» Ireland: Dingle Peninsula - Journey to the Westernmost Part of Europe I
Ireland: Dingle Peninsula - Journey to the Westernmost Part of Europe I
In March 2013, I decided to visit my friend in Ireland. After one night spent at a place of one amazing couchsurfer (free accommodation) I hopped on a train to Tralee. It is sort of an entrance gate to Kerry shire. There my friend Katarina lives.
The weather was much more pleasant than in the Czech Republic. The sun shined all day. The day before, however, there was a dense snow storm in Dublin and I was worried that I might end up somewhere inside for a whole day
Kata was bit late. I had a chance to take a walk in a small town. Only a line of soldiers blocking one of the streets came to me as an unexpected surprise. The did not like seeing me with my large camera. I rather walked away. I did not understand what they were doing there. Nothing seemed to happen.
A way to Dingle runs along one of the highest Irish mountains, covered with snow. Below, there was no snow. Due to the Gulf stream it is one of the warmest places in Ireland. North of Dingle there is the second highest Irish mountain, Brandon Mountain. With its 951 meters it looks majestic, especially when you realize it looms just above the sea.
Dingle is a place where the main road ends. We had walked along a narrow local road to Ballyferriter, where Kata has a beautiful small house. On one hand, it is a truly beautiful place to live. On the other hand, it is very remote. However, I can imagine it as some sort of summer residence.
The Dingle peninsula is part of Kerry and people usually speak there in traditional Irish, a Celtic language called Gaelic, that is very similar to the language spoken in Wales, Scotland and in Bretagne. Fortunately, it is easy to talk in English everywhere. Well, sometimes it gets quite difficult when people in these remote areas talk in their strong accent. I had a problem to understand them yet I had talked to the Scottish with no problems. And Englishmen like to make fun of Scottish English.
To be continued...
Text/photo: Matouš Vinš
The Ireland is to be said that it would be rough country, becoming fine by means of its type of whiskey. And such fact is double so valid at west coast. Although this area is whipped by winds and rains, it conceals some from most beautiful countrysides of Europe. So, Galway Bay, including the town of Galway, situated in its north - east point, belongs to such jewels, of course.
Connemara National Park is situated in Galway county in western Ireland. It is one of the most poular places thanks to its lakes, little islands, marshes, mountains, or planes. Even though the park is very well known to tourists today, it was opened only in 1980. People who love historic sights are also going to enjoy it. For instance, there is beautiful Kylemore abbey, or Ross Errilly Friary, a medieval cloister. Movie fans can visit Cong village where the famous The Quiet Man movie was shot starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hare.
The Cliffs of Moher are among the main tourist places, a must for almost anybody who visits Ireland. The cliffs are situated in the western part of the country. Buses can get you there quick and easy from almost any place in Ireland.
The second largest and one of the oldest Irish cities - Cork. It spreads on the both banks of the Lee River. It is in the south of the country. It is easy reachable when going from downtown Dublin by bus or by airplane. We decided to spend there two nights and make use of one day to walk in Kinsale - a small colorful town, a popular tourist destination.
On my third and last day on the peninsula, Katya had to go take care of something in Tralee. She promised me he'd take me to the Conor Pass - the highest mountain range in Ireland. On the way out of the station this way because it was hard to pass because the road was covered in snow. So we had to go another route through Annascaul. The town of Dingle, the path begins to rise sharply in the mountains and the landscape is changing rapidly.
On the following day we got back to Dingle. Kata had to get done some of her things and I set off for a walk. In this season you hardly see a tourist. So I enjoyed the atmosphere of this fishing center. Small houses have beautiful colorful facades, especially a view of them from the harbor is spectacular.
After almost three weeks in Ireland we were about to spend couple of days in Dublin, where our journey begun. As we had seen all major sights, and had had a great tour in Guinness brewery, we thought through what more we could see in Dublin and around.
All clever persons say that the city where a river is missing is similar like a Beauty-Queen without a crown. So, the river always plays very important role for whichever town. Moreover, the river gives the seat a beauty shade of colour, myth or romantic.
It could seem to be rather ridiculous to say a person, not being informed about a situation, that you wish to visit mountains in the Ireland. Anyway, your general idea aboud emerald island could fuse with neat plain, coloured into thousands of green islands. Nevertheless,
the contrary is right: the Ireland has its mountains, not one mountain range only. And all are wonderful.
Each city has some characteristic sign. So, Paris can be proud on its Eiffel Tower, Prague on Hradčany Castle, London on Big Ben, etc. Till recently, Dublin had no characteristic monument. Yes, during 1999-2000,a gigantic point, showing to the sky, a Spire, appeared on place of former Nelson Column.
One famous public slogan says that the Ireland is rough country offering fine whiskey. Anyway, you can say it in another way. Ireland is realy rough country but with fine heart. And this fact could convince you at the coasts, when the ocean waves knock against rocks,break and create thousands of tears. The Irish Gods heal their frowns and wrongs, which the nation was forced to overcome.
The west coast of Ireland is well known for its rough beauty. The area facing the severity of the Atlantic Ocean, shaped by waves and winds, used to be regarded as the end of the Christendom and the whole world as well. The Cape Slea Head on the Dingle peninsula is actually the westernmost part of Europe.
When more a year ago I bought tickets to Ireland, I did not realize that I would be there during the craziest event in this small island country. At first it was just strange that the tickets for three days are more expensive than for other days.
Republic of Ireland is an European country which is not so much touched with modern covilization....