In my recent trip to Ireland, I was reminded of a couple things about the Emerald Isle. The pubs in Ireland are fantastic, the weather often isn’t and the Irish are some of the kindest people in the world.
Maura and I were doing some shopping in Killarney one afternoon when the weather changed from blue skies and sun, to some of the most torrential rain I’ve ever seen (outside perhaps on the West Coast of New Zealand). It was the type of rain that would have you soaked within minutes. Given the sun at the start of the day, we didn’t have an umbrella and as we were contemplating leaving the shop, a woman offered to go and get her car, and then come back to the shop to take us to the car park where we were parked.
That random act of kindness just wouldn’t happen most places in the world, but it’s pretty commonplace (or so it seems to me) in Ireland.
The weather never quite cleared, but we headed off to the nearby Gap of Dunloe anyway for a cheeky afternoon pint of the Black Stuff. The Gap of Dunloe is mountain pass that was formed by glacial ice a couple of million of years ago. A valley between the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks and Purple Mountains winds its way for 5 or 6 miles through the hills and passes a series of lakes along the way. You can’t take a car, so you either have to explore it by foot, by bike or by one of the ‘trap and ponies’ available for hire.
After a pint by the fire at Kate Kearney’s Cottage, we headed a bit further on to where I was able to get this shot of the rolling green hills on the way to the Gap of Dunloe.
Getting There: The Gap of Dunloe is across the water from Killarney, so one option is to catch a boat from Ross Castle to Lord Brandon’s Cottage. Alternatively, you can drive to Kate Kearney’s Cottage from downtown Killarney in about 20 minutes.