County Kerry

Today we woke up to a decent breakfast (I’ve given up on Irish breakfasts – they aren’t vegetarian. In fact, the Irish in general tend to look at you strangely when you ask for the vegetarian option) and then drove up to a viewpoint at the top of a hill to take pictures of the morning sun over the mountains and the lakes of Killarney. It was really beautiful. There was, of course, the obligatory ruin that I caught in one of my pictures. There’s a hotel where you can actually wake up every morning to this sight – I’m sure you pay through the nose for it, too.
Because I was taking pictures right into the sun, I had to use ridiculously high shutter speeds to be able to take the picture at all.
Moving on, we drove towards Dingle along the Dingle Peninsula. The Dingle Peninsula is absolutely breathtaking, by far my favorite place that we’ve visited. I am in love. I have informed Nat that we are returning for extended stays in the future – she doesn’t really have a choice in the matter. There is the ocean, pubs, and sheep, can she really mind?
I took craploads of pictures. We drove past Dingle (the town) to Kilmalkedar Church (Cill Maolcheadar) to take pictures there. Kilmalkedar is an ancient ruin of both pagan and Christian origins. The church itself is Irish Romanesque from the 12th century, but the church yard also has an Ogham stone, a large early cross, and a sundial.
Back in the town of Dingle, Hannah and I ate at Murphy’s Bar – great food – and poked around the shops. I found a photography book by a photographer who I had seen around Ireland a lot, mostly in the form of high quality postcards (hey, it pays the bills). He’s a Dublin based photographer named Liam Blake who did a black and white series on Dingle Peninsula, which is what I got. A good find.
Had dinner at another Murphy’s bar, this time in Killarney. Apparently it is a popular name. Food wasn’t as good this time around. Killarney is really easy to get around and has a lot of cheap internet cafes, making calling home and checking email both convenient, particularly since the hotel here doesn’t have internet.
Note: International phone cards rack up. Don’t use the discount rates on phone cards, hotels will charge you to use any number that is not 1-800. I have now spent probably about 30E on international phone calls to Nat. The thing is – it doesn’t seem like an unnecessary expense. I am quite fine with that amount, particularly since it was a learning experience. It was worth it just to hear her voice.

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