Where We Be
|Killarney National Park, Ireland
We finished up the last day of our whirlwind
Ireland tour in fine form with another full day of
sightseeing. After a hearty Irish breakfast at
Lissyclearig B&B, we headed off for Killarney
National Park, passing through Molls Gap then
stopping every few feet, it seemed, for another
lovely view. A highlight was seeing a red deer
with her fawn near the ruins of an old castle.
We also took in outstanding views at Ladies’
View overlook (shown at left). The park has a
wild, rugged feel to it, with green-clad moun-
tains and gorgeous lakes dotting the landscape.
Right in the heart of Killarney National Park is
Muckross House, considered to be Ireland’s
best Victorian mansion (€9 each). We took a
one-hour guided tour of the interior (the only
way to see it) and were impressed by the
authenticity of the furnishings. It reminded us
of Downton Abbey with the servants’ bells, the
sheer number of servants (some 20 or 30), and
the elegant upstairs vs. more basic downstairs.
|Killarney National Park was a terrific way to finish up our
whirlwind tour of Ireland, where emerald green beauty abounds
|"Christmas in Killarney" is a popular Christmas song,
but summer in Killarney is pretty spectacular too
|Queen Victoria's ladies-in-waiting so admired this view during their
1861 visit that this place became known as Ladies' View overlook
|A highlight of our morning was seeing a red deer
with her fawn near the ruins of an old castle
|We also liked this picturesque old church near a rushing river
|Best of all, though, was our short hike near Upper Lake
|There are worse ways to spend a morning than sitting right here
|If we'd had more time, we also would have enjoyed visiting
Muckross Traditional Farms on the same premises
|Muckross House is Ireland’s best Victorian
mansion, and the grounds are lovely too
|Queen Victoria once visited Muckross House for two nights. We got to see the room she stayed in --
all perfectly preserved. The guide helped us imagine the trepidation the owners must have felt
hosting the queen. She said Queen Victoria gave them seven years notice before arriving!
|Even the chimneys at Muckross House look elegant
|No pictures are allowed inside, but the gift shop is fair game. We do recommend taking the tour though -- it's like
a time capsule of a different era, what with its original inlaid wooden furniture, moldings, draperies, and rugs.
|The yard outside is a bit bigger than any lawn we've ever owned.
This is the view of Muckross Lake from the top floor of the house.
|The grounds make for pleasant strolling, and there
are even a few bunnies to keep the grass trimmed
|These Jurassic looking plants were a surprise. Killarney is
Ireland's oldest national park, but we didn't know it was THAT old.
|The extensive gardens are quite lovely. They were originally
undertaken in preparation for Queen Victoria's visit in 1861.
|We did add one additional site to our day: the ruins of Muckross
Abbey. This was just down the road from Muckross House.
|We both love evocative ruins, which these certainly were. Strict Franciscan
friars once lived here with rigid rules about diet, clothing, and possessions.
|The central cloister has the most lovely yew tree at its center
|The tree is so old and graceful -- you could
feel that it had stood there for centuries
|We were surprised how few people made it to the abbey. It was only a
ten-minute walk from the car park and was located in a quiet natural setting.
|The abbey is in ruins and is open to the elements now,
which somehow makes it all the more interesting to visit