As some of you already know, I’m back home in Germany since last Wednesday. However, I’m still missing some older stories on the blog which I will cover before telling you about the recent goodbye from Ireland. I’ll keep you posted on all the news – for now: just enjoy the new article.
Gute Neuigkeiten für meine deutschen Freunde: Heute gibt’s auch mal wieder eine deutsche Version – wenn auch recht kurz. Einfach runterscrollen 😉
Tuesday, 10th May
Let’s start with an official introduction. On this wonderful roadtrip we were 5 girls from 3 countries – Moe from Japan, Jenny from Taiwan and Mona, Corina and me from Germany 😀
We drove about 1000 kilometre from Dublin down to the Counties Cork and Kerry and due to some unforeseen circumstance it was just Mona driving (thanks again!!) and me giving directions because all the others were either not allowed or couldn’t drive, eg Corina’s little bike accident which again gave Corina and me our first and last Irish hospital experience – but that’s another story as well. Just to let you know, she is alright and nothing serious happened – just driving and writing was an issue for a while 😉
So, now about the actual trip: That Tuesday morning, Mona and me went to Dublin airport to get our rental car for the following days. Taking the airport hopper, then a shuttle from the airport to the car station and waiting for our car – everything as usual. Well, they still had to organise our car and since we are 5 people (our friends were still waiting in Maynooth to be collected) we needed enough space for everybody. We were told that we will get a Mini Cooper and the staff assured us that 5 people could fit in easily. Happy to have the car after waiting for another while we just started to Maynooth to finally get down to County Cork. When we arrived in Maynooth, though, we realised only 2 people fit in there properly.
That was unfortunate and funny at once, so we had to drive all the way back to the airport to change the car. In the end, we started our trip with a Renault Fluence where all five of us fitted in easily.
The weather that day was a typical Irish mixture of rain, clouds and the idea of a litte bit of sun in some moments. Our first stop on our way to Cobh and Cork was the Rock of Cashel. The ruins of an old castle on a hill including a chapel, a roundtower, a cathedral, graveyards and more. The whole building was well protected by walls around the site and is said to be the place where St Patrick banned Satan from a cave which resulted in Rock’s landing in Cashel. Due to the weather, we couldn’t see very far but the building and the history were nevertheless interesting.
The second place to stop that day was the little coastal town Cobh, close by Cork. It is located on the south coast of Ireland and the architecture and atmosphere in some spots can remind one of Mediterranean cities and climate in Italy including palms and narrow, steep alleys from the town centre to the local cathedral. The St. Colman’s Cathedral, also known as Cobh Cathedral, has been built during the late 19th century and is designed by the same architect as St Patrick’s Chapel in Maynooth. Both churches are really impressing and the detailed designs give the visitor plenty little pictures and ornaments to acknowledge and look at.
On the way back to our car, we also watched the big cruise ship starting to leave the harbour. One of the biggest attractions about the town is anyways, that this harbour, which is part of Cork harbour, was the last stopp of the Titanic where people could enter or leave the ship before it sank only a little later. And as I mentioned before, the harbour is still used and an important stop for big cruise ships to stop. The one we saw leaving came from the Caribbean.
Finally we made our way to Cork that evening and after finally finding a parking lot and checking in, we walked through the lashing rain to a really nice fish restaurant for dinner. Since we wanted to see more of County Kerry the next day, we didn’t see much of Cork that night. To be honest, the weather wasn’t the nicest for a walk around town either and at least I got another chance to go there – but that’s another story for a later blog.
Wednesday, 11th May
New morning, new beginning – before we actually left the city, we had to deal with all the traffic and figure out where to go exactly to take the right streets in the correct directions. It took us a while but we made and eventually found a supermarket as well, where we got some lunch and snacks for the day.
Like the day before, Mona drove and I gave directions. Since there was no navigation system in the car it was mainly about reading maps and following sign. Nevertheless, we made it to all spots and sometimes we saw even more than we thought of and took a little extra route. From Cork the road led us to Killarney, Co Kerry, and into Killarney National Park. Generally speaking, County Kerry is quite a rural and natural area with many places to be on vacation and just relax. The Killarney National Park is a nature reserve and really beautiful. In contrast to the day before, the weather turned out great that day and we enjoyed the sun and the warmth. The main road through the Park takes you to all main spots that are recommended to visit and it’s easy to stop and enjoy the views. Personally, I enjoyed the first half of the route the most. I’ve barely seen so much green in terms of thick, fresh forest in Ireland and it a nice contrast to all the meadows and bare hills.
