Killorglin: flies, a spider, a moving bed, and a French couple!

This is post #11 of a blog series I’m writing including pictures of the recent amazing trip I took with our precious, beautiful daughter Leah. Here are posts:

#1, My daughter Leah and I went to Ireland,

#2, Ireland: Dreams Come True,

#3, We visited Bunratty Castle in Ireland,

#4, Bunratty Folk Park: the waterfall, the lamb, and the fairy village,

#5, The Gorgeous Cliffs of Moher,

#6, Galway Girl,

#7, Galway Girl, Part 2,

#8, Treacherous Corkscrew Hill, and

#9, The ferry in Kerry County.

#10, Torc Waterfall

We took so many pictures with our phones that I need to break up the posts, to make it easier for you to read, as I know you live a busy, hectic life like mine and you don’t have lots of spare time!

I hope these blogs inspire and bless you. I thank my Lord Jesus Christ, who made this amazing opportunity and prayer possible.

The recent trip I made to Ireland with my precious daughter Leah for the first time in our lives was incredible. I had booked our trip through Great Value Vacations, choosing their B & B’s package, which I believe was the right choice. It allowed us to travel throughout the southwest of Ireland at different Bed & Breakfast places.

I read lots of reviews to decide which ones to stay at as we traveled in a direction that resembled a Shepherd’s Hook. Every one of them was immaculately clean, with a full Irish breakfast served in the morning and tea/coffee and cookies in the afternoon to welcome us there.

Road in Killorglin
Road in Killorglin

There was only one B & B that we stayed at where I couldn’t wait to leave! It was in the town of Killorglin, which is located in County Kerry, located on the famous Ring of Kerry and The Wild Atlantic Way. It is founded on the River Laune, known for its salmon and trout fishing, and the Reeks District is renown for outdoor activities, mountain walks, and sports activities.

I loved the canopy of green trees driving to this B & B, pictured above, as well as the unusually beautiful roses in the driveway. It was beautiful.

gorgeous roses
gorgeous roses

 

yellow roses
yellow roses

There were palm trees and beautiful, majestic, blue-purple mountains in the background. It was one of the prettiest places we visited.

mountains
mountains

The owners of this B & B near Killorglin had a sheep farm; they had a sheep dog, a breed of dog that Leah loves. To my amusement, they also had a cat that looked just like my black cat Natalya. She even had green eyes and the little tuft of white hair on her chest like Natalya’s!

sheepdog
sheepdog

 

The cat in Ireland that looks just like my black cat Natalya!
The cat in Ireland that looks just like my black cat Natalya!

 

black cat in Ireland
black cat in Ireland

I noticed a pretty topiary plant at the entrance of the front door, which are plants pruned or shaped into certain forms. To me, this was a symbol of the entire house’s decor: elegant.

topiary plant
topiary plant

As soon as we knocked on the door of this B & B and entered the house, though, I noticed right away one disturbing thing: flies. HUGE flies–everywhere! Maybe it’s because this was a sheep farm. Leah said it was because they had the front door open when we first arrived. I assume this was to let in fresh, cooler air; most places in Ireland don’t have central air and heat.

Even though there are flies in the United States, LOL, and we have had flies in our house at times if the door is left open (especially in summer), the flies left a really bad first impression in my mind. I tried to just ignore them and be gracious, mindful that I was leaving an impression too–as a guest and an American.

The hostess was wonderful and so welcoming. She had tea and cookies for our arrival, as did the other B & B hostesses. However, she didn’t have enough tea and sugar set out for us. I wondered about this, as she knew we were coming (along with other guests there).

The room she gave us was beautiful: two single beds, as I had requested. It had large windows letting in the sunlight, and the decor was in beautiful, lacy white.

Killorglin B & B
Killorglin B & B

In fact, the room was so beautiful and clean and WHITE that I was afraid to touch anything. I didn’t want to dirty it with our muddy boots!

white lace
white lace

 

white satchel with lavender
white satchel with lavender

Leah was intrigued with the pretty lamp with faux glass on our table beside the beds, that resembled a chandelier.

"chandelier" lamp
“chandelier” lamp

We brought in our luggage and settled into our room, and then decided to go into the town of Kilorglin, which was only a few kilometers away. Leah really liked the fine dining restaurant that we went to there. They were so polite to us and seemed to go out of their way to serve us well. It also had a very nice atmosphere.

