Great to see you back on my blog. If you are new, welcome!
Last weekend brought us to the gorgeous Killarney which is west of Cork. I had planned a romantic night of relaxation with my hubby and while there and decided to blog about it.
We left home on Friday afternoon and drove 85km west to the lovely Killarney town. This must be my favorite place in Ireland thus far- after Cork, of course. Almost like the Cork people, Kerry people a very jovial, welcoming and are quick to start a conversation with a willing stranger.
The first day was a romantic experience for hubby and I, so I will not bore you with the details on here.
You can never trust the weatherman in Ireland but every now and then, he is on point- mostly when the weather is predicted to be unfavorable. Obviously, we were hoping for a lovely, sunny spring weekend but we got a dry and mostly overcast day. When you live in this part of the world, the weather is grand as long as it is accompanied by the word ‘dry’.
We spent the night in Killarney Riverside Hotel, which is a four-star hotel just a few kilometers from the town center. The hotel was good enough and the staff is really good, but in my opinion, the hotel does not deserve four stars.
The room was very clean and comfortable but quite small and basic- really nothing to write home about. The bathroom was adequate but did not have travel size toothpaste and toothbrushes which I expected it to have and therefore hadn’t packed any of our own. (Don’t worry, we bought some in the shops, of course).
After indulging in Mug and Bean breakfast every day for 2 whole weeks during our holiday to Cape Town in December, the breakfast served at the hotel was a huge letdown. It was so basic, unflavored and not inviting at all. The only thing I loved about it was the croissants and pork sausages served.
After breakfast, we drove down to the town to see what it has to offer. We found parking on the main street and walked down to the horse carriages where we were offered an hours ride around the Killarney national park.
If you are ever in Killarney, I recommend that you do one of these rides- they are phenomenal!
Our horse’s name was Suzy and the man in charge was Olly. Oh, what a pair! The fascinating thing to me was that Suzy seemed to know the land pretty well. She knew exactly when to stop so we could get out and take pictures, she knew when to go faster and when to slow down without being prompted by Olly even once. I am officially buying a horse! 😂
Olly was such a great tour guide and such a laugh. We laughed almost all the way through our tour as his commentary was hilarious. The national park itself is nothing short of amazing and full of life. On a spring day like this one, there were lots of flowers that had only recently blossomed and lots more that were only just budding. Got me thinking that a trip here in May when all the life is newly blooming might be a great idea.
We saw lake Lough Leane which is the biggest of the Killarney lakes and a host to a handful of small islands. The streams were flowing calmly through the park which made for a wonderful water flow sound throughout the journey. A herd of deer grazed peacefully with only a young male one raising his head to ensure we were of no danger to the herd. People walked and jogged passed and children played all through the park.
We journeyed by the Lough Leane on which Olly pointed out to us the worlds smallest island which only has space for two but is too close to the shore that no monkey business can ever go on there.
Our final stop was the Ross Castle. I need not remind you of my LOVE for castles. Although most people just go to these for a good photo, to me, they represent such a rich history. Whenever I am in a castle I imagine the people that probably lived, worked and passed through here. Were they as happy as I am to be here? Was the castle owner a good person? Were the workers treated well? Those are the questions that run through my mind when I am at a castle. Of course, I got some shots and at the end of the tour, we headed back to the town.
Our next stop was Lyne’s bike rental to get some bikes. Killarney is biking central. Everyone is on a bike here and you know- when in Rome… The process was quick and easy enough and only cost us €20 together for the half day. (It is €20 per person for the full day)
If you are traveling with passengers at the back, I recommend a bike rack as the bikes will obviously not fit in the car. If you are traveling just one or two people, they will fit in the back of the car although you have to be a bit clever in the way you put them in.
Back to the story! We drove down to the Muckross where we decided to park our car and ride our bikes around the grounds. I hadn’t ridden a bike since I was about 13 years old so I was more comfortable riding along the longer route which had fewer people in case I knocked someone dead. Oh, my was this fun! It reminded me of the good old days when my siblings and I would ride our bikes all day long in the suburbs. We would hold bike riding competitions with the other kids in the neighborhood and my little brother was always a champion biker.
Anyhow, if you are visiting Killarney, do visit the Muckross house and take a guided tour. It is definitely worth the effort. We didn’t go to the Muckross Abbey as we had to get something to eat and head back to the hotel for a spa appointment.
I will not ramble on about the spa as I feel it was a very personal experience.
For dinner, we went to Treyvaud Restaurant in Killarney town which was absolutely lovely, to say the least. On our way back from dinner, we bumped into a really lovely group of gentlemen who offered to take a photo of us. A few even jumped into the photo themselves. What a laugh!
The rest of the evening’s activities were a bit too personal and I will not delve into them here. You see, whenever hubby and I go away, the day’s activities are for the blog and the evening’s activities are reserved for quality ‘us time’- which y’all don’t want to hear about anyway. I shall leave you to let your imaginations go wild. 😉
Here are a few tips I picked up during our weekend in Killarney.
TinyTip1: You would rather stay in a Bed & Breakfast as most hotels in Killarney are way too highly priced and honestly not worth the hype in my opinion.
TinyTip2: You have to pay for street parking so travel with some coins if necessary.
TinyTip3: The best time to visit Killarney is in May. This is when the plants, trees, and flowers are new and freshly grown-up ready for the summer. It’s almost like they were off rehearsing the show for the summer tourists during the winter and May is when they put on their first full show. Also if you want to avoid the peak season crowds, May is the best time of the year.
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Thank you for stopping by again.
Your humble Boujee traveler.