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Kilarney to Kilorglin

1 Day Late

rain 15 °C

As promised this will be my fifth entry, one day late (this happened yesterday). Before I begin though I feel I should say I just found out that a good friend of mine from college just passed away after a multiple year battle with Leukemia. I just want to say that I will keep her, Natasha, in my prayers and ask that all of you reading this do the same.

In any event let me copy and paste my outline from yesterday for you. Keep in mind that I had been drinking from about 2 PM until I went to sleep. I made this outline probably around 10 PM:

Woke up in Gross Killarney
Saw Cathedral
2.4 KM walk to Ross Castle
Ross Castle mishap
2.4 KM walk back from Ross Castle
Drove to Kilorglin for the puck fair
A lot of traffic – knew it would be full
Drove in – turn around
Dropped off raquel
Parked and walked
parked the car
very irish lunch, enjoyable
walked the fair
watched 2d half of soccer match 2-0 Australia
Met Steve
Saw live concert – fantastic
Kebab- live fireworks

Really gives you a sense of things, eh? Let's try and take these one by one and hopefully I can fill in the blanks.

1) Woke up in Gross Killarney - This is very accurate - where we stayed in Killarney was pretty gross. I was tired the night of the 11th so I didn't notice but when I woke up the 12th the room was really dank. It was cheap though, so I was ok with it. Then I took a shower and there was no hot water. This was completely unacceptable. It also made me realize that I've romanticized my last trip to Europe. As I stood in the frigid ice water in abject and total misery I realized that on my last trip to Europe this was a common occurrence. As were dank rooms. Indeed I'd often stay in multi-person dank rooms with a common bathroom that lacked hot water at all. I had completely forgotten this until that very moment. At that same exact time I decided that four years and three inches of a hairline later, I was past cold showers being part of an "adventure." Raquel heartily agreed and we hastily changed our plans to make sure we stayed in Kilorglin for the night, rather than Killarney for another night.

I also did not like the actual city of Killarney which is kind of known for being a tourist destination for the last 250 years. In that way it reminded me of Santiago de Compostella in Spain, minus the important Catholic overtures. It was full of tourists and seemed primarily geared toward tourist activities. I was not so enamored with the city.

2) Saw Cathedral - We saw a Catherdral. Pretty self-explanatory. 19th Century, so not too old, but quite picturesque from the outside.

3) 2.4 KM walk to Ross Castle
Ross Castle mishap
2.4 KM walk back from Ross Castle - These three really go together and it was almost entirely my bad. After seeing the Cathedral, the Killarney national park, which contains the Ross Castle, was right across the street. We had the choice of driving to the far side to the castle, or walking through it. I thought, why not walk? A nice 2.4 KM walk through a national park, bound to be good times, right? Well, not quite, and especially not so on the walk back. 2.4 was a bit of an underestimate and the walk was not that pretty. In fact it was kind of gross, with lots of horse droppings along the trail we were walking. I was thankful I was too congested to smell. We did see a deer though.

The Ross castle itself was great, albeit reconstructed. It was built by an Irish clan in the 16th century and had passed hands many times. It was one of the last holdouts of Irish resistance against Cromwell until he attacked by floating a barge of artillery on the nearby like and the Irish surrendered, fulfilling a prophecy that the castle would only fall if attacked by water. We bought tickets for a 2:55 guided tour when we got there, thinking it was already 2:40. But it was only 1:40 - my bad number two. At around 2:05 we were wondering why the tour hadn't started when we discovered our mistake. We then decided not to wait and had to walk back 2.4 miles to the car - this was my bad number three. Killarney did not treat me well.

4)Drove to Kilorglin for the puck fair
A lot of traffic – knew it would be full
Drove in – turn around
Dropped off raquel
Parked and walked
parked the car - Indeed there was a lot of traffic driving in. Still it was exciting to stop playing tourist for a bit and start playing party-er. As we approached the city cars were parked along the side of the road. Generally this wouldn't be problematic, but, being in Ireland, the roads are already as narrow as half a lane in the US, so having cars parked along the side of the road presented serious problems when there was oncoming traffic. Still we managed alright and crossed the Kilorglin bridge to get into town. The town itself was on a hill and the mainstreet was entirely blocked off for the fair. We ended up driving around 2/3 of the town figuring out a way to turn around to get to our B&B which was right by the bridge we crossed to get into town. Eventually we figured it out and I dropped off Raquel to check us in while I went in search of parking. I ended up parking along the side of the road into town on the far side of the bridge like everyone else who arrived at the fair late. I walked back into town and Raquel informed me that the B&B had parking. So back across the bridge to the car I went, and once more I drove into town, again I had to turn around and finally, seemingly many years later, I managed to park the car. God do I miss the mainland European railways!

After that we walked the Puck fair and had some lunch. It began to rain. Still, I had a great traditional Irish lunch while Raquel ordered some sort of vegetarian dish and was mocked by our waiter for doing so (essentially). After lunch there was a parade in town which we saw. Evidently the puck fair involves crowning a goat as king for 3 days and then dethroning him. His "dethroning" involved bringing him down from a 3-story structure and parading him across town. I'm not sure what happened once he was out of sight, but I'm pretty sure there was a beheading.* We then watched Soccer in a pub where Ireland lost 2-0 to Australia. I ran into a jolly gent named Steve who was from the area. He meant well and was relatively amusing. He told us that the Dingle peninsula was the most beautiful part of Ireland. I couldn't help but grimace at that given our previous day's misadventures in the rain up that way. It wouldn't be the last time someone told us Dingle was beautiful. Damn rain.

After that it was outside to see some live music. The streets were full and people were dancing to the traditional Irish music that was played. By this time I'd had quite a few Guinnesses and ciders and was feeling quite fine. I ordered a Doner Kebab that was kind of gross (I guess they were another thing I romanticized from my last trip - or they are just better in Germany) and we headed back to our room where I promptly passed out. About 30 minutes later Raquel woke me up for the fireworks display over the bridge. It was great that we could see them from our window but they were really lame compared to the fireworks we're used to in the US. I think we've completely cornered the market on fireworks. Soon I was sound asleep.

  • Not actually.

Posted by JohnnyPing 15:26 Archived in Ireland

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