Restaurant in the town of Killorglin
Restaurant in the town of Killorglin

 

Killorglin restaurant table lamp
Killorglin restaurant table lamp

They had HUGE cheeseburgers, which we both got. As usual, it was served with some type of potato, so we chose French fries. We noticed that a small, fresh salad is often served with any entree in Ireland, which I enjoyed.

Leah ordered a drink called a “Double Dutch,” consisting of gin and watermelon flavor. She liked it. I love the pretty glass bottles which water is served in and the little table lamp, pictured above.

huge burgers in Killorglin
huge burgers in Killorglin

The older couple in the picture below chatted with us, with all of us laughing over how big the cheeseburgers were!

Leah at restaurant in Killorglin
Leah at restaurant in Killorglin

 

Quaint town of Killorglin
Quaint town of Killorglin

We sat awhile in this restaurant. Leah seemed to relax here. Then we went back to the B & B, and as Leah was doing her college homework, suddenly a giant spider fell on her bed and then ran under it. We both screamed. I tried to kill it with a shoe, but to no avail. We couldn’t find it. I think it came through the window, which we had opened to cool off the room. I prayed the Irish spider wouldn’t crawl on or bite one of us during the night!

Then I went into the bathroom, which–oddly for a B & B–was across the hall. I got locked into the bathroom! Leah and the owner had to help me out. The owner tried to tell me that I just wasn’t unlocking it correctly, but Leah told her she had trouble with the lock, too, when she tried to come out. This is definitely something they need to fix if they are going to have a B & B for guests!

As I tried to lay down to sleep, each time I rolled over, the little single bed squeaked and moved, bumping into the wall! There was a couple in the room next to ours, with a little child. I was afraid the noise was going to wake them. I felt frustrated. Despite the spider, Leah liked this place. This was the one B & B that I could not wait to leave!

Killorglin bed
Killorglin bed

There was another full Irish breakfast the next morning (you could also order other items of your choice). We met other guests staying there, among which there was a young French couple. To my delight, I was able to speak to them briefly in French as we were leaving. It blessed me to be able to show Leah that if you study a foreign language, even a little bit, you can converse with foreigners. I need to brush up on my French again—and maybe learn Gaelic, too! (And Spanish!)

I apologized for our noise to the couple who were in the room next to us, and explained about the squeaking bed and then the couple. They said I didn’t wake them or their child, and laughed about the spider. Then they shared their own horror story of having a flying roach in their hotel when they traveled to Hawaii.

The hostess came into the room then to serve us more hot coffee, smiling and pleased that her guests were laughing and obviously enjoying themselves, but having no clue what we were laughing about. After my incident with the locked bathroom, I didn’t have the heart to tell her about the spider!

 As I looked later at the key that was supposed to unlock the bathroom, I thought how Jesus is the key to everything in our lives! After we left there, Leah and I laughed about the things that happened at this B & B, but at the time it wasn’t funny! But this place stands out as one of our vivid memories in Ireland!

Jesus is the key
Jesus is the key

I decided that the next morning we’d retrace our steps and go back to the town of Killarney to shop, which was only about 25 kilometers from Killorglin. In my next post on this Ireland Blog series, I’ll blog about the town of Killarney which I loved and share pictures of beautiful Saint Mary’s Cathedral with incredible stained glass windows.

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Torc Waterfall

This is post #10 of a blog series I’m writing including pictures of the recent amazing trip I took with our precious, beautiful daughter Leah. Here are posts:

#1, My daughter Leah and I went to Ireland,

#2, Ireland: Dreams Come True,

#3, We visited Bunratty Castle in Ireland,

#4, Bunratty Folk Park: the waterfall, the lamb, and the fairy village,

#5, The Gorgeous Cliffs of Moher,

#6, Galway Girl,

#7, Galway Girl, Part 2,

#8, Treacherous Corkscrew Hill, and

#9, The ferry in Kerry County.

We took so many pictures with our phones that I need to break up the posts, to make it easier for you to read, as I know you live a busy, hectic life like mine and you don’t have lots of spare time!

