Day Two: Blarney Castle – Ring of Kerry
We started this day with an Irish Breakfast. And you will see, we pretty much carried on this “food theme” for the rest of our journey. Full Irish for breakfast and the end of the day can be categorized under pub food. Honestly, this is not my favorite cuisine and at the end of the week I reduced my breakfast to egg on toast.
Blarney Castle opens its gates at 9 and we were perfectly on time to be the first to kiss the famous stone. I clearly remembered about 10 years ago, back at school, there was a chapter about the Blarney Stone in my English book. And all I thought was “Ugh!! Hundreds of people touching the same spot with their mouth every day. I would never do that!”
Obviously I changed my mind, but not before we stood up there at the windy battlements. On the spur of the moment, feeling a bit spontaneously, I bent over – headfirst – to “kiss” the famous stone. One off the bucket list, but not more eloquent than before.
The Castle itself does not take too long to have a good look at. But plan in at least 3 hours if you want to stroll around the gardens as well.
Next we drove on to Killarney, where the Ring of Kerry begins. We decided to shorten this stage of the route, because weather was getting really foggy and drizzly.
From Killarney we went anticlockwise and took the longer route via the Ring of Skellig, which I can really recommend. You could say that it is an extension of the Ring of Kerry that leads to the tip of the peninsular following a really narrow street. Nature is beautiful and you will find plenty of beaches on the route.
What I liked best was the Staiuge Fort. This ancient stone fort is about 2500 years old and lies a bit in the hinterlands between hills but with a good sight to the sea. It looks still massive and huge and the stairs on the inside are intact so you can even walk on its walls. If you have time pay it a visit, it is a 10 minutes drive from the main road with no entrance fee.
The way back leaded trough Killarney National Park. Unfortunately the weather got worse and we could not really get out of the car and have a look around. The lakes must be amazing when the sun is out.
At the end we went further north to Tralee, which is a smaller town between Killarney and Limerick. The B&B we stayed at is called Seán Óg’s and situated over the same named pub. This place has live music at night and seems to be very popular with the locals. Luckily we had our room on the other side of the building and had a good night of sleep.