Friday, December 31, 2010

Ring of Kerry

"It's the worst snow storm we've had in 52 years."  LeRoy went in to pay for the fuel, asked if they had coffee for sale.  "Oh sure!"  The man proceeded to make him Sanka instant coffee in a styrofoam cup.  "Cream?  Sugar?"  All while chattering on about the weather, where we were from, how it's so nice to have us, be careful on those roads, there's black ice, you know!

Several minutes later, LeRoy returned to a car full of spirited children in foul moods.  I smiled sympathetically, "Peaceful, pleasant conversation?  The Irish... they're so engaging.  Makes your coffee taste like a five-star blend?"

He grinned.  "Yep."  Handed his coffee to me to hold, no cup holders in this particular model.

Looking across the bay from the Ring of Kerry side over to Dingle Peninsula.

The north side of Iveragh Peninsula -- The Ring of Kerry.

Palm trees in Ireland?  They're transplanted here, able to grow because of the North Atlantic Current, (the powerful, warm Gulf Stream), that blows from the Gulf of Mexico.  No need to be native to the land... Spirit's powerful wind enables growth no matter where we're "transplanted."  Yes? 

We visited old Stone Forts, or Ring Forts...  Cahergal...


...and Leacanabuile... where we read about these homes built in the 9th or 10th century...

The information board said it would have taken 100 men about 1 year to build these forts.  No mortar... just expert engineering... and patience, focus, and hard work.

The children climbed down into the chamber, the "creep," used for storage and escape.  How many other children just her age crawled in the same spot... over 1,000 years ago?  What were their lives like?  What were their stories?

Potato & leek soup, chips, meat & cheese (from the nearby dairy farms) sandwiches with homemade apple pie and cheesecake to top it off!

When I ducked inside to see if they were open for lunch, the proprietor had just finished stoking the fire and was standing in front of it warming her hands.  As her and her husband -- such a darling couple -- made lunch they told us they returned the day before from a long holiday in Florida.  "85 degrees... fahrenheit," they said with emphasis.

So these are the Stone Circles (also called Druid's Circles).  So much speculation about these.  A calendar?  Clock?  A place for important meetings?  Or rituals?  Perhaps it is a burial site?
If stones could speak, what stories would they tell?

We drove home via Moll's Gap where I discovered my new favorite store, Avoca.  In fact, LeRoy bought me my new favorite cookbook -- this!  The road home was snow and black ice on an excruciatingly narrow, winding road -- which made it quite an adventure.  When we arrived home in Milltown, LeRoy and I walked down to the Bistro where the two employees -- sisters -- were just closing up but were more than glad to get a Guinness for LeRoy and a large piece of chocolate cake for me to take back to the cottage.

We finished our last evening lounging in pj's and watching an old James Bond movie.

And, yes, we long to go back.  Actually, Eli has told us numerous times that he hopes to live in Ireland one day.  {sigh}  Me, too.


  1. My family wants to live in Ireland too! :)
    We love it up there-both our visit to Dublin-but especially our visit to the Kerry/Dingle area.
    Love your pictures and your blog, both, Sharon.

  2. It looks absolutely perfect! (Please tell me that the kids fought at least once on this trip!)