Killarney, Ireland

Once we reached Killarney, the first bit of business was to check into our next B&B before going out to get a couple of pints at Scruffy’s Bar. It was a pretty quiet afternoon in the pub, but they did have live music to which a group of elderly American tourist women were taking turns dancing with their tour guide. There was also a local in there dancing, but they were all surprisingly too fast for my camera. The rest of the night was spent tucked up in our room, relaxing from the day.

The next morning, we checked out early and headed toward Killarney Castle. This was our 5th castle in Ireland, and after being a little burnt out from the castle tours (most of which are pretty empty and mostly ruins), we took in the view as well as some photographs and then moved on.

Our next stop was the Muckross House. If you don’t want to pay for parking, you have to find a spot on the side of the Ring of Kerry and prepare for a bit of a hike. Thankfully, we were driving a tiny car (Nissan Micra) and could squeeze in just about anywhere. There were carriage drivers waiting to provide a paid ride to the house, but we felt like walking. We had no idea it was a mile away, but were up for the challenge anyway.

The walk to through the park was cold and extremely windy, but lovely and scenic. I hadn’t googled Muckross yet, and had no idea what to expect. When we finally arrived at the house, it more amazing that I could have anticipated. As with many other castles and museum houses, they did not allow photography inside, but the tour guide gave us an amazing history lesson of the house and those who had lived there.

Fact: Muckross house was last purchased from the Guinness family by a wealthy American as a wedding gift for his daughter, Maud, and new son-in-law. Maud died from pneumonia in 1939 and the family gave the estate back to Ireland, in her memory, to become a national park in Ireland.