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Archive for the ‘Killarney’ Category

Horse Ride and the Blarney Stone

Posted by Jen on Jun-3-2010

Ivan, Lil Dave and I had to wake up early on June 1, 2010.  We had breakfast in the B&B.  We packed everything up and took our bags to the front door.  The Paddy Wagon tour bus picked us up at 9 am.

We were driven to the hostel where part of the group were staying at.  The Australian girls were already seated in a jaunty car.  It’s a one-horse cart.

A few minutes passed and another jaunty car came.  We hopped on and then we were off.

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Our driver and guide was an Irish guy.  He was taking us for a horse ride through Killarney National Park.  We were so lucky that it was a sunny and warm day.

It was really pretty in the park.  We saw a few deers.  Our guide was funny and told us about the park.

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We saw lakes and Ross Castle.  It was a good horse ride.

We got on the bus and started driving.  We reached Blarney Castle.

Ivan, Lil Dave and I climbed the steep steps of Blarney Castle.

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I didn’t know that The Blarney Stone was on the top floor of the castle.  You can stop in different rooms of the castle.  But, there’s nothing in each room.

We reached the top.  Ivan thought they’d be a long line, but there wasn’t.  Lil Dave didn’t want to kiss it.  I told him that if he wants to own a restaurant it would be important to know how to communicate with people.  So, the gift of the gab for 7 years would be helpful.  Lil Dave kissed it first.  The guy had to hold on to him since he couldn’t really reach the railings.

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I went next.  Since I’m so short (not even 5 foot!), I had to go really low and hold on to the railing.  I was afraid that I might fall.  Ivan kissed it next.  He told me later that it tasted like lipstick.  I didn’t think it tasted like anything at all.

Ivan and Lil Dave were hungry, so we went searching for a restaurant.  Our guide Martin told us where to go earlier.

We ended up having lunch at Blarney Woollen Mills Restaurant.  Ivan got salmon with 3 salads.  Lil Dave had cous cous with bananas.  I had a coronation chicken sandwich.  Coronation chicken is curry chicken with sultanas.  Ivan says it used to popular in the 1980’s in England, but now it’s considered old-fashioned.  We had a great meal.

We went back on the bus.  Our next stop was Kinsale.  We went to Charles Fort which is a 15th century star shaped fort.  We walked around the small town.

We started driving again.  We arrived in Cork City.  Some of the group was staying at the Kinlay House Hostel.  The B&B was actually a house right in front of the hostel.  There was an Indian man in our group complained since he had a small room and his bathroom door wouldn’t shut.  The Indian man and his wife moved to a hotel.  Our room actually had a double bed and two single beds.  Lil Dave was happy to have a bed to sleep on.  The house wasn’t like a B&B, just a house that serves breakfast in the morning.

Ivan asked an employee at the hostel about restaurant recommendations.  He said there’s a street full of restaurants and bars.

Lil Dave decided to chill in the room and eat his banana and honey baguette he bought in Kinsale.  Ivan and I walked into the city.  We found the street that the guy told Ivan about.  Unfortunately, there wasn’t much there.  Everything seemed to be closed or looked empty inside.

We headed to a restaurant that Ivan saw earlier.  The food was expensive at Louis Malones.  But, we didn’t have much of a choice.  There was an Indian restaurant next door,  I didn’t feel like Indian since we had it last night.

Our appetizer was salsa with bread to start.  The salsa wasn’t very flavorful.

We were happy that our dishes were big.  We really enjoyed the calzone mezzaluna which contains goats cheese, tomato, spinach, mozzarella and pine nuts.  We also liked the famous spicy island chicken.  It was a delicious meal.

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Ring of Kerry

Posted by Jen on Jun-2-2010

Ivan, LIl Dave and I went down for breakfast.  Ivan and I each got scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and toast.  We also had the tasty granola cereal as well.  Lil Dave had bananas on toast.

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We were picked up by the Paddy Wagon Tours bus at 10 am.  It was another overcast day. 

We drove around the Ring of Kerry (The County of Kerry, Ireland).  Our first stop was the Gap of Dunloe.  The sun came out.  The walk to the lookout took about 20 minutes. 

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There’s a beautiful view of two lakes.  We saw a happy horse.  Further along, we saw a cute sheep.  Ivan and I petted the sheep.  The sheep’s coat was very soft.

We walked back to the bus.  It was time for more driving. 

The bus stopped in Kenmare for lunch.  We checked out all the restaurants first before making a decision.

We sat down at The Horseshoe Restaurant.  Ivan and I shared a good potato and chervil soup.  Ivan had the open face chicken sandwich.  Lil Dave got fried bananas with chips.  I had a great warm chicken wrap with peppers and lettuce.

