Traveling around Ireland is easy with buses, trains and also planes, but the best way to really see the country is to rent a car. Now that can be a bit of a challenge for those not used to drive on the left side of the road or on narrow roads. So rent the smallest car you feel comfortable with, if heading into the countryside and off the main motorways.
Our next leg of the trip took us into the west of the country with a stop at the historical Cashel. The small city in county Tiperrary is definitely worth visiting and associated with one of the most interesting historical sites in Ireland.
A legend associated with the area is that devil took a bite of a mountain close by and when challenged by St. Patrick spit it near Cashel leaving the hill on which Rock of Cashel was build. A collection of now ruined medieval buildings, including a cathedral, chapel, and the tallest standing tower, is undergoing renovations to remove the fungal and bacterial growth ruining the remaining buildings. The Rock of Cashel is beautifully visible from the nearby Hore Abbey.
You should put some time aside and walk down the hill to the abbey, as it offers great views of the Rock and itself is an interesting site. Just take care when walking so you do not trip over parts of the building.
Some practical suggestions – you will need cash to buy tickets to visit the Rock of Cashel, you can park in the parking onsite or park in the town for a maximum of two hours and stroll up the hill.
From Cashel we headed west to Killarney, the home of one of the most spectacular National Parks in Ireland. While traveling on major motorways we still hit some unexpected traffic obstacles as just the day before the local team won the Gaelic football final leading to celebrations everywhere in county Kerry.
Killarney itself is a small town located right on the edge of the National Park and a fabulous loop drive – Ring of Kerry. You can easily spend a week right there enjoying hiking, cycling and sightseeing. We had a bit less time to see the best views in Kerry. And also after confronting a part of the narrow road of Ring of Kerry, we decided that an alternative smaller loop would be a much better idea.
As the rain was predicted for the following morning, we decided to visit the famous Ladies’ View the same evening that we arrived.
I missed the best part of the sunset although with the clouds rolling in evening started just a bit earlier. A critical equipment for good shots there is a tripod, small or large whatever you want to take with you, but make sure you have one.
Views are interesting along the road towards Ladies’ View and you can stop in some spots, but not everywhere. Do not be tempted to walk across the road too much. The road is narrow and locals drive fast (speed limit is 80km/h) so taking care is critical. There are also a lot of tight turns and blind corners so a driver might not see you. In some way driving in early evening was actually a good idea, as there is not that much traffic. Be particularly careful when it rains and the road is wet.