this is more plant culture...
this is more plant culture than human culture...
Rhododendron are plants native to China that were brought to Ireland in the 19th century. They are ideally suited to the climate and have spread throughout the native forests, taking over and supplanting the native oaks and vegetation. Whole mountainsides are loaded with them - a lovely sight! An effort is being made to irradicate it in some National Parks so the visitor to Ireland might enjoy Irish plants! Beautiful it may be, but Irish IT IS NOT!
Blennerville Windmill & a museum-train
Blennerville Windmill and the museum-steamtrain from Blennerville/Tralee are well-known landmarks at the "gate to Dingle-island". It is the best-preserved of all windmills in Ireland and the museum-steamtrain will take you the short distance between the windmill and Blennerville, running daily between may and october !
This windmill is just a museum today, and it is located right at the north entrance-road to Dingl Island.
They have a nice tea-room there with great scoones, a large parking and some nice souvenir/antiques-shops, BUT it is also one of these places, where all of the tourbuses will stop, so the prices for souvenirs are higher here than in the smaller villages nearby.
The museum-windmill is open daily
from April to October / Telephone : 066 21064
On the shore of Lough Leanne Ross Castle can be visited. It's a nice castle to see and also offers a lovely area to walk around in.
The castle was built in the 15th century by the O'Donoghue clan.
The Ring Of Kerry
This tour around the Iveragh peninsula is a must-see indeed. The scenery is second to none in Ireland but like I said before, you'll almost be driving bumper-to-bumper in summer. Visit outside this hectic time and things will be much quieter and therefore much more enjoyable.
Orlikins goes to Killarney
I must admit my bias here - I don't actually like the town of Killarney all that much! It has been totally ruined by tourism.
Killarney is a lot more commercial brash, overtouristy than Tralee. Doesnt stop thousands of you flocking to Killarney every year though, eh? :) Dont get me wrong, I always enjoy myself when I get there, however Killarney conjures up lots of images of elderly American tourists bleating about their great-grandma Schwartz who came from Dingle. You won't catch many Irish people there on their holidays, as we leave it to the Yanks. :)
It is a total rip-off of a town, in some cases, it is as expensive as Dublin. Unfortunately the local traders have gotten greedy and are in danger of killing their golden goose by slapping on extortionate prices on anything you can think of.
Our last visit to Killarney was in New Year 2006 to visit our old college friend Aisling.
"Killarney National Park"
You will inevitably visit the sprawling National Park which surrounds Killarney. This pic is of Lough Leane, if you follow a trail from Muckross House.
As pretty as Lough Leane is, it is suffers from high levels of algae blooms and phosphate sewage from the town, so that is why you will never see anyone swimming in it. Indeed, there are signs around the lake asking you not to swim in it.
"Jaunting Carts, faith & begorrah & bejaysus"
Jaunting carts are synonymous with Killarney and American tourists, you wont find them anywhere else in Ireland. They usually come part of a package tour but seriously, you will look a total idiot trotting around Killarney on one of these things :)
They could do with a pony pooper-scooper scheme along the park paths, they're covered in horse crap for miles! (you think I'm joking?!) :-)