We drove around some more.  Our guide Martin tells us about Ireland and the places we visit while he drives the bus.  We stopped a few times to take pictures of the lakes.

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Our last stop was the Torc Waterfall.  It’s really pretty.  It’s only a short 5 minute walk to the waterfall.  The trees were all covered in moss.

We arrived at the Rivermere House B&B at 4:10 pm.  Ivan and I used the internet.

We walked into the town centre for dinner.  We went to the Indian restaurant Bombay Palace.   

Ivan and I shared the Aloo Tiki to start off with.  We enjoyed the papadums with the three sauces.  Lil Dave liked the papadums with a banana chutney.

Lil Dave had a mild curry with bananas and chicken.  Ivan and I had a good meal with chicken jalfrazi, chicken tikka tandoori, chapati and rice.  It was really good meal.  We were glad to have something other than pub food – which we’ve been having a lot of lately during this bus tour. 

We wanted to find live music.  We went into Courtney’s.  It’s a bar with great decor inside.  Ivan ordered two red wines and a banana juice for Lil Dave.  We sat down.  A few minutes later, the band was setting up.

The band was playing folk music.  We decided to leave Courtney’s and find something else.

We checked out one bar but it was very touristy there.  The music was alright.  It started raining real hard outside.

We went to O’Connor’s.  An older lady and man were playing.  The lady was playing the guitar and singing.  The man was playing the accordion.  The music was traditional Irish music.  You couldn’t hear the lady very well since they only had a microphone hanging from the ceiling.  It sounded good though. 

The man asked if we wanted to play the wooden spoons, but we declined.  A Canadian guy played the wooden spoons which sounded like a horse trotting along.  The lady played the banjo.  She told the Canadian guy to play the guitar.  He was okay.  Ivan played the wooden spoons.  He sounded great!  Later on, I played the shaker.  Lil Dave played the shaker too.  He also liked dancing around on the table.  The tourists didn’t like it because he spilled a few drinks. 

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Ivan really got into playing the wooden spoons.  He ended up with a big bruise on his thigh from hitting the spoons against it.  We had fun listening to the music and participating.

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Dingle and Killarney

Posted by Jen on Jun-1-2010

Ivan and I had a vegetarian Irish breakfast.  It consisted of toast, two pieces of Cheddar cheese, tomatoes and a poached egg.  We ate everything except the tomatoes.  We don’t like raw tomatoes.  Lil Dave had some banana cornflakes and toast with bananas on top.

The Paddy Wagon Tours bus picked us up shortly after 10 am.   We drove around a lot.  We went around Slea Head. 

Our guide Martin told us about a stone.  He said it was either a Fertility Stone, a mass grave or a secret meeting place for Catholics (at a time when Catholicism was banned).

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It was a cold and rainy day.  We drove next to Dingle Peninsula. 

We went to lunch at Dingle Bay Hotel.  We shared a vegetable soup.  Vegetable soup seems to very popular in Ireland.  Ivan had an open face salmon sandwich.  I had a great goats cheese, red onion and red pepper panini.  Lil Dave got a banana, chicken and avocado tart.

We walked around Dingle Peninsula. 

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It’s a fishing village.  There’s a dolphin that lives in Dingle Bay named Fungi.  He loves to interact with people.  Fungi has been living there since 1984.  He’s an independent dolphin that finds his own food – he never accepts fish that is thrown to him.

The group piled on to the bus.  We drove to Killarney, Ireland.  We checked in at the Harmony Inn Rivermere House.  It’s a nice B&B.  Unfortunately, we got a room on the third floor which is far from the router – so we don’t get internet access.

We went to the Reception area so we could use the free wi-fi.  

Ivan wanted to walk around Killarney before dinner.  It didn’t seem like anything was still open though.  So, we headed to The Lough Inn for a drink.  The gorup would be meeting here in 30 minutes time for dinner. 

Ivan and I got a Kopparberg Strawberry & Lime cider.  It goes down easy since it tastes like a sweet juice.

We sat down with the group.  Ivan and I ordered red pepper and tomato soup, a salmon dish with crab on top with a creamy sauce and a prawn and avocado salad.  Ivan liked the soup, I thought it was alright.  The salmon dish was good while the salad was pretty plain.  Lil Dave had a open face banana sandwich with a salad.

There was a guy playing a guitar, keyboard and singing.  He sang pretty good.  He didn’t do good on Robbie William’s Angel song. 

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But, he sang Cat Stevens’ Wild World really good.

We thought we should head back to the B&B.  We used the internet in the Reception and then we went upstairs to get to bed.

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