Wednesday, November 2, 2016 – Killarney National Park
He was right out of an Irish illustration book. His red gray hair was covered with a green grey wool cap. Baggy work clothes hung from his stooped 80 plus-year-old body. A few snaggle teeth showed through his wide grin. He hummed an Irish tune intermittently with kind words to “Jack,” his old horse tethered to the jaunting car, the two-wheeled buggy that carried us through the Killarney National Park. In his strong Irish brogue, he told stories of days long gone: his uncle, a game keeper in the early twentieth century…his stone house, built for caretakers of the great 25,000 acre estate…the day Queen Victoria visited the estate…and on and on. He was a delightful man, still finding great purpose in life.
Killarney National Park is quite beautiful. A marble-lined lake reflecting the mountains is close by the huge estate mansion. The trees were a glorious riot of fall foliage. The 200 foot plus waterfall fell nearby. Part of the Ring of Kerry, the park is a respite from the hustle and bustle of the world and a testament to a former era of English/Irish life.
We traveled across southern Ireland for most of the day. We ended in an Irish pub in Rosslare Harbour on the Irish Sea. Once again, the food was great and the visiting between friends relaxing.
We have stayed in a few bed and breakfasts in Ireland, in addition to the hotels, and found them to be comfortable and in close proximity to where we wanted to walk and site-see. The made-to-order breakfasts were very good, and the hosts/hostesses were charming. Where else would you get a hug from the owner when you departed? We commented that we were able to get a great insight to everyday Irish life by staying in an Irish B&B, since the less formal atmosphere allowed for interaction among the guests. Our accommodations on the trip, prior to our arrival in Ireland, had been exclusively hotels and apartments. We have been blessed with good food and comfortable accommodations wherever we have stayed. WEG