Today, we left the busy city of Dublin to travel to the Irish countryside, namely Killarney. Easier said than done, since we rented a car to get there. GASP! Left side of the road driving! Driver seats on the right side of the car! Generally, an American driver doesn’t stand a chance. We sacrificed Jake as tribute. We piled into a “Renault” (what even type of car is that?) and after confusing the driver and passenger seats, thereby unintentionally playing musical car doors, we set off. Jake luckily responds to stress with humor, and thus pulled out of the parking lot into traffic with a yell of “BLEAHHH!”that resembled a moose call. He was a fabulous driver, mainly because we are still alive and the Renault is in better shape than the Death Cube van was. (We may have lost a hubcap on that one. Videos coming.) Jury’s out on what shape we (or the car) would be in if I drove.
On the way to Killarney, we stopped at a site called the Rock of Cashel, a ruin that holds a cathedral, tower, and a cemetery. Highlight: kids rolling down the grass hill. (Video here) We also had lunch in the town, where I tried potato and lovage soup. It was GREEN which was so exciting and Irish. And delicious! Lovage, if you are asking, is “a large edible white-flowered plant of the parsley family” according to the Googles. We then finished our drive to charming Killarney, and as we pulled up to our hotel, it was truly one of those “woah” moments of the trip. The Cahernane House Hotel captivates upon first sight, and upon further inspection, is just magical. It, of course, used to be a manor home, and now has been built up and added on to, creating a hotel. Favorite features: a glass atrium complete with fountain, balconies, clawfoot tub, mahogany cellar bar, a tree swing, fabulous omelettes, and SHEEP in the backyard. Such sheep! Much bleating! Very pastoral!
We went into town for dinner and hit up a pub called Murphy’s, where we got Irish Stew, beers, and more delicious soup and brown bread (a homemade specialty at many of the Irish restaurants). The town had fun flags strewn across the streets and lots of little shops and restaurants. It was an absolutely charming day and we anticipated a great time in Kerry county!