Next morning we awoke, admired the beautiful view of distant mountains from our hotel room then freshened up for breakfast.
Downstairs in the front room with lot's of shiny wooden surfaces ( it was really tempting to skid along the floor in my socks ) we had a gorgeous breakfast. The hotel had laid out cereals, fruit juice, jams and home made soda bread. On top of this we had the full Irish cooked to our liking, bacon/egg, black and white pudding with sausages, all that was missing was the oink.
The breakfast was generous so had to be earned, we figured a day of biking around Killarney national park was right and proper.
Out in town the first bike rental we came upon was covered in signs advertising their bike rental and strangely closed at 9am in the morning. An elderly resident passing us mentioned another place with the 'best bikes in Killarney' apparently.
Once we were with bikes we both cautiously set off a little wobbly at first. Neither of us had ridden a bike in years, but we were soon pedalling as fast as we could with wild abandon.
At that first closed rental shop we had encountered an American couple, they got their bikes from the same place we did and pretty much followed a similar route to us. We kept bumping into them for at least the next 4 hours, seemed like very nice people.
We cycled through serene woodland area, the pathway winding around the lakes offering up beautiful views of distant islands, stunning coves and little serene sandy beaches. At various points ancient stony bridges crossed rivers and mountains would suddenly loom into view peering down peacefully over the woodland.
The National park really is beautiful offering at-least a day of exploration.
Our little excursion included Muckross abbey, an old building missing the odd roofed cover was completely open for us to roam around. We quietly wandered through darkened rooms, as silent as if it were a museums, up and down stairways trying to imagine what is was like living in such a place back when it was an active place of worship, cold no doubt.
I've always wondered if people living back in those old abbeys and castles, do you think anyone suffered from vertigo and this affected their life outcome unable to live in those fortified/hallowed buildings as they couldn't walk up the stairs?
After the abbey we headed over to Torc Waterfall, Muckross house for a little wander and a disappointing coffee then onto Ross castle.
#muckrossabbey back in Killarney, can just wander around the whole place
A post shared by Graeme White (@somethingdoing) on May 21, 2017 at 2:17pm PDT
5 hours cycling around #kilarney today, saw beautiful old abbey, national park with wild deer, some of the route around the base of a mountain it's peak hidden by mist, the shoreline of a huge lake with its own islands and abbeys and a castle aaaaand this lovely waterfall. Kilarney has been an amazing way to experience #ireland for the first time. Spot @lalanianita at bottom of pic
A post shared by Graeme White (@somethingdoing) on Mar 15, 2017 at 9:47am PDT
After ross castle we felt we'd had enough of biking around, to cover the same distance and see the same sights on foot would have taken way longer , probably not in a single day. We reckoned we'd managed to get around 20 miles of travel done. Very rough estimate mind.
Bikes returned and a quick shower later we were back out in Killarney town for a little liquid refreshment. All the bars were showing the racing, one bar was about the size of a small living room packed with stern faces all eyes up in the top corner of the room where the TV broadcast the racing.
We thought we'd try a second bar and found a tiny little place, seemed nice enough. While supping away at our drink a loud but not annoying guy from Boston came over for a bit of banter. He'd been cracking jokes with everyone , kind of person that has to take over the room and make himself known, but he was actually interesting and funny so was all good.
We showered then headed out looking for somewhere to eat settling on the Ross Hotel ( see a theme here? ) for fish and chips and steak with an obligatory Guinness as I had to make the most of it while in Ireland.
After our meal we headed to another bar, the one close to our hotel to finish off our evening in a familiar place filled with unfamiliar faces. It was a nice atmosphere and with one more drink in us we headed home for our last day and night in Killarney before it would be back to Dublin for the second half of our holiday.