The Dingle Peninsula

Dingle Travel Blog

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The Dingle Peninsula

Have you ever been in REM sleep, lost to the world, when a loud sound startles you back into reality?   Around 3 a.m. we sat straight up in bed, courtesy of a loud alarm, ringing very much like the bell to change classes in high school.  Good grief!!  After five minutes of rrrrrring, rrrrrrring, rrrrrring, I thought it best to check things out, so I poked my head out the door and caught the attention of one of our neighbors  standing in the hall.    "The smoke detectors have been set off, but don't worry.  It is only a false alarm."  Okay.  Am I supposed to feel better?   It took me about an hour to fall back asleep.  Boy, did I ever fall asleep ~ like a rock! 

 "We have a full day ahead of us.

Tranquility
  Be ready to leave at 8 a.m. sharp.   It is a good three-hour drive down to Dingle and we must get an early start."  Des had given us very detailed instructions before we went to bed.   Oh, brother.  When I finally managed to open my eyes and look at the clock, it was already 9 o'clock.  "GET UP NOW!"  I yelled at Catherine and Leigh.  I grabbed the telephone and called the front desk.  Des was sitting patiently in the hotel's restaurant, waiting for us to show.  "Please tell Des that we overslept and will be there as soon as possible." 

Breakfast was hurried but still very delicious. Smoked salmon for breakfast.  Yummy.  The warm croissant rolls and fresh jellies were the best I have ever tasted.

The most Western point of Europe.
  We rushed through our meal, all the while apologizing profusely to Des.  He assured me that this thing happens to him all the time.  After a red-eye flight and a full day of touring plus the fire alarm sounding off in the middle of the night ~ he seemed to understand.  I felt somewhat better.

The weather was typically Irish ~ overcast and cool.  We dressed appropriately with sweaters and slickers, just in case of rain.  Des had our route mapped and talked to us as he drove, always quick to point out any point of interest.  His home is in Dingle and he wanted to share this magical place with us.   Located along the northern coast of Kerry, the atmospheric Dingle peninsula is a timeless land that holds a special place in the Irish consciousness.

Louis Mulcahy Pottery
 

We followed the country roads as they took us through villages and towns.  With each mile that passed, we got closer to our destination.  Soon we were on the coastal road, enjoying a clear view of the ocean and sandy beaches from atop the rugged cliffs.   We stopped to take a picture of the beautiful statue of Jesus on the cross that had been erected to mark the most western point of Europe.  Interesting.

I love pottery and the Louis Mulcahy Pottery Factory was just up the road.  What a treat for me!  But how in the world would I ever decide what to buy from the large selection.  Well, it wasn't too hard because I had to fit it into my suitcase.  So four beautiful azure-colored soup bowls with handles would be coming home with me.

Gallarus Oratory ~ Christian Church from the 7th Century
  When I set the four bowls on the counter, my carelessness caused one of them to roll off into the floor, shattering into pieces.  The cashier said, "no problem" and quickly found a new one to take it's place.  Now that is Irish hospitality at its best.


Next stop:  Gallarus Oratory.  This is a Christian Church situated on natural farmland which was used over 1,200 years ago for prayer and worship.   It overlooks the Smerwick Harbour and has been exposed to strong winds and the unforgiving Atlantic weather, but it is still watertight after all these years.  This stone structure is a perfect example of dry rubble masonry ~ no mortar ~ and is evidence of skilled craftmanship.  The stones are stacked in a downward and outward manner in order to funnel rain away from the interior.

Doorway of Gallarus Oratory
  When standing inside the small structure, it almost feels like you are being transported back in time.  The quietness surrounds you.  No noise except the wind.  All alone.  The cold stones have many secrets.  How many prayers have been offered up to God from this place?  Prayers asking for protection, prayers asking for healing, still other prayers asking for a bountiful crop.  How did God choose to answer these prayers?
I wonder.


 

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The Dingle Peninsula
The Dingle Peninsula
Tranquility
Tranquility
The most Western point of Europe.
The most Western point of Europe.
Louis Mulcahy Pottery
Louis Mulcahy Pottery
Gallarus Oratory ~ Christian Churc…
Gallarus Oratory ~ Christian Chur…
Doorway of Gallarus Oratory
Doorway of Gallarus Oratory
Dingle
photo by: Nzelvis