I hope these blogs inspire and bless you. I thank my Lord Jesus Christ, who made this amazing opportunity and prayer possible.

Torc Waterfalls, Killarney National Park
Torc Waterfalls, Killarney National Park

The two main things I wanted to see in Ireland were the breathtakingly gorgeous Cliffs of Moher and Torc Waterfall in Killarney National Park. The park is south and west of the town of Killarney and it has 26,000 acres. You could spend several days there and never see it all! It is an expanse of rugged mountainous country, which includes the McGillycuddy’s Reeks, the highest mountain range in Ireland rising to a height of over 1000 metres. At the foot of these mountains are the world famous lakes of Killarney.

Leah and I took several hours to visit the park. We were amazed by the canopy of tall trees, the lakes, and the blue-purple mountains. We had a very peaceful time here.

trees in Killarney National Park
trees in Killarney National Park

 

Killarney National Park trees
Killarney National Park trees

 

Killarney Lake
Killarney Lake

 

Killarney National Park mountains
Killarney National Park mountains

 

beautiful park mountains
beautiful park mountains

You can either walk, rent a bike, or ride (for what seemed to be an expensive fee) in what is called a “jaunting cart” with a horse and buggy to Torc Waterfall. The horses were pretty.

jaunting cart
jaunting cart

The falls are about 2.5 kilometres from the car entrance to Muckross House, which is a huge, Tudor-style mansion built in 1843 by the British architect William Burn for Henry Author Herbert and his wife, the watercolourist, Mary Balfour Herbert. It has 65 rooms and in 1932, latter owners William Bourn and his wife, their daughter Victoria and her husband Arthur Rose Vincent presented it and its 11,000 acres estate to Ireland.

Muckross House
Muckross House

 

Tudor-style Muckross House
Tudor-style Muckross House

There’s lots of trails for easy walking or even difficult hiking trails in the park. There are also shuttle buses servicing the area and boat trips/tours.

Leah walking on a trail in Killarney National Park
Leah walking on a trail in Killarney National Park

Leah thought it looked fun to ride a bike, but it’s been years since I’ve ridden one and I didn’t want to take a chance on falling and hurting myself (or her hurting herself!). So we walked, which is good exercise anyway.

Initially, as we approached the area of Torc Waterfall, we saw a sign which read “Torc Waterfall” by a huge rock and a bridge. I thought it looked small, but it was still beautiful and we took pics by it. 

rock & bridge
rock & bridge

 

Leah by waterfall
Leah by waterfall

 

me by waterfall
me by waterfall

 

small waterfall
small waterfall

 

small waterfall in Killarney National Park
small waterfall in Killarney National Park

 

waterfall stream
waterfall stream over rocks

 

waterfall stream
waterfall stream

By the small waterfall, there is a restroom facility and I went in, while Leah stayed outdoors by the small falls. As she waited, suddenly she heard the sound of a violin playing! Leah plays the violin and, intrigued, she walked around the corner to see where the sound was coming from. There was a pretty, red-headed woman in a long gown playing the violin by the waterfall–how quaint! Leah gave her a tip for playing.

pretty, red-headed violinist by Torc Waterfall
pretty, red-headed violinist by Torc Waterfall

Leah looked ahead and saw much bigger falls–the REAL Torc Waterfalls! As I came out of the restroom, she motioned for me to come and see her discovery. As she saw my happy face looking at the beautiful falls, she asked, “Aren’t you glad we didn’t go back yet?” (I had told her after I used the restroom, we should turn back.) I said yes, smiling big.

We both stood and admired the waterfalls for awhile and took pics. I love waterfalls!

The waterfalls are about 20 meters high, and at their best after rainfall.

“And I heard a voice from heaven, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder, and the voice which I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps.”–Revelation 14:2

The real Torc Waterfalls
The real Torc Waterfalls

 

Torc Waterfalls, Killarney National Park
Torc Waterfalls, Killarney National Park

 

Leah by Torc Waterfalls
Leah by Torc Waterfalls

 

me by Torc Waterfalls
me by Torc Waterfalls

 

beautiful Torc Waterfalls, Killarney National Park
beautiful Torc Waterfalls, Killarney National Park

 

On the way walking back from the waterfalls, Leah and I saw a pretty, lone deer in a field. We stood and watched it a few minutes.

