Saying “Killarney” makes me feel Irish!  It just rolls off the tongue!  Of course, we then had to go so I could delight my ears with repeating “Killarney” many times!

Along the N71 to Killarney, which is still part of the Ring of Kerry, we stopped at Ladies’ View, a favourite vista of Queen Victoria’s ladies-in-waiting back in 1861.

On the outskirts of Killarney National Park, in Muckross, is a rest area on Upper Lake where we met another couple from Staunton, Virginia area!  They were looking at Ireland for possible retirement in a few years.

In the park, which in 1982 was designated as a Unesco Biosphere Reserve, is the Muckross Estate which was built as a hunting and fishing lodge in 1843.  We chose to enjoy it from the outside, only. The manicured grounds were very green and colourful rhododendron reminded me of the Blue Ridge Parkway in spring, one of Dad’s favourite rides to get out of the nursing home confines.  The view from the castle lawn:


We did enjoy the shop where I purchased two hats, a purple and a tan, which kind of make me look like Mary Poppins, minus the flower!  They will work as rain hats and provide a bit of warmth when we are in Patagonia.

Nearby is 15th century Ross Castle where we stopped and took a tour.  It was the last place in Munster to fall to Cromwell’s forces which is partly attributed to its spiral staircase.  Every step is a different height in order to disrupt the stride of an attacker, though we weren’t very aware of the unevenness.

Our next stop was the donkey sanctuary in Liscarroll in County Cork.  Almost 5,000 donkeys have been taken in from all over Ireland since the refugee was set up.  Many had been abandoned  or put in a field with little or no attention after years of hard work for their owners.  Each one at the refuge is guaranteed to be loved and cared for until they die.

Jacksie and Jimmy…

Stark was the funniest one!  Standing by the mother who was peeing, the young one with much to learn decided to get a better sense of what she was doing.  Leaning in and absorbing the aroma resulted in this reaction!