Monday, April 18, 2011

The Ring of Kerry Tour

More bucolic landscapes, earth and sea, coastline scenery sums up the tour around the Ring Of Kerry. The Dingle Peninsula, which I toured on my first visit to the Republic of Ireland is desolate by comparison. County Kerry like so much of the country, is composed of small farmsteads bound in a patchwork pattern by stone fences. With so many hues of green, there are certainly enough variations of the color for each of the 32 counties to claim their very own. If it were not for the lovely scenery around Killarney itself, I would recommend skipping any bus tours of the Ring of Kerry.

Each stop of the bus was presumably for photo ops of the surrounding countryside, where patrons of the tour jockeyed for positioning to get their photo, but they seemed uniquely intertwined with animal tricks for gratuities. Farm animals seemed mere accessories to the dogs and cats posing for the cameras. There was more posing to be done, however, by gift and trinket shops posing as "rest stops". With half of the tour ticket holders scrambling for the loo, I'm afraid not much commerce took place.

Our "lunch stop"
was geared around a specific restaurant, so I took off in the opposite direction seeking out a cup of tea, so I could at least stretch out my legs for thirty minutes. Instead of having a large lunch interrupted by a call back to the bus, I was able to snap this photo instead. Not a great photo, but better than any that could have been taken in town, a strip mall backed up by new housing.

Ireland's rugged terrain is referred to as a "terrible beauty", probably because it was so difficult to subsist on, but it is easy to see how the sheep and dairy industries thrived. I have a weak spot for buying wool products in this country and even managed to pick up a few hand knit scarves at one stop during the tour, but only because I can make a buying decision in a flash!

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