Travel Journal April 15, 1999
Ring Saga.

County Cork

I had hoped to travel along the coast, visiting the Ring of Kerry, the Dingle peninsula, and end up in Limerick by the end of the day; This turned out to be overly ambitious.

A picture of a coastal village, somewhere near Clonkilty.

This is the Model Train Village, in Clonkilty, which is about an hour's drive southwest from Cork.

The whole thing is delightfully mad.

There appears to be architecture from several different periods; I noticed a Napoleonic fortress as well as a Norman castle.

Of course, I couldn't leave without looking deeper. I asked one of the maintenance workers if I could see the equipment that controls the trains. He took me to one of the back rooms marked "no admittance" and showed me the control equipment. Unfortunately, the electronics technician who is responsible for this stuff wasn't there to explain it, but I caught a few things. The PC next to the main cabinet is, I believe, a debugging and maintenance terminal. The main control console is a PC which is in a room next to the front office.

Next, I went to the Drombeg Stone Circle, which is near Glandore. This circle is quite small compared to others, the stones are about four feet in height.

A few paces away is an ancient cooking pit.

An interesting shop in Glengarriff. If I hadn't already bought several sweaters in Scotland, I would have bought some here, they were very pretty.

County Kerry

Eventually you go through a tunnel, and you're suddenly in Kerry.


On the way to the Ring of Kerry, which is actually a set of three roads. The ring starts from Killarney, and run around the largest of the peninsulas, and then back to Killarney.

Some of the landscape of the ring. Taking these pictures was a little difficult, as there are few roadside stopping-places. (Driving in Ireland consists mostly of being caught between the tractor in front of you that's going about 20 m.p.h., and the Fiat behind you that wants to drive at eighty on narrow, uneven country roads.)




There were a couple of sights that I bypassed because the weather was looking very ominous, in particular the Staigue fort (and Iron-age, dry-stone fort), and Daniel O'Connell's house. (It was actually hailing for a while.)


These three shots are particularly scenic.



The Skelligs, with Lesser Skellig in front, and behind it Greater Skellig (Skellig Michael). Skellig Michael is the site of a famous early Irish Monstary - the monks lived on the island (which is mostly bare rock), and traded seal meat for vellum. I'm told that you can get boat tours of the Skelligs, but that would have cost another day (besides, the Skellig center had not yet opened for the season, which seems a bit tardy of them - most things are opened by this point.)

It's true, the Ring of Kerry has a lot of pretty scenery.


That evening I stayed in Killarney. This is the town that, according to my travel guide books, is so tourist-oriented that you can more easily find out about the history of tourism than the history of the town. I should mention that the B&B that I stayed at was the first example of a less-than-excellent establishment, however I had little choice because many places had no vacancies. I noticed that when I first walked into the place, there was a strong chemical smell of air freshener. (And no, I don't remember the name of the place.) The electrical outlets were of a completely different standard than any I had seen before, but the proprietess had an adaptor I could use.