Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Dingle Penninsula


Dingle was the perfect town to take a 3 day "vacation" in the middle of our travel around Ireland. It's coastal, so fresh fish abounds, try the seafood chowder. With it's fifty or so pubs, there's plenty of craic. Take in the farmers market, get a hair cut, or just take a great big breath of that fresh Gaelic air.

If you are so lucky to come to Dingle for a few days, save a day to drive the coast- the Dingle Peninsula. You've got all day, it's only 30 miles, let's have lunch on the fly.

Just out of town is a schoolhouse. Peek your head inside and listen to the children speaking Gaelic, still mandatory curriculum in school. Apparently they love the tourist recess of show-and-tell, should you get called on by the teacher.

A few miles up is the Dunbeg Fort. STOP! Walk down to the fort overlooking the shear coastline and imagine how the settlers here lived. No power, no indoor plumbing, no Subway, no WiFi. Only periodic raids by the Vikings and English. Now only tourists armed with cameras.

The beehive huts. You can see them from the road. They're cool looking. You can drive on but you might miss out on the interesting CRAIC from the pot-bellied man with the blue thumb. Plus, us tourists need to support the local people. After all, what's a couple Euro?

Rounding the bend, the most western part of Ireland, are the incredible landscapes with the vast Atlantic in the background. Stop here, take a picture. This is the first land Charles Lindburg flew over on his solo Atlantic crossing. Better be a rest room.

Continue up the road where you'll come to a fork. Hungry? Thirsty? There was an upstart microbrewery around here somewhere. There it is. CLOSED. Thank you Sir Guinness.

Not to worry, one more stop and a cemetery. We've got to build up that appetite. Thank goodness for the full Irish breakfast.

The Gallarus oratory is worth the stop. This 1300 year old building is still dry inside. We found out. It was just us and the groundskeeper, his lawn mower was bogged down with the wet bog. He was raking the gravel inside the stone structure.

Less than a mile away is an ancient monastery. Go there. You can put your thumbs through a rock and "swear to God.", renew vows, or just pretend you're burying Grandpa O' Simpson.

Get back on the road, go over the pass, and you're back in Dingle. Pub Grub time. Head to the nearest pub and grub out.

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