The Killarney National Park is home to Red Deer, Japanese sika deer, Irish hare, fox, otter, mink, badgers, Bank voles, Pine marten, Lesser horseshoe bats, fish and lamphrey, many species of birds including the Greenland white-fronted goose, reptiles, the rare Northern Emerald dragonfly, the purple hairstreak butterfly, and many other types of fauna.

deer in field
deer in field

“He makes my feet like hinds’ feet, And sets me on my high places.”–2 Samuel 22:34

In my next post in this Ireland Blog series, I’ll share about seeing the fun town of Killarney, and the beautiful, pristine white B & B which was the only place I did NOT want to stay in Ireland, so stay tuned!

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Treacherous Corkscrew Hill

This is post #8 of a blog series I’m writing including pictures of the recent amazing trip I took with our precious, beautiful daughter Leah. Here are posts:

#1, My daughter Leah and I went to Ireland,

#2, Ireland: Dreams Come True,

#3, We visited Bunratty Castle in Ireland,

#4, Bunratty Folk Park: the waterfall, the lamb, and the fairy village,

#5, The Gorgeous Cliffs of Moher,

#6, Galway Girl, and

#7, Galway Girl, Part 2.

We took so many pictures with our phones that I need to break up the posts, to make it easier for you to read, as I know you live a busy, hectic life like mine and you don’t have lots of spare time!

I hope these blogs inspire and bless you. I thank my Lord Jesus Christ, who made this amazing opportunity and prayer possible.

“I find that romance is for readers. I want adventures; they are for the living.” –Moryah DeMott, Timeless

Doolin Clare Hills
Doolin Clare Hills

Any time you step out and do something new and different, you’ll face anxiety or fear. Some of my fears about going to Ireland was about mine and our daughter Leah’s physical safety: terrorism or being the victim of a crime; getting sick from some disease; one of the planes crashing (I actually love flying, but this is always possible); and my biggest fear was me learning to drive on the left side of the road, in the right front seat–and possibly having to drive in hard rain, because it rains a LOT in Ireland! (I dislike driving in rain or bad weather!)

I conquered all these fears traveling to Ireland, but one of the scariest times we had there was driving up Corkscrew Hill to our B & B near Doolin.

Although they are called “Clare Hills,” they are really more like mountains. And even worst, it began to rain as we drove up the steep, treacherous hills!

Driving through mountains in Ireland
Driving through mountains in Ireland

When we arrived at our B & B later, the owner Mary told me that they do have “driving rains” in the hills, so bad that you can hardly see out the windshield as you’re driving. I was thankful that it was not raining hard like that, although it was still stressful driving on the winding roads in the rain.

Doolin fields
Doolin fields

The speed limit often read 100 km ( about 62 mph). There was NO way I was driving that fast in the mountains! Cars were whipping fast around the curves, appearing suddenly and freaking me out. I gripped the steering wheel tightly and prayed.

Leah was telling me to not drive TOO slow, as that was dangerous, too (especially for cars behind us). But I kept my speed between 40 to 60 km! I was being extra careful, as I did not want to wreck our rental car!

When the GPS showed that we were within five miles of the B & B, I stopped in a little town for us to use the restroom–and for us to enjoy an ice cream cone. I’d watched videos of Ireland before traveling over there, and had heard that the ice cream cones were delicious–and they are! They have square pieces of chocolate in them.

Ireland's delicious ice cream cone
Ireland’s delicious ice cream cone

Leah wanted to know how I could “spot” stores so fast that had ice cream. I told her about the big, plastic ice cream cone signs outside the stores.

plastic cone sign
plastic cone sign

I was stressed out from having to drive in the rain up the winding mountain roads, and just wanted to get to the safe B & B, so I hurriedly ate my ice cream cone (the word “gobble” comes to mind!). To my chagrin, Leah seemed to be taking her sweet time, slowly licking her ice cream cone. When I urged her to hurry, she told me she was not going to rush through eating it.

Looking back now, this is extremely funny to me and I laugh about it. When Leah said this, I immediately felt convicted by God for trying to hurry her. I needed to just slow down and savor this surreal moment of being in Ireland with our precious daughter as she enjoyed her ice cream. I calmed down and waited, as we sat on a bench outside the store and she ate her cone.

