Day 3: It's been a dark and stormy day. Trite but very true. We left Baltimore on the southern coast (a sleepy little fishing village in the winter - teeming with vacationers in the summer) this morning and turned north to the Ring of Kerry and the Ring of Dingle. The scenery, even in the fog and driving wind and rain, is spectacular. It's easy to understand Ireland's Emerald Isle status.
One more thought on rental cars in foreign countries where you drive on the left and why not to get a manual transmission car. The stick shift is on the left. Although we upgraded to a Land Rover and in this weather, we're glad we did. There are 6 forward gears to be maneuvered by your left hand.
We had a lovely lunch at the Purple Heather restaurant in Kenmare. Typical pub/restaurant with a fire in the fireplace, delicious soup, and the always-friendly staff and other diners. Then across the street to the Vanilla Grape, a lovely little wine shop owned by a cheerful and helpful French man who was very knowledgeable.
We're on top of a hill in a lovely bed and breakfast, Greenmount, in the town of Dingle. I'm looking out over the Bay of Dingle and feeling quite snug out of the wind and rain. However, we'll still venture out for what should be a spectacular seafood dinner at The Half Door... We're back and it was spectacular! If you're in Dingle, don't miss it.
Day 4: The one really big "not-to-miss" in Ireland is the Ring of Dingle. What you hear about is the Ring of Kerry, but the most spectacular scenery is on the next peninsula north of Kerry. It's where the movie Ryan's Daughter was filmed. The movie's worth watching for the scenery, but get plenty of popcorn - it's very long.
It's hard to resist shopping for woolens in Ireland: scarves, sweaters, hats, etc... my advice: Don't try. They're way too reasonable and will please everyone on your list. Leave room in your luggage.
We've had nothing but truly great food in Ireland. The Irish breakfasts are consistently sumptuous and after you've indulged fully in the homemade bread and scones, eggs fixed any way, fruit, delicious yogurt, etc., you won't have room for more than a bowl of soup for lunch. That way you'll be ready to indulge again at dinner time.
Tomorrow it's on to Dublin by way of Limerick. It has rained most of the time we've been here and it's still been wonderful. That just makes me want to come back and see everything when it's sunny. ND