Tuesday June 12th
Dear Family & Friends,
Today was a nice relaxing touristy type day…
I got up at a reasonable hour and had a traditional Irish breakfast.. The staff at the classic Victorian era hotel where I was staying was exceedingly nice and friendly..
I loaded up my bike and was pleased to see another good weather day.
The first leg of today’s journey was a nice sail across the straight on the local ferry back to main land. It was just me and one other car with a gorgeous young blonde Irish girl, she did her nationality proud. I don’t think they even paid for the fuel on that crossing..
I continued my journey around the Ring of Karney returning up the north side of the peninsula riding along beautiful bays and dramatic cliffs. I stopped a few times to take photos.. At the bigger turn outs there were vendors selling local crafts to the tour buses and the vendors were very friendly and curious about me and the USA.. Of course Trump came up.
As we were talking a large tour bus pulled in and about 30+ senior citizens got off.. oh wait they were the same age as me!! The women smiled at me and the men looked at me and the motorcycle with longing in their eyes. I was so thankful at that moment to still be riding and enjoying life they way I want to. The day I have to take tour buses you can just shoot me…..
By mid day I was in the city of Killarny. It is probably the biggest city in the county. I walked around a bit and decided it was to big city for me. I rode on to the national forest, which was only a few kilometers away. There I toured a local treasure, the Muckross House. A beautiful Victorian era country estate. It was nice inside, elegant but not over the top. The tour guide took us to a wing of the house that Queen Victoria and Albert stayed in.. The story goes the Queen gave the owners 6 years notice she would be coming for a visit with 5 of her children and a staff of about 140. (not all the staff stayed at the house.) The owners completely remodeled one wing of the house for the queen and her family. After six years the queen finally came and visited…. and stayed two days… It’s good to be the queen.
The tour guide was very informative and friendly. As she described the house and life there it sounded more and more like Downton Abbey. The house was built in the mid 1800s and only had three owners before it was donated to the state in 1930. One owner was a young couple who just got married and the bride‘s father bought it for them as a wedding present..nice.
As the tour guide talked about the house and the families that lived there one of the family’s story tied into a TV show my father-in-law wrote. When I mentioned that to the tour guide she was so excited and started asking me lots of questions about my father in law. At one point she asked if I would send her photo to him so she could be the next Joan Colins… By the way she was about my age,,, I think a few years to late to be “discovered”.
She explained one of the down falls of these big estates was that when the industrial revolution hit wages went up so high the owners of the estates could not afford to hire servants and staff to run them. The factories were simply pay people to much!
By late afternoon it looked dark and ominous as the weather report said rain was coming so I checked into a local hotel, had a gin and tonic and took a nice late afternoon nap.
When I woke up the sky was beautiful the weather warmer, and here it stays light until past 10pm so I decided to go out for dinner and a long walk. The perfect ending to a delightful day.
Tomorrow I am not sure where I will go or how far. It will all depend if the rain they are predicting shows up but the plan is to head towards Dingle.
One of the great bonuses of traveling is what you learn when traveling….
Today I resolved one of my life’s great mysteries…. One of my favorite foods is corn beef and cabbage. It is a food that growing was a family tradition and I still enjoy it. It is a food that that I had been told was claimed by two ethnic groups, the Irish and in my family the Jews.. So far after a week in Ireland I have seen all the traditional Irish foods in restaurants and pubs, stews, lamb, fish and chips, and Guinness beer but no where have I seen corn beef and cabbage. You can’t go into any Jewish deli without finding corn beef so I officially claim corn beef and cabbage for my people!
Another mystery solved today was advice from my number one tech friend Larry Coolidge…. My emails have been bouncing back and some of you have not been getting them and asking me why. Evidently when I include photos in the emails the files get so big that some of your servers won’t accept them. So you will notice today there are no photos in this email but if you go to my blog there are lots of photos and a bit more story.
Walking down the steps from my room on Valentia Island..
Over looking the straights to mainland Ireland from my Victorian Hotel
On board the ferry to main land Ireland!
More great coastal roads to ride… Great motorcycling!
The more I see the country side here I believe this is how we are meant to live, close to nature, surround by beauty and just enough neighbors to be friendly without being crowded.
One of the annoyances of traveling is why do maps have city names in some form of modern English when they don’t match the way the locals pronounce or spell the cities name.. One of those signs points to Killarney….
I was so happy NOT to be traveling by tour bus today Can you see the excitement in their eyes? The excitement just to be alive??
This is downtown Killarney, I have to say all the Irish cities and towns are starting to look alike.
This is Muckross House.. If I owned it the first thing I would do is convert all those stables on the left side of the house to garages…..
By the way MUCKROSS is not the family name of the original builder. Muck in Gallic means peninsula, and Ross means pig.. The peninsula in the local lake was a famous hunting ground for pigs… At least that is what the tour guide says… I wouldn’t bet my life on that story.
This is a main entry and by Victorian standards it is very restrained.
The back yard…. They regularly catch 15 lbs trout in there!
Today’s lesson in Gallic,,, now you know GARDEN and TOILET in Gallic.
Authentic Irish-Chinese food.. notice no corn beef??
This is the local river running next to my hotel at around 9pm tonight..
Authentic Irish tradition,, nap in a glass.
One of my pet peeves .. Our local county spends millions and millions of dollars moving mountains to build bike paths, or eliminate miles of parking to build bike paths.. Here bikes and pedestrians share the side walk and everyone survives…
PS: I am sure you have noticed by now my writing style is not hindered by grammar or spelling.. Unfortunately my wife Bonnie has been cursed with an excellent ability to write and spell. I just got this email from her…
Ok – first……Ring of KERRY, not KARNEY