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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Emerald Isle 4: Cork, Kilkenny, and the Canal

Summit of the road to Glengariff can be seen in the distant streak at the top

Next day, rather than circuiting the third Beara peninsula, having had a bit of a look up the coast, we ascended another pass, with more panoramic views of the endless green of a summer full of spring rains to Glengariff.

Panorama looking back to the west side, with double tunnels in the distance

Two panoramas on the east side with a small tarn in the hills

Coming down to the coast

We then hit the coast briefly but wound inland to to Blarney via the River Lee valley full of a series of swampy fishing lakes, only to find the Blarney castle too expensive and literally besieged by Irish tourists.

A castle and church yard on the way

A stone circle protected by an alleged raging bull

A trout fishing boat on the River Lee

Blarney Castle

Blarney Manor

Blarney Village

We then made it to Cork, which despite its claim to be second only to Dublin, appeared to have inherited Dublin's rather bleak dreary appearance, combined with choking traffic jams in the centre, so peeling off in frustration, we set off down the coast to a typical holiday camp site at Tramore beside a bay on the south coast.

A series of views of Cork

Back to the coast at Youghal

Panoramas of Youghal Bay

Coast near where we camped at Tramore

A small ruined castle just off the beach on the way to Tramore

Next day we spent a good time in Kilkenny (once we two cats of) which is a genuinely cultural Irish city with some good period buildings because it was previously a seat of government.

Images of Kilkenny

The old parliament house

St. Canices' Cathedral

Kilkenny Castle

The stables are now chick stores

Grace's Castle now a Court House

We then wound our way in a confusing trail north and around the outskirts of Dublin to a traditional caravan camp site on the east coast at Rush just north of Dublin airport.

A castle on the way north to Dublin

The Grand canal

More views of the Grand Canal

The beach by the camp site at Rush just north of Dublin Airport

At 4 am next morning we uncamped at speed and took off back to the M1 and down to the airport, ditching our Budget rental car and racing to AerLingus to check in for our 6.50 am flight. Their service was abysmal, because they have become a bucket shop airline for servicing holidays to Europe and had atrocious organization, directing massive queues of people to different check in points on small signs which left us standing for ages in the wrong queue until I tore into one of the service people as a disabled person and got transferred to another check in directly and got us on the flight. When we got on they wanted to charge for everything even water to drink, even though it was technically an international flight (although inside the EU).
NZ Cabbage Trees and Flax at the camp site in the morning.

The only thatched cottage we saw in Ireland

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