We started Day 8 by checking out of the wonderful, downtown Cork Hotel.
Our first stop was the famed Blarney Castle, where one of the walker guests in our group climbed the castle and kissed the famous Blarney Stone (which is supposed to bring the gift of eloquence). The grounds were spectacular; and included beautiful, mostly accessible gardens, as well as a unique poison garden.
The brave ones in our group headed to see the Duke’s actual castle where he lives on the grounds, but we had to take a gravel driveway. The driveway was hard packed and “doable” in a manual wheelchair with the help of our driver and private tour guide, but it was an absolute breeze with my WHILL. The Duke’s castle is open to the public, but not wheelchair accessible. The pictures we got were worth it though.
After we left Blarney Castle, we rolled through an adorable, little town into the Woollen Mills area where we had lunch at a lovely self-serve cafeteria. There was a wide variety of excellently cooked food. After lunch, we found our way to the country’s largest wool retail store. We browsed the one of a kind jewelry, hats, scarves, and I found the perfect, warm, colorful shawl for the plane ride home.
We moved on to our next destination, Killarney. We got there in enough time to rest and relax for a bit before dinner. For dinner we went to the nicest and most traditional restaurant that’s been family run for generations, Cronin’s Restaurant. One of our guests from New York had never tried duck before, and they were pleasantly surprised with the absolutely perfect, crispy duck that they ordered off of this famous menu. We all thoroughly enjoyed the flawlessly made Irish coffee and desserts.
On our return back to the hotel, we came upon some live music in a courtyard right in front of our hotel; this is a town where music abounds.
On Day 9, the group took a spectacular sightseeing tour of the “Ring of Kerry.”
This is a breathtaking drive of the most beautiful, pastoral, rugged section of Ireland’s Atlantic coast.
Day 10 started with morning mass at the most exquisite Cathedral in the center of Killarney.
We then walked to Killarney National Park where we took a glorious nature roll.
As the rainy weather crept in, we retreated to a restaurant at the five star Hotel Dunloe, where we enjoyed jazz during a late lunch. Due to the rain, there were a lot of local people inside the renovated hotel and bar.
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