Day 8 started with the traditional breakfast followed by a 30 minute horse and buggy ride through the National Park. The National Park is thousands of acres of countryside that is untouched. It was beautiful with some old ruins, lakes, deer, and an island along our route. We finished our ride at the outside St. Mary’s Cathedral which was also the starting line to some sort of marathon so it was crowded with TV cameras, runners, and sponsor tables. We hopped on the bus toward our next destination.
We arrived at a museum for a place called Skellig. On two small islands on the edge of the Atlantic, monks had settled and built places to live out of piled stones. They also built massive staircases on the mountainous islands our of stone. The structures were built out of piled rocks with no mortar and they’ve held up for over a thousand years. When we arrived at the visitor center, it was extremely foggy, windy, and rain had started to fall. We went inside to tour the visitor center and watch a movie about the islands. They also served us lunch. I had the lasagna while Mom had the beef stew. For dessert I had a warm apple pie (with ice cream, of course!) and Mom had a chocolate cake. It wasn’t part of our itinerary, but on a sunny day you could take a boat out to the islands and walk the staircases and view the ancient buildings.
We got back on the bus and headed for the Ring of Kerry, which is a peninsula on the southwest of Ireland. We made a quick stop at a shop that gave us some Irish coffee. Mom and I had the non-alcoholic version. Outside the little shop was a nice stone bridge and stream so we used that as a quick photo opportunity. The Ring of Kerry is said to have spectacular views. We wouldn’t know because the fog descended and rain picked up even more. We stayed in the bus the rest of the day except for one quick stop at a bay side that had a nice view despite the fog. The weather got worse and we just rode around until we arrived back at the hotel. There was a road rally race going on in the area with suped-up import cars and those were constantly driving by us on the road on the way out of town to their next race destination.
When we got to the hotel, it was about 5 pm. We got our stuff to our room and met some of the other people from our trip. We headed to a restaurant called the Porterhouse that was a quaint little restaurant with very good food. After eating and talking for a while, we went to finish up our shopping and then back to the room for shut eye. Tomorrow we’re off to Shannon, Ireland for the last day of our tour.
Photos of today’s activities (limited by the fog) are at