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I’m kind-of-sad to be posting the last group of photos from our trip to Ireland this past November. We had such an amazing time and wanted to share this special place with you. If you ever have questions about traveling in Ireland, just send a message and we’ll fill you in on what we’ve learned. We’re not experts … just everyday travelers.
One of the nice things about traveling with a loose itinerary is being able to take the road less traveled or detour when opportunities arise. While in Cashel we met a lovely young lady named Inga. She was a treasure with tons of information and helped us with a few stops not previously on our travel plan. We mentioned visiting Cork and told her we planned to stay one night in town. Inga suggested we travel on another 30 minutes or so to a small town named Cobh (pronounced Kohv or Cove) and formerly named Queenstown. Once we arrived in town we headed to a local pub to enjoy traditional Irish music and a cold beer. The owner of Rob Roy’s immediately knew we were tourists and asked if he could help with our stay. We told him we were looking for a cold beer, traditional Irish music, a place to spend the night and a good hot dinner. He offered to help with the first two and then took us outside to show us a few places to stay and restaurants that were favorites with the locals. I just love Ireland!
One of the more fascinating stories Inga told us was about how Cobh was the “the departure point for 2.5 million of the six million Irish people who emigrated to North America between 1848 and 1950. On 11 April 1912, Queenstown was famously the final port of call for the RMS Titanic when she set out across the Atlantic on her ill-fated maiden voyage.” Cobh has a rich history and shares information about the last 123 passengers who boarded Titanic through a permanent visitor attraction. The museum is located in the old White Star Line Ticket Office in Cobh.
We hung out in Rob Roy’s for several hours watching the musicians and loving the traditional Irish music. They started out with about 4 players, then another arrived, plus two more and before you knew it, we have a pretty big group. I could have stayed there all night!
We headed up the hill to visit the famous St. Colman’s Cathedral. Even at night it is an amazing site.
Inga told us a moving story about how the Irish people that left Ireland from Cobh were often able to see this church from far off in the bay. Many attended Mass in this cathedral before departing and for most this was the last building they saw in Ireland.
My husband caught me taking pictures from the pew – I was trying to be respectful of those praying and saying the rosary. They’re probably used to tourists gawking at it’s beauty. I couldn’t help think about all those people that sat in these same seats before leaving Ireland due to the famine to seek a better life in America.
On our way into Killarney we noticed several signs for a pottery shop. Sister-in-law Rita is a pottery lover and student so we stopped to see what we could spend our Euro’s on and what would fit into our suitcases. We found this adorable shop and were thrilled when we saw their treasurers.
I bought the bowl on the left and love it! That’s about all I could fit in my carry-on. Many shops offer to ship your purchases to the United States – so be sure to ask!
I could go on and on about all the things there are to do in Killarney but you’ll see when you go for a visit. Be sure to include a trip to the area because there are a bunch of fun pubs, great restaurants, plenty of places to stay and it’s the jumping off point to many beautiful outdoor adventures. The famous Ring of Kerry drive starts in Killarney too. It’s a very popular destination so during peak tourist season, make reservations! If you’re looking for a recommendation – I cannot say enough good things about Murphy’s. Their pub food is AMAZING! Try the Guinness Casserole and don’t you dare miss breakfast! There are probably 15 different Murphy’s in Killarney – so be sure to get the right one!
Our first day in Killarney we got up before the sun and headed just outside town on the Ring of Kerry. We stopped at Ladies View and set up cameras waiting on sunrise. It was cold, and we left before breakfast (don’t worry they serve until 10) but I could hardly pull myself away. Photos just don’t show the true beauty experienced while watching the sun come up in Ireland!
After heading back to Murphy’s and enjoying a breakfast of fresh scones, smoked salmon, eggs, fruit, hot delicious coffee, more coffee, brown Irish soda bread, Irish butter and everything else that wasn’t locked down, we repacked our gear and went to visit the Torc Waterfall in Killarney National Park. I thought it was appropriate to take a picture of shamrocks in Ireland – they were everywhere!
Everything is covered in lush green moss.
The waterfall is a short hike from the road (with plenty of parking), and for those a little more adventurous, you can hike up the mountain above the falls to a lake.
Another beautiful view complete with waterfall.
In Ireland it’s pretty typical to find sheep in the road , but this was a little unusual. We’re driving near Doolin when all of a sudden there were cows in the road. Okay – we’ve got cows!
They watched us for a minute then turned around and hoofed it (haha) down the road. There was a lady trying to shoo them back into a gate. Not sure how it ended but they took the next right 🙂
Once close to the Cliff’s of Moher we came across this giant beach with surfers. Another surprise to me – just not what I would expect to see in Ireland, in November. Catching the waves!
Visiting the Cliffs of Moher is another one of those must-do’s while in Ireland. Standing 702 feet at their highest point, they are something to behold.
It’s sometimes hard to tell how big something is or how tall when looking at photos. For perspective, look at the highest peak. Those little black dots are cows and people.
See the cows in the green field? I am amazed at what Mother Nature can do!
This coastal view is in the Burren National Park. The rock formations are very interesting but the unique plants that grow here are fascinating and beautiful.
On our way into Doolin we came across this cemetery and ruins. The vistas are amazing.
Another one of our favorite places in Ireland is a small coastal village named Doolin. Doolin is a hot spot for musicians during the summer months but still fun to visit in the off-season. We came back to the same guest house we visited in 2009 where James and Carol Cullinan are gracious hosts with a beautiful B&B. Be sure to make reservations and prepare to be amazed at the beautifully decorated, super clean rooms and restaurant. Carol does an amazing job of making you feel welcome and her husband James is the chef. The food is outstanding! We also love hanging out in Gus O’Connor’s Pub where we enjoyed more traditional Irish music, wonderful Irish fare and a beer or two.
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So this is the last post on our Irish vacation. The wanderlust has hit again already and I look forward to taking another trip – big or small – I don’t care. I just love traveling and seeing amazing scenery. Ireland is a wonderful, beautiful country and well worth a visit … or two. Hope you’ll let us know if you have questions. We are happy to help! I hope you have a great weekend and enjoy the Superbowl. I’m off to make an amazing dessert because I’ve been good for way too long.
Don’t miss our other posts about adventures in Ireland:
- Dublin & Portlaoise Ireland
- Cashel Ireland
- Dingle Ireland
- Cork Ireland, a visit to the English Market
And finally, don’t miss this wonderful roundup of Irish Recipes & Travel Posts too!
Thanks so much for stopping by!