On the Ring of Kerry we were able to catch some lovely views of the countryside and the various lochs of the country. That is, when it wasn’t raining. The nearby towns were a little bit easier to take in whether it was raining or not. For example, the light smir of rain in Dingle did not deter us from enjoying the coastal town.
Dingle sits on the Dingle Peninsula, which reaches out into the Atlantic. Dingle is famous for Gaelic football, fishing, pubs, linen and a happy bottlenose dolphin named Fungi.
We did not meet Fungi, nor did we see fishing or football. However the weather was perfect to browse the many linen shops and to enjoy the cosy atmosphere of a pub. In Dingle and many other times in Ireland, we gobbled up some classic pub grub.
On the neck of the Peninsula is the town of Tralee, which we also visited. Tralee is a very old town which is said to be the base of an ancient roadway. The roadway is associated with the Scotia’s Grave which is rumored to be the burial site of the daughter of an Egyptian Pharaoh’s. Whether the rumors are true or not, Tralee is a pleasure to explore.
Near a different peninsula, called the Beara, we made a brief stop at Bantry Bay. There we saw a few ships belonging to the Irish Naval Service. The vessels are traditionally named after Ireland’s famous female from both history and mythology. For instance, one of the ships we saw was Róisin.
The lead ship of her class, Róisin was designed in Canada. The name, meaning dark little rose, was likely based off the title of Owen Roe Macward’s famous poem, Róisin Dubh.
The Bay is often linked to Rebellion of 1798. From the readings in the Rebellion Centre in Ennicorthy, we knew that the bay was the place where the Wolfe Tone led a French Fleet in an attempt to launch a rebellion. Also in relation to Ireland’s efforts towards independence, we visited the isolated memorial of Michael Collins. Very near the settlement of Bealnablath Collin’s memorial stands. A large cross marks where the Irish revolutionary leader was shot during the Irish Civil War.
Another day we drove to Skibbereen. In the past, Skibbereen, like much of Ireland was tragically plagued with a terrible famine. On the drive there many verses of the song, Dear Old Skibbereen were sung. There are many songs dedicated to, or at least mentioning, Irish towns. Despite the season, on the way back to our lodgings, as a group piped out Christmas in Killarney.