Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Day 7 of the 12-day Giant Irish Adventure

On the 7th day we took a short ferry over the River Shannon.

I was fascinated by this unusual cloud formation.
We watched for dolphins but didn't see any.

We stopped for a 20 minute break at this old prison. Some of the group toured the prison.
I found a nice walking trail across the street.
And I enjoyed a leisurely stroll.

Unique wood carvings, but doesn't seem healthy for the trees.

From there we drove through Tralee Town, home of the Rose of Tralee festival.
Want to hear Dee sing the song, "The Rose of Tralee?" Click on the video.
This is where the festival is held.
Continuing on our route through North County Kerry.

We stopped here for lunch.   
Tom Crean built this Inn upon returning to Ireland after his Antarctic expeditions.
Photographs of his exploits line the walls.

I believe this is where Tina tried her first Guinness.

A walk around the grounds.

Blackberries are getting ripe.
He is recognized and honored in this little park.

Approaching the Dingle peninsula.
We stopped for a bit of a walk to a viewpoint overlooking Dingle Bay. 

This is where we will kayak tomorrow.
We will explore the sea caves by kayak.
This tour boat is out looking for the famous Fungie the dolphin who resides in the bay.
Don't walk too close to the edge.

We can see Skellig Rocks from here. I'm looking forward to that trip.
Views from the top of the hill.

Dingle Bay. We will spend two nights here.
Fungie the dolphin has been spotted and the tour boats converge on her, poor thing.
Passing through Dingle town.
So Dee can show us some ancient Ogham Stones on the grounds of this Irish School. Students attend here to be immersed in and learn the traditional Gaelic language.
Ogham stones have words and messages inscribed along the sides.

Next we are going to a sheep farm for a demonstration by the sheep dogs. There is also an historical display located there.
The dogs await.
They follow us to the fields.
The sheep see us coming and they are leaving.
Over the fence and into an upper pasture.
Waiting for the owner's command.
The old experienced dog is tied. The younger one will work first. He is in training.
Sleuth dog in training.
Here's a brief video of the action. The farmer uses whistles to command the dog.
The two dogs working together.
The sheep are backed against the fence. They are not going anywhere until the dog lets them. The coloring is the way the farmers brand their sheep.
Next we visit the cottages used by the poor during the Great Potato Famine.

Photos from those times.

Peering into a Beehive Shelter. We will see many of those on Skellig Island that monks used for dwelling.

Notice this boy's make-do shoes.

Tina feeds some of the other farm animals.
Next we headed out on Slea Head Drive to Europe's most westerly point. This island is called the Sleeping Giant. You can see his head on the right...he's laying on his back.
This area was used in the filming of the movie "Ryan's Daughter."
Sea Head Drive. Tour buses all have an agreement to drive this route clockwise, so they don't have to meet each other.

At one time there was a tax on windows, which explains why many homes had few or very small windows.
Another view of the Sleeping Giant.
Do you see the skinny road going down to the boat launch?
We're all hoping the weather will be this good for our trip to the Skelligs.
I think Dee said these peaks were called the Three Sisters.

We finished our tour of Slea Head Drive and went to our hotel in Dingle.

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