Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Ireland Vacation 2012 - Part 2

If you haven't read Part 1 of my Ireland Vacation go here.
On Sunday we picked up our two rental cars in Dublin and made the drive to Killarney.  Ireland has built a new motorway and most parts of it have been completed since our previous trip two years ago.  It makes a HUGE difference.  Not only is it faster to get places but the new road is much wider than all the country roads so it makes driving (especially for Americans who aren't use to driving on the left side of the road) much easier!

We arrived in Killarney that afternoon and our little (timeshare) cottage was waiting for us!  Everything in our "neighborhood" looked pretty much the same. 

That night we decided to have dinner at Kate Kearney's Cottage which is an adorable place near the Gap of Dunloe we discovered on our previous trip.  We got lucky b/c a tour group came in for dinner, traditional music and step dancing which we got to watch too!  I bought a really cute hate in the gift shop (which you will see later in pictures)!

On our drive home we went by a field that we pass often and the cows were out.  One had his head through the fence to eat the grass (guess it was better on the other side of the fence).  We stopped so I could take pics and while I didn't catch the cow with his head in the fence I got some out cute ones.  I love cows (in case you didn't know) and the sky was so pretty (it was late- while we were there it was staying light out until almost 10 PM)!

Monday we hung out in Killarney for the day.  We shopped around the downtown area for a while and then went to check out someplace we had never been before.  Kerry Glass is located just a few miles outside of downtown and we never knew about it before.  All the glass is made using recycled pieces (so wine bottles, pickle jars, etc are crushed up and melted).  The owner/artist, Terry was so kind and gave us a "tour" of his studio and showed up how it all works.  I got a small pitcher but you'll have to wait until a later post to see what it looks like! 

Tuesday we took a day trip.  Our first stop was in Cobh (pronounced Cove) which is a port city and was the last port of call for the Titanic in 1912.  We visited the Cobh Heritage Center to learn more about the events around the Titanic and other ships.  It was really interesting.  It seems that this display/museum is always here but there were also additional things in town for the 100th anniversary of the Titanic sinking.  Of course I've seen the movie but it was really interesting to see this side of the story and to also learn about other ships that sank or crashed. . . so many people lost their lives.

Cobh is such a cute town.  It is a town that has had 3 names - it was Cove then Queenstown and then back to Cobh but with traditional Irish spelling this time.  You have to take a ferry to get to Cobh.  We had read travel books about the town but this had not been mentioned.  While we were driving there using the GPS we heard, "take left and board ferry."  We were a bit confused!  Fortunately a few minutes later we actually saw the ferry and realized that we did indeed need to drive onto the ferry to get to Cobh.  It was only a five minute ferry ride!

This is the view of  Passage West which is the town across the water from Cobh.  This was the view while we were waiting for the ferry to take up back.  Such a pretty view.  I love how they paint the houses all different colors, this is especially common in the towns on the water.

Next we headed to the town of Douglass (which is right outside of Cork City) to have lunch at South County which is just one of the many stops we made at places on the Irish Whisky Trail.

We then went to Cork City.  It is the biggest city in Ireland after Dublin but really not too much to do besides shopping which is difficult since most of the stores close at 5/5:30.  We walked around for a little bit and then decided to head home.  I didn't take any pics b/c there really wasn't anything that caught my eye as picture worthy! (No offense to anyone who lives in Cork City.)

Wednesday we took a day trip to Bunratty which is now right up there with one of my favorite towns in Ireland.  Not only was it a beautiful day but it was such a cute area I couldn't help but love it.  We saw the most adorable Bed and Breakfasts and beautiful homes in the area.

We had lunch at Creamery Bar which is also on the Irish Whisky Trail.  Funny story - Allan had been talking about "the creamery" and the whole time I of course am assuming it is a place for ice cream.  They were pretty confused when I made a reference to eating ice cream for lunch and I was pretty disappointed to find out instead I'd be eating more pub food!  Ha!

We had to get some pictures in front of Durty Nelly's.  This old fashion Bulmers truck was parked in front and I love Bulmers so of course had to pose with it!

After lunch we went to Bunratty Castle and Folk Park.  You can't be in Ireland without seeing a castle!  This was was different than others I've seen b/c it was decorated to look like it would have looked when people lived there.  We were able to climb the very tight stair cases to the very top and it was a gorgeous view! 

Next to the castle is a "folk park" which is an Irish Village designed to look how things looked in the 19th century.  It was super cute!  I love Irish cottages and there were plenty of those.

The village had everything you would expect - shops, a bar, restaurant, a school house (and of course the retired teacher had to "teach" in a photo), a farm and more!  Some of the shops sold real stuff and we all really liked this one shop that sold pottery.  Again you'll have to wait until a future post to see what I bought!

That night back in Killarney we had dinner and then went to one of my favorite Killarney bars (and Allan's LEAST favorite) at the Ross Hotel.  It is very modern and during a previous trip one of the Sex and the City movies was premiering in Ireland and they were having a big party on the night we decided to go.  This time it was much quieter and my mom and I enjoy a delicious martini.

That is all for now.  Come back to read Part 3 which will be about our last few days in Ireland!


  1. I'm loving all your Ireland pictures! It looks so beautiful. My family is Irish and I'd love to visit there someday.

  2. Awesome photos! I really want to go to Ireland now, haha! I love that little horse, and the cows. :)

  3. I didn't realize that the Titanic departed from Ireland! That would be cool to see. And I love cows too-- those are some great pics! :)

  4. Your photos are gorgeous! I almost felt like I was there with you.
    ... holidays in killarney

  5. I have read your Ireland Vacation - Part 1 and now enjoyed this Ireland Vacation 2012 - Part 2. These are much interesting. The photos are beautiful which are attracts visitors mind to go their. In the Ireland The West Coast recently attracts all visitor for her own beauty. Already we have made a plan to Ireland Itinerary 7 Days at the West Coast very soon.

  6. I love Ireland, so beauty-full landscape, thanks for sharing pictures. For those who planning visit Ireland soon