When we arrived at the B & B, we saw that the owner had two beautiful, brown horses in a pasture. Leah is an animal lover and one of them came to her right away.

Beautiful horse that came right away to Leah
Beautiful horse that came right away to Leah

 

Leah and the horse near Doolin
Leah and the horse near Doolin

All the hostesses of the B & B’s in Ireland were so nice, but this B & B’s owner, Mary, was mine and Leah’s favorite. (Riverdale Farmhouse near Doolin) She had a true gift of hospitality and made us feel so welcome to Ireland. As usual, there were gorgeous roses outside. Roses, flowers, trees, and grass thrive in Ireland due to how often it rains.

Riverdale B & B, Doolin
Riverdale B & B, Doolin

When we arrived, Mary had hot tea and cookies ready for us, which was such a blessing after the long, stressful drive there. The B & B owners serve the tea in fine china cups. Many of them also had these beautiful, antique glass bottles to keep drinking water in for their guests.

Tea and cookies
Tea and cookies

Later that evening, Leah and I also tried her chai that she bought at a pharmacy in Galway, when I purchased a natural sleep aid there similar to Melatonin (I had trouble sleeping in Galway). I had saved my Biscott cookies from our international plane flight, so we ate those with the chai. Leah and I decided that we would keep the relaxing habit of afternoon tea when we flew back home to the states.

I was so proud of Leah for doing her college homework each night while we traveled in Ireland! She made an A in this class, and is now taking her third course in her graphic arts college program. The natural sleep aid knocked me right out, and I slept great here!

Enjoying Leah's chai
Enjoying Leah’s chai

One of the things I was very impressed about with the B & B’s in Ireland is how neat and spotlessly clean they are. While I no longer have old-fashioned taste (Victorian, antique furniture), the B & B’s are pretty and the beds are comfortable. I booked one room with two single beds at each B & B, although this room had a queen-size bed and a single bed. I feel the advantage to B & B’s versus hotels is that there is generally more privacy and they are less expensive. 

The B & B's in Ireland are neat and very clean
The B & B’s in Ireland are neat and very clean

 

Mirrored dresser
Mirrored dresser

 

Pretty floral light at B & B--I thought our daughter Heather would like this.
Pretty floral light at B & B–I thought our daughter Heather would like this. She loves flowers, and her name is that of a purple-blue flower.

I was very tired that night and really didn’t even want supper, nor did I want to face driving in the mountains in the rain, but Leah did want something to eat. Mary told us about pubs in Doolin, only about 2 km, so we went to one. Leah ordered a sweet potato soup that came with soda bread, and I ordered a tuna salad, that came with a different type of bread. The portions were huge!

I was disappointed that Leah and I never heard a live band playing at one of the Irish pubs…maybe next time we go! The pub looked typical: a group of men sitting around talking, watching sports on TV, and drinking a Guinness beer. (Guinness beer is made in Ireland and you can tour the famous factory in Dublin. Leah and I never tried one while there.) The men gave us some odd looks when we came in and just ordered food! Guess we weren’t their typical pub crowd!

Leah's sweet potato soup
Leah’s sweet potato soup

 

bread at the Doolin Pub
bread at the Doolin Pub

 

tuna salad at pub
tuna salad at pub

Mary made an amazing full Irish breakfast for us the next morning, but Leah requested just fresh fruit and yogurt (she feels the full breakfast is a little much!). A full Irish breakfast generally consists of an egg, bacon (which is really more like the US version of ham), sausage, fresh fruit and yogurt, baked tomatoes, mushrooms, and some type of bread and/or scones with jam. The fresh orange and grapefruit juice were delicious!

fresh fruit juice
fresh fruit juice

I really enjoyed our stay at this B & B. Mary gave us directions to reduce a lot of driving time to the Killarney National Park, by us taking the ferry. This was the first time that Leah had ever gone on a ferry and she thought it was interesting. In my next post in this Ireland Blog Series, I’ll share pics with you of the ferry ride–and the beautiful Torc Waterfall in the national park, which was one of the things I really wanted to see in Ireland!

Doolin stone bridge
Doolin stone bridge
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