Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Ring of Dingle, Sept 30

Allow me to begin with a flat statement: The Dingle Peninsula which stretches out 30 miles from the county Kerry coast in southwestern Ireland is the most beautiful place on earth.
  - Boris Weintraub in the 1986 National Geographic “Traveler.”

Skellig Hotel, Dingle Ireland
Bay view from hotel
While it doesn’t sound all that romantic, we drove to Dingle (a full day’s drive) and checked in late to the Skellig Hotel in Dingle. We knew we were on the right track as the hotel is situated right on Dingle Bay. The area is stunning and anyone visiting the west of Ireland must make this a requisite visit. Boris Weintraub was understating the beauty of Dingle. It was and is a fishing village. It is small and quaint. (Quaint may be defined as full of pubs). But, beyond that, the Dingle ring will simply take your breath away.
Beehive Huts inhabited from ancient times to 1200 AD

We arose early and had an Irish breakfast. For those of you who are not aware, an Irish breakfast consists of one friend egg, two sausages, 2 “strips” of bacon, 1 fried tomato, and a scoop of baked beans. Toast and butter is on the side, thank you. but with that said, Diana did find herself a treat at the breakfast buffet; fresh pickled herring and smoked mackerel.

We hopped in the car and started driving the ring which runs the entire coast from Dingle and back again. It takes several hours, but the experience and landscapes are nothing less than magnificent.

Beautiful shorelines and mountains run the entire coast and one cannot imagine a more magical drive. We stopped everywhere possible to photograph churches, streams, castles, dilapidated and old ruins from before Christ to the 20th Century.

Kilmalkadar circa 600 AD
We found one ruined church that predated Christ and was used by the ancient Celts before they converted to Christianity. Some of the markers are simple inscribed stones about 6 feet high with a hole drilled near the top.

Ireland is truly a feast for the eyes and soul (stomach notwithstanding) and Dingle is the main course.

We photographed sheep, peat bogs, churches, ruins, the Atlantic Ocean, landscapes and anything that got in our way. The light was incredible ranging from misty to rainy to sunshine and clouds. If you will pardon the plagiarism, it is a moveable feast. It is almost more than one can take in at any given time.

While the Dingle Ring is short by most Irish standards, it is indeed a magical excursion.

(As I write, we have just come off the more famous Ring of Kerry and I can tell you that Kerry cannot even come close to comparing with Dingle…not taking away from Kerry, but skip Kerry and go right for Dingle).

We were tired but uplifted and so far, Dingle has been the highlight of our Irish adventures. All I can say is let the pictures speak for themselves.

Where did that little leprechaun go?!

 Tune in tomorrow for the Ring of Kerry


  1. WOW, I wish I was there... Too bad your not getting any good pics (HAHAHA) Awesome, we are enjoying your vacation... And Keep looking for Zeke (Sami's leprechaun)

  2. We are closing in on Zeke for sure. We visited an incredible park yesterday that must be the literal home of the little people.