 - WOW!

We were invited to the sitting room were we were served tea and biscuits. We had dinner here and then we had a guest speaker - Padraig O'Donoghue who gave us an insight into the natural wonders of Killarney, their national park and Irish life.

Breakfast, Dinner - Friars Glen Hotel

If you wish to travel with OAT Click Here.

To receive $50 per person off your first reservation with OAT, mention the following information when reserving your Overseas Adventure Travel Trip: Mr. Victor Garcia Customer #673062


Post a Comment!

  Featured Journal

Day 13: Azores & Madeira: Portugal's Unspoiled Archipelagos

Day 13 - Saturday, April 22, 2022 - Depart for U.S.

The hotel prepared a box breakfast for us as we had to be in the lobby way before the breakfast room was open.

Last night we found out that our departure flight back to...

Continue Reading Day 13