Thursday, April 10, 2014

exploring the dingle peninsula

I apologize in advance for the photo overload, it's just that the more I reminisce, the more excited I get about it all and the more I want to share with YOU.

I simply can't help it. 
Don't hate me.

SO, as I stated yesterday, Greenmount House, was nothing short of incredible with nothing less than impeccable hospitality (I highly suggest a stay there!) The day we left, we filled up on a proper Irish breakfast... okay, that's not true.... no blood pudding for these girls. Sorry... maybe next time.

While we didn't venture that far, we did indulge in a HUGE breakfast beginning with anything and everything you could imagine. I ended up ordering eggs with smoked salmon, but finished with the only bread pudding I've ever enjoyed (photographed on the right side of the following photo!)

Again, the Curran's didn't skimp on anything! Such a wide array to choose from for our last meal at the Greenmount House.

We both enjoyed a helping of traditional Irish brown bread. It was the perfect density, heartiness, flavor... everything!

While neither of us got too crazy, we did have plenty to choose from!
We bid farewell to John and Mary and were on our merry way back toward Cork.

Along the way we saw more gorgeous views. Honestly, it never got old. I could wander the countryside of Ireland for months. 

If you read my post from yesterday, you too will look at this poor little ewe and know she's wandering off somewhere in hopes of escape... thankfully I didn't know then what I know now. If you would rather look at the colors of these sweet sheep as 'flair' then just skip the part of yesterday's post where I talk about the sheep.

I decided to have a little photoshoot with this darling little miss.

She's got the perfect 'catwalk'. You know, for a sheep.

A little sass, a little strut. Nailed it, sister-friend!

We were informed that this is where the film 'Ryan's Daughter' was filmed. I can see why any producer would want to use this as the backdrop, always so beautiful.

I discovered that I'm a little obsessed with sheep and would one day like a few lambs of my own. I couldn't stop taking pictures of them... they even had me giggling just watching them! They were just bouncing off the ground and pouncing on each other. Ugh, they were absolutely irresistible. I loved them. Every last one.

Below, you'll see the photo that always makes me think of my brother. :) It was fun in Ireland how they embrace the analogy of the 'black sheep'. Leif and I have always kidded that we alternate carrying the title of 'Black Sheep' for our family. 

This is my favorite photo of all of them. :)

I don't know why these signs always get me! I think they're too funny!

We weren't in the car long after the sheep or our B&B before we stopped again to explore the Kilmalkader Church. Nearby we found Gallarus Oratory, a SMALL chapel built entirely of stone. You'll see in later photos how small it is... 

My model-friend, Amanda. :)

I realize I'm kind of tall, but heavens! 

Amanda has a love for maps. It's one of my favorite details about her.... but there are many.

We made sure to go through the churchyard to see all the gorgeous Celtic designs on so many of them.

Kilmalkedar Church is the most important church site remaining on the Dingle Peninsula. I suggest reading up on it before you arrive so you know it's significance and what you're looking at and for. Kilmalkedar is an ancient monastery of the Christian saint, Maolcethair. It is also strongly associated with Saint Brendan who may have resided here. 

The inside was fascinating and had many interesting, modern details including a sundial and an alphabet stone. We were able to see that it would have been a masterpiece in its day. We were always so amazed at how incredible it was to be standing in something that had been preserved for hundreds, sometimes thousands of years. There's just so much history to be found in Ireland!

With much exploring comes quite an appetite. Ice cream is typically the best go-to on nearly dreary days with much exploration and ancient discovery. 

We found world renowned Murphy's Ice Cream shop from all the travel books and sites we (mostly Amanda) had investigated, the many locals and traveller's we'd encountered, and just by walking by it, it's bright blue entrance is quite inviting!

I'm never disappointed when artwork of cows are intermingled with tables decorated with shamrocks.

All in all, Dingle was an absolute success. I would recommend any and all stops mentioned in this and the previous post. 

Should you be on your way to Ireland and have any questions at all, please don't hesitate to ask... I love talking about Ireland and if I don't have an answer for you from my own personal experience, I'll research until I have something to share with you. :)

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