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Not Even a Little Green.

After spending a week exploring the Irish countryside (and basically being followed by the Queen all week long - that woman showed up in almost every city we visited!), my camera is about to explode.  We went from Dublin to Galway to Killarney to Cork and back again, driving on the "wrong" side of both the road and the car, and inspired and impressed by the sights we saw. While I mentally recap my vacation with Chris to the Emerald Isle, I have a few thousand visual words to share.

(And it's true what they say - there really are 40 shades of green.)

"We've actually got them here."
The best part about the castles and tower houses in Ireland is that they're just scattered all over the place.  We'd drive for a bit and then - whoops! - another castle in the distance to explore.  These massive stone structures were amazing, with their giant, twisting staircases and sprawling green grounds.  (And thankfully, despite the massive amounts of castle-strolling we did, I didn't have a single castle low.  Which is good, because I may have had to treat it with mutton, just to keep with the theme.)

The coastline off the Dingle Peninsula
A family friend of ours said that many tourists drive the Ring of Kerry on their trip, but he recommended that we skip that and check out the Dingle Peninsula.  Which we did, and the scenery was absolutely spectacular, like the above photo of the coastline.

This photo, to me, looks fake. But it's not.  This shit is for realz.
Or this one, taken on Inch Beach.

Green!!  They've got plenty of green here.

Or this one of the fields.  (Chris and I were talking about how a single picture doesn't do the landscape of Ireland any kind of justice.  It's hard to fully capture how this image just went on and on for as far as we could see.  Amazing.)

In my head, this is what I picture insulin looking like: an army of soliders, going in for battle.  And yes, sometimes useless, metal solidiers.  The metaphor totally works for me.
We randomly happened upon a toy solider factory (of course, there's a toy solider factory nestled in the foothills of some grassy town), where we saw soldiers, ballerinas, and dragons brought to life one after the other.

This crew of chickens had no interest in being photographed. But I did see one tuning a violin, so they had their interests sorted.
The critters of Ireland dotted every field, from chickens running amuck behind a farmhouse, to cows lazily grazing in pastures, to the multitude of paintball sheep (dotted with color to mark their herd) literally mowing the lawns of Ireland. 

Kerri, in the county of Kerry.  Nice uniformity there.

It was a relaxing trip, with lots of beautiful scenery and very little access to the Internet.  We called home twice a day to check on the little Bird (who was with my mom for the week - my mom rocks) and checked email only twice (which is a big thing for me, seeing as how my inbox is both my favorite thing and the utter bane of my existence). Instead of being tied to the Internet and worried about all things worky, we focused on celebrating our third wedding anniversary and exploring the countryside of a country we'd never seen before.  I'm so glad we went.  It was gorgeous. 

Of course, there are like 500 photos on Flickr, if you have the urge to peruse a pile of greenery.  :)  

Comments

Just beautiful! You've now been to our top 2 spots to visit (Spain & Ireland.) Mike's family still lives in Spain and while we'd be pressed to find his Dad's family in Ireland, I bet we could! :) Welcome back!

Oh, of course you would throw in a line from Eddie for the castle! And that's why I love you! ;-)

So nice! Welcome back and thanks for sharing. :)

Hi,
Glad you enjoyed the old sod...:)
P...

How gorgeous! I'm so glad you got to take this trip.

Can I just say how jealous I am! Glad you enjoyed it. I assume you flew in and out of Shannon and avoided the general craziness that is Dublin. Did you get to Clare, one of my very favourite (Irish spelling) places in the world. If not try next time, you can catch a ferry across the Shannon River that takes you directly from Kerry to Clare and avoids a much longer trip through Limerick. We'll have to get together at some stage, I'm so glad you had fun.

Bernard - We did fly into/out of Dublin. It was kind of nuts, but we started and ended our stay with a night in the city, which was awesome. And we explored Clare (gorgeous) and also took the ferry across the River Shannon!! We had a family friend give us some travel tips before we left, and he recommended the ferry as a faster route to Cork.

The whole country is just beautiful. I'm honored to have seen it firsthand. :D

Scotland also has all of those funny little castles. I actually have a family friend who got married in one! Please post more pictures of the castles, Kerri!

Hi Kerri,

Glad to see you had a fantastic time! Man though you picked a busy week to travel here. As you are settling in back home your president is setting up for a concert in Dublin!
I live here but photos of the cliffs of Moher never cease to take my breath away. You'll have to bring BSparl next time!

Wow...GORGEOUS!

Congrats on 3 years :)

Welcome Home!

I had no idea you were in Ireland! Makes my Irish-themed email to you even more relevant. Your pics are beautiful; thanks for sharing! :)

This is wonderful. My husband and I took a trip to Ireland the first week of September in 2006. Pictures definitely do not do the landscape justice. Dingle was our favorite. During that time of year there were blankets of purple heather on the mountainsides. You would see all these lush green mountains with waves of purple going along them. It was breathtaking. For us what was even better than the beautiful scenery were the people. They were so fantastic. It was an amazing trip...sounds and looks like yours was the same.

OMG - that is my dream vacation - thank you for the pictures!!!

How wonderful!

Gorgeous pictures!!! I'm green with envy!!! ;)

WOW this is so gorgeous. Who knew this places really were real?!!?

I'm so excited, I get to go to Ireland in a week for my tenth anniversary. I am very anxious though, my sister in law is keeping my daughters, oldest with T1 for 10 days. I have four days to train her on the how to's. Luckily, my daughter has always been self driven to participate in the management of her diabetes, and will be able to tutor as well. Am so anxious about the pump though, what if the site goes bad, will she understand how important it is to check for ketones, no cell connection, can I find internet cafes to check in with her. So many worries. I hope I can relax enough to enjoy, truly, my dream vacation. Thanks for posting, got me excited, can't believe it's almost time.

your pictures are wonderful! never having been to ireland, i am definately jealous! glad you had a great time, and happy 3rd anniversary!

My parents went, wow, thirteen years ago? One of their only true vacations, just the two of them. (I graduated from college, they went to Ireland, ha ha.)

Fairly certain they did the Dingle peninsula, from what you've shown - enjoying all the Flickr pics.

I have many many places I'd love to visit, but Scotland and Ireland are close to tops.

We went to Ireland for our honeymoon, a beautiful place with wonderful memories. Congratulations on your third wedding anniversary - we hit 10 years this year!!

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