Ross Castle

For everything that’s lovely is But a brief, dreamy, kind delight.

Sadly, it was time to finally leave Galway this morning.  I relaxed a bit in the morning and took the 9:00 express bus to Limerick, then transferred to the bus that took me to Killarney.

It’s kind of a cool little town.  Lots of shops.  Lots of restaurants. Lots of pubs.  All more or less copies of each other, expanding out down a few different streets.  I circled through everything this evening but just decided to go to Tesco and buy some things to make for dinner.

As I was walking around, I ran across St. Mary’s Cathedral:

St Mary Cathedral
I hit a home run against St. Mary’s in Little League once

Since I’ve got a rather ambitious schedule this weekend, I wanted to get started right away.  Killarney National Park is a place I could probably spend a few days, but I can’t keep delaying things.  So I walked to the end of the street and rented a bike (even though it was 2:00), and figured I’d ride around.

But the guy there was nice enough to tell me what to do, which works for me.  Sent me to Aghadoe – a place that wasn’t even on my radar.  He gave me verbal directions, which if you know me, is unlikely to end well.  But I survived, with only a few minor hiccups.  This was the “small hill” he told me I would need to ride the bike up.

Hill in Killarney
I am so out of shape

Just a word of advice to anyone who is considering biking to see the sights: anything described as having “beautiful views” very likely involves some kind of elevation.  I don’t know why I don’t just rent a car.

But the view really was spectacular.  As sweaty as I was, even I was able to appreciate it, a little bit at least.

Aghadoe View
I learned how to use the panoramic view on my phone for this.
Aghadoe View
And we’re back to normal view.

Right before the overlook at Aghadoe, there’s a really big cemetery.  It was kind of cool, so I took a picture of that too.

Cemetery at Aghadoe
Kind of a waste of space for a nice view if you ask me

So consider that leg of the trip of a success.  Didn’t get too lost.  Found the proper destination.  Saw some nice countryside.  And all that in time to jump down to Ross Castle before it closed.

Killarney National Park is pretty huge, but Ross Castle sites on the north end in a little alcove of sorts.  I figure I could handle viewing that today, then go down to the national park tomorrow and have a rather relaxing day (or I might just get up and go).

Ross Castle isn’t all that impressive in itself (our tour guide for Connemara ended just about every sentence with “in itself” which was profoundly annoying at first and I’ll probably never use the phrase again without thinking about it), but the view around it is quite nice.  Here’s a picture of the castle with the lake and mountains in the background.

Ross Castle
Ross Castle was purchased and renamed by David Schwimmer in 1998

I took the guided tour, which was nice but nothing special after all the tours I’ve done.  The tour guide was kind of cute though, so that was nice at least.  Here’s the view from the second floor of the castle (we couldn’t go all the way up).

View from Ross Castle
I’m running out of clever captions for landscape pictures.

Now I need to figure out what I’m going to do tomorrow.  I’ve only loosely planned ahead, but now there is a bit of urgency since I don’t know where I’m staying tomorrow night, let alone what I’m doing in the morning (more touring here or moving on).


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