The Emerald Shores of Ireland


G and I enjoyed an extended weekend along the Dingle Peninsula in Southwest Ireland. What they say about the 40 shades of green is true…the landscapes are dramatic and bright. And the shores are lined with friendly sheep and cattle who ensure that the hillsides remain tree-free.


During our stay, we drove the Ring of Kerry and the Dingle Peninsula, dodged rain drops, hiked to a mountain-top lake and waterfall, visited with our friends Andy & Chiaki who were staying in Castle Gregory (also on the Dingle Peninsula), sampled more than our share of the BEST berry crumbles the world has to offer (the Pottery Cafe on the Dingle Peninsula drive has the BEST), met “Funghie” the friendly, playful semi-tame resident dolphin of the Dingle Harbor and tried our hand at getting up close and personal with the peninsula’s most plentiful residents (SHEEP…”Moxton” was my favorite). In fact, the sheep are so loved here that they have rights.


While we certainly saw our share of the Peninsula’s 100 inches of rainfall per year during our 4-day stay, we also enjoyed the fruits of the rain. The lush green grasses make for gorgeous countryside views.


The peninsula is also home to some of Europe’s best-preserved landmarks from 2000-6000 years ago. “Fairy forts” and beehive homes dot the shores and remained relatively untouched through the years because the locals were superstitous and believed that the fairies’ spirits would haunt you if you cultivated their land. It’s amazing to see the stone structures, fences and homes built over the centuries. Like much of Ireland, these shores were also decimated by the potato famine. Emigration has led to abandoned churches, homes and towns. Hence, some parts Ireland take you back to another era…Anyone remember “Far and Away” with Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman? The Irish scenes were filmed along the Dingle Peninsula (we even have photos of the hopeless field).
See additional photos from Ireland…

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