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Old 06-13-2008, 05:49 AM   #1
Poppins2000
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Smile Part Four of Five on Our Trip to the Emerald Isle

THURSDAY
A beautiful day! All the rain has passed in the night and we are headed for an eco-cruise on Kenmare Bay, about 20 miles outside of Killarney. Today was an optional late morning - those who chose to could meet our guides at 9am for a 45 minute nature walk in Killarney park. We opted to sleep in and have a later breakfast! We met up with our group at 10am and headed for the town of Kenmare. Another beautiful drive, lots more sheep and beautiful scenery.

By the time we boarded our boat it was pretty warm but once we got going and the wind picked up most of us donned a light jacket. Had the opportunity to see several seals on our boat trip, a castle and lots of rolling green hills. After the cruise, we headed for the town of Kenmare for lunch and some shopping before driving back to the hotel, via the backside of Killarney National Park. This drive is incredible, have your cameras ready for Moll's Gap and you should get the opportunity to stop at Ladies View for even more pictures.

When we arrived back at the hotel, we still had about three hours to kill before our next outing. Since it was such a beautiful day, we opted for a walk to Ross Castle in Killarney park (a four mile round trip hike). We really felt like we were in the country, miles from anywhere. Everything was in bloom, the grass green, saw a few cows along the way, it was a great hike - just what we needed. By the time we got back to the hotel, we were ready for a snack and just in time for wine and cheese tasting and Irish dance lessons! The cheeses were phenomenal and our sad, but fun, attempts at Irish dance are memories captured on video that we can recall at anytime with a click of a button ( we gals managed to get both DHs on the dance floor to exhibit their "Feet of Flames" showmanship!!! I can't remember the last time I cheered or laughed so hard...)

Dinner was on our own again this evening. Thanks to Francesce's recommendation, we enjoyed a fabulous dinner at Bricin' - famous for their Boxties (or potato pancakes). The Chicken Tarragon was delicious and so was our dessert - Sticky Toffee Pudding.

Just a little FYI...if you need to do a load or two of laundry, do it on your own, don't send it out to be done! We chose to have a small load of laundry sent out for cleaning during our stay at Killarney Plaza; essentially 3 pairs of jeans, 1 polo shirt and 4 pairs of socks. The cost was 40 euros as in $65!!!!


PART OF FRIDAY
Our most anticipated day - we are off to Dromoland Castle, yipeeeeee! We do have a few stops along the way...a drive out to the Dingle Peninsula and to Inch Beach. I'm still not sure why they call it Inch Beach when in fact it is about three miles long! It's a pretty beach and some of our group braved the cold water and got their tootsies wet. We went for a nice walk, collected sea shells and smooth rocks. I would have love to have been there at low tide. Apparently, the water can recede up to a mile out.

After an hour or so, it was back on the bus for the longest part of our journey (2.5 hour drive). We were entertained by the beautiful scenery and a Disney classic "Darby O'Gill and the Little People", how appropriate, haha! Around 1pm, we stopped in the picturesque town of Adare for lunch. This town has the white wash buildings, thatch roofs and a lovely visitor/Irish heritage center.

After lunch, the anticipation was building. Finally, we were on our way to the Castle!

More later....
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Old 06-13-2008, 07:23 AM   #2
redzinner
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Loving your reports! Thanks!
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Old 06-13-2008, 11:27 AM   #3
Jynohn
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Just wanted to thank you for taking the time to post your reports. They've been very enjoyable! I've always wanted to take an ABD trip, and hadn't considered doing Ireland. However, my husband has been wanting to go back for years now, so it might make a nice 40th birthday surprise for him!

Looking forward to reading about the rest of your trip!
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Old 06-14-2008, 06:10 PM   #4
Cynthiagayle01
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I love your reports. The trip sounds great.
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Old 06-15-2008, 08:08 PM   #5
awatt
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Love your reports. Thanks SO much!
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