The Retirees go Abroad – France, Norway, UK and Ireland – Ring of Kerry, Glenbeigh and Blarney Castle

Farewell to Galway on St Paddy’s day we set sail for the Ring of Kerry – a circuit around the Iveragh Peninsular said to be one of the most beautiful areas in Ireland – well having done it I can say there are some parts that rate as beautiful but an awful lot that is just the same as anywhere in Ireland.


One good thing though was we arrived in Glenbeigh just in time for their Paddy’s day parade. We made up most of the crowd and the rest of the town was in the parade. They had a lot of fun and we were part of it. Then came the traffic jam. There is one street and the parade was in it.

We arrived in Blarney just before 6.00 pm – lovely B&B (the White House). The pubs were still full of Irish celebrating (probably St Patrick’s day or it could have been winning the six nations rugby who knows) so we had dinner at the Chinese (the Red Lantern) with an Irish version of Chinese food.

Visited Blarney Castle and kissed the blarney stone. Tough task without help. Tough way to live as well.

Kerry found the Blarney woollen mills whilst I was viewing the castle. Not so much a mill but a large store of everything Irish and woollen. Set sail for Dublin. The gps “Tommy” was told to take the shortest route which was a country road behind three semi trailers in single file doing under 60kph. We got to enjoy the country side.

Once we got onto the motorway we decided to stop off at Cashel to view the Rock of Cashel. When we arrived the Rock (a medieval monastery) was covered in scaffolding and was at the top of a hill over looking the town. We needed some cash so we went to the town and found we were down to the end of our holiday cash – it had to happen (meanwhile a labourer in Britain had a premonition about winning the lottery and in response to a comment by a female co worker about his laziness he told her of his premonition which she ridiculed but lo and behold he won the lottery 108 million sterling – have a guess who wishes she had shut up when she had nothing good to say).

So after draining our travel card and changing our sterling to euros we headed back to the Rock but got way laid at the Cashel Historical Village. We entered to be met by the local historian who guided us through the village. Unfortunately it was very dilapidated but his passion for Irish political history made up for it.he said that his family had been guardians/caretakers at the rock for 4 generations but he had chosen to start this historical village but his cousin was still chief guide at the Rock. One of the things he showed us was the last “tinkers” wagon used in Cashel. It was dated from 1890 when it was built and was still in use by the Delaney family (they had14 kids in this wagon – Kerry checked the size of the parents bed which was no wider than a single bed which explains a lot) in 1990. He also had extensive memorabilia on each and every Irish rebellion, there must be something about us as when we came to pay he was only going to charge the seniors rate which we rejected.

Our stop at the village meant we ran out of time to see the monastery on the Rock and have lunch so we chose lunch then could not find a place open. So we got back onto the motorway until Kerry spotted the Horse and Jockey where we bought two coffees a loaf of bread and a jacket for me. I juggled the bread on my knee making Vegemite sandwiches as Kerry raced down the motorway.

Our hotel proved a strange one. After arriving at the airport precinct we took a distinctly country road for 2 klms before arriving at the back door of this 500 room hotel out in the paddocks. We returned our hire car after booking in and settled down to prepare for the trip home (3 days and 4 different aeroplanes.)

There you have it. Our seven weeks. Lots of fun adventures and experiences. Until next time goodbye.

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Retired Australian Lawyer having worked representing the innocent and the not so innocent in Australia and some of the remote parts of the world and having travelled widely through Europe, Western Russia, Canada, USA, New Zealand, Thailand Malaysia Solomon Islands northern China, Hong Kong and the UAE So now that I have the time I am writing about my travels present and past. Hope you enjoy exploring off the beaten track.