Travel Day to Kilarney

Tuesday June 9

We bid adeau to our lovely hosts at the Harbour Hill Farm and started west on the coast road through light rain. There are much faster routes to Kilarney, but none more scenic. We travelled through the village of Skibbereen (I just like that name) and on to Mizen Head where we stopped to visit the historical light house. The visitors center has a nice cafe which is a good place to have a hot cuppa after walking out in the wind and rain.

This is the most south-westerly point in Ireland and the rocks around the coast are a ship graveyard. IMG_0601There have been hundreds of shipwrecks; a partial listing is at the visitors center and shows the last wreck was in 2003. The lighthouse has been converted to run automatically and most of the buildings turned into a series of displays about Irish lighthouses and the people that tended them. At the entrance there is a ships propellor from the wreck of the SS Irada which was recovered by divers in the 1990s. She ran aground in fog just north of Mizen Head in 1899. The propellor shows the damage from striking the rocks.

The path out to the Head includes nintynine steps or you can take a longer path with no steps.

The bridge to Mizen Head Lighthouse

The bridge to Mizen Head Lighthouse

The path is less invigorating but a good walk non the less. If you don’t care for heights I would suggest you not look down when crossing the bridge.

The displays show the life of a lighhouse attendant in addition to other information about the history of Irish lighthouses. They include video demonstrations of past-times like building a ship in a bottle.

Mizenhead Lighthouse the light is on the far side

Mizenhead Lighthouse the light is on the far side

I always wondered how they actually did that. Essentially all of the rigging is built so it can be folded down flat and narrow enough to fit thru the neck of the bottle. I had figured that, but the way it is done is very clever.

A visit to Mizen Head is a good stop on the way to Kilarney and I recommend it.

The remainder of the route takes you over mountain (for the Irish) roads. Although they don’t have the hairpin turns of the Beartooth Highway they are steep and narrow with serious drop-offs. I wish the visibility had been better, the views would be marvelous I am sure. Due to the weather enroute and the fact that we forgot to charge the camera battery the only pictures I have are of the Mizen Head area and I will close with a couple of those.

We arrived at our new home, the Rossarney House in Kilarney late in the afternoon. After settling in a bit and getting recommendations from Triona, our hostess, we walked to High Street and had earlies at the Fiske resturaunt. Earlies is just an early dinner which is a bit less expensive; I think it’s intended to increase traffic before the real dinner rush around eight or so although they were not lacking for customers. I had the sea trout which was excellent while Bonnie had the lamb chops. I tasted hers and was impressed with the flavor and tenderness. Good place to eat and reasonably priced for the area. More about the Rossarney House later.

The coastline around Mizen Head

The coastline around Mizen Head

View down the ~200 foot cliff

View down the ~200 foot cliff

 

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