Driving on, we made our way to the Ring of Kerry. All the way from Kenmare, one of the official gate points, to Killorglin, the second gate, we drove around the whole Iveragh Peninsula. Impressing views of mountains, beaches, the sea and much more along the way made time feel like flying by. Sometimes we had to be really careful not to hit sheep on the streets. Since our second hostel was booked in one of the most Western places of Europe, Dún Chaoin on Dingle Peninsula, we still had some kilometres ahead of us and didn’t stop as much along the way. On Dingle Peninsula itself, we also took the coastal route and could observe the fascinating change of the clouds. The latter were the reason we missed the sunset but the next morning we could finally see a little more of the beautiful area in the bright sunshine.
Thursday, 12th May
After the second night, it’s already our last day on the road together. We started that day with a nice breakfast in Dingle village at the little harbour there enjoying the sun. Afterwards we explored the the shopping streets around and Mona and me couldn’t stop ourselves from getting some really nice blanket scarves. The nice, little shops also offered a nice variation of little things to take home for friends and family.
Since I told the other about the nice Inch Beach, everybody wanted to go there before we left the island and so this was our next stop. Unfortunately, the sun didn’t join us for that and it was very dusty and dizzy down there. However, it was still really nice to drive on the beach and walk on the sand for a little while.
On our whole way back, including the last stop at the Shannon, we had great weather though – sunny and warm, almost 20 degrees which can be called summer in Ireland 😀 For lunch we took a little break at the Shannon just before Limerick and enjoyed some ‘Cake by the Ocean’. After another few hours in the car working our way through more and more traffic the closer we got to Dublin, we arrived again in Maynooth – ‘yes, we did it’! 😉
Here are some more pictures and below this gallery there’s also a short German version of the article
Enjoy and see you soon 😀
Roadtrip im Südwesten Irlands: 10. bis 12. Mai
Die letzten Wochen an der Maynooth University waren geprägt von Lernen, Klausuren und Essay schreiben. Trotzdem ließen wir es uns nicht nehmen noch einige Tagesausflüge in Küstenorte und nahgelegene Parks zu unternehmen sowie einen 3-tägigen Roadtrip in den Südwesten der Insel. Die Counties Cork und Kerry bieten zahlreiche Urlaubsorte, Rad- und Wanderwege, Strände und Campingplätze. Mit insgesamt 5 Mädels aus Deutschland (Mona, Corina und ich), Jenny aus Taiwan und Moe aus Japan machten wir uns in der Woche vor unseren Klausuren auf den Weg. Unsere Route führte uns zunächst von Maynooth nach Cork und den Küstenort Cobh – dort hatte die Titanic ihren letzten Stopp, um Touristen an Bord zu nehmen, bevor sie sank. Am zweiten Tag ging es in strahlendem Sonnenschein nach Killarney und den benachbarten Nationalpark mit tollen Aussichtspunkten auf Wasserfälle, einiges große Seen führt die Hauptstraße mitten durch den Wald. Trotz des milden Klimas gibt es auf Irland kaum Wälder, sodass es etwas Besonderes ist von so viel Wald umgeben zu sein. Weiter auf dem Ring of Kerry, fuhren wir entlang der Küste die 180km lange Ringstraße ab. Durch typische irische Hügellandschaften, wo auch mal Schafe auf die Straße laufen, auf der einen Seite und dem Meer auf der anderen Seite ging es für uns wieder auf die nächste Halbinsel Dingle. Die Landschaft dort ist, vor allem im Inland, noch rauer und einsamer als auf Iveragh Peninsula am Ring of Kerry. Unser Hostel für die zweite Nacht liegt an einem der westlichsten Zipfel Europas und die Stimmung dort war sehr mystisch. Die Wolkenformation änderte sich sich fast minütlich, doch Wind und Regen ermöglichten mir erst am nächsten Tag bei klarer Morgenluft ein Foto und einen guten Eindruck der Umgebung. Auf der Rückfahrt am dritten Tag gab es noch kurz Stopps im Dingle Village und am Shannon. Die 3-tägige Reise mit dem Auto ist eine gute Zusammenfassung dessen, was die Insel bietet. Deutschland ist fast 5mal größer als Irland, doch die landschaftliche und kulturelle Vielfalt der Insel ist wirklich atemberaubend.
Die Fotos geben euch einen kleinen Einblick in all die tollen Landschaften und Naturphänomene, die wir während der Reise bewundern konnten. Viel Spaß damit und bis zum nächsten Mal.