The narrow gague (3ft) railway from Tralee to Dingle was never going to make it in the commercial world. It must have been one of the slowest railway journeys in the world taking (even if it stuck to the timetable) two and a half hours for a distance of just over 30 miles. It must however be one of the most scenic in the world as well.
The 3km (flat) stretch from Tralee to Blennerville on the coast was restored a few years back. Unfortunately the original engine had problems with its restoration programme. The railway has therefore been unable to run for a few years. At the start of 2013 things do still not look good. A diesel hauled service might be viable, but steam haulage looks to be some years away. What a shame...this is the sort of project that failte ireland should be investing in, repaying investment many timers over.
The Tralee canal extends from a marina area in the town out to Blennerville and beyond to the coast. There is no commercial traffic these days but the towpath is probably more used nowadays than ever before. I visited in February and took the option to jog the 3km to the sea. Flat, scenic (the mountains rise up over the kingdom of Kerry away to the left), and traffic free - enjoyed the run immensly. You can't get lost and theres always a friendly face or two getting some exercise as well. Dogs must love it.
Also much used by bird watchers who use the sanctuary areas the canal runs through.
We went to the museum Kerry the Kingdom and liked it very much. First there was Kerry in Colour, an audio visual presentation on Kerry's scenery, traditions and monuments. I found it very interesting and admired the beautiful photographs. I wish I could take such beautiful shots myself. Kerry County Museum was very interesting, too. It showed the life in Kerry from 5000 B.C. until today and I would have wanted to stay much longer there, but I could see that Ulla wasn't as interested. I know that history means much more to me than it does to her, so we left. I was expecting a lot from Geraldine Tralee, the Irish Medieval Experience, but it was a slight disappointment to me. I had heard about this kind of museums from my sister and she described them so lively and made them sound very interesting, but this one wasn't anything like them. It was nice and worth visiting, but something was missing.
Ashe Memorial Hall is the starting point for tours of County Kerry. Three attractions tell the story of Kerry and Ireland. "Kerry the Kingdom" experience starts out with an audiovisual show presenting the landscapes, culture and way of life of Kerry.
After viewing an exhibition of artifacts, travel in a time car visiting Tralee on a market day of the year 1450! Journey through reconsturcted streets, houses, Abbeys and the Castle of Geraldine Tralee complete with sounds and smells.
Take the time to go on a day tour of this area! It is incredibly beautiful and billed as the last remaining truly-Gaelic area of Ireland. The pristine beach at Slea Head has been used in many popular movies, and for good reason. Everything in the countryside seemed so ancient and peaceful, except the sea!
The only recommendation I have is to let someone else do the driving. What passes for the "highway" in parts of Dingle would be considered a country lane in the USA- but this doesn't slow anyone down!
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