Killarney: a beautiful town at the heart of County Kerry. It has been a tourist destination since the eighteenth century, and this is largely due to its location near the beautiful lakes and mountains district that is now Killarney National Park as well as its easy access to the Ring of Kerry and Dingle and Beara Peninsulas. Missy and I stayed 3 nights in Killarney, so we got to know the town a bit as well as the surrounding area.
Our hostel in Killarney. It was a very good hostel for the cost (one of the cheapest we stayed at in Ireland), and except for a bunch of noisy German high school students on our second night, we really enjoyed our stay here. I would definitely recommend it.
Looking down New Street to the Old Town Hall (seen across the intersection at the end of the street). This was obviously a tourist town: it had plenty of restaurants (most of which were way too overpriced) and gift shops. But it also had a lot of really great pubs (with some great deals for food).
I loved the color of this pub, and the flag hanging on the adjacent building isn't too shabby either.
St. Mary's Cathedral. I absolutely love this cathedral. The colors in the stones are just amazing, plenty of blues, greens and aqua, and the architecture is phenomenal (as with most cathedrals). Inside was also absolutely beautiful, plus no admission fee!
A little cottage just inside of the National Park. Killarney town literally runs into the park, which makes it a popular place for people jogging or walking. There are a lot of trails that go throughout the park near Killarney town. Missy and I took some lovely walks around this area in the evenings.
The trails lead you through pastures, forest, as well as by streams and lakes. It is absolutely beautiful and serene. There is at least one herd of deer living in there near the town, and they are pretty easy to find (I ran into them twice in my three walks in there). Some of the pastures are also home to a breed of cattle that is unique to Killarney. These cows are also quite delicious, as I found out by enjoying the house special roast at O'Meara's pub, which had great deals on dinner. The roast consisted of roast beef swimming in thick brown gravy, mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes, carrots, and cabbage. It was amazing, so fresh, and paired so well with a thick, creamy, draught of stout (Murphy's).
A view out on Lough Leane. I really loved Killarney with its peaceful and accessible park lands. The park is such a perfect place to escape to and just enjoy nature.
Ross Castle. This is about 2 km from town along one of the trails in the park. This is a really well preserved castle, and by far my favorite we saw on the trip, both because of its location and for its style... a classic castle all around.
Unfortunately, all the doors are locked (trust me, I tried), and Missy and I were too late each day to catch the inside tours, which are provided for a fee.
Ladies View lookout point. After twisting and turning your way at relatively high speeds through the valleys boulder strewn forests, you pop out with this amazing view back towards Killarney (the North). As is almost always the case, this picture does absolutely no justice for how amazing it was in reality.