Monday, January 18, 2010


Thursday, September 18, 2003 Muckross House, Ring of Kerry, Dingle Bay

This morning the weather was overcast with sprinkles here and there as we drove over to the Muckross House for a tour of an old Manor home from the nineteenth century. The last private party to own the house was actually an American heiress whose husband donated it to the government as a museum after her death. One of the most historic previous owners spent six years preparing the house and property for a two day visit by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Albert actually celebrated his 42nd birthday at Muckross House. The plan was to impress Queen Victoria so much that she would grant a title and possible more land to the family. Unfortunately, Albert contracted Typhoid shortly after the visit and Queen Victoria totally forgot about their visit to Muckross House. The family eventually lost the property due to debt; mostly accrued due to expenses incurred in preparing the home for the Queen’s visit.

Back to the hotel for the part of the group; then off we went for an extra tour of the Ring of Kerry. This was mostly driving with a few photo stops. One was to see the bronze statue of four monks in a sickle shaped boat created in 1995 to commemorate the Augustine Monks on the nearby island of Skellig Michael for 600 years. We had an hour for lunch in Waterville, a village that sits squarely on the coast; Mary and Phil dipped their hands into the Atlantic Ocean and also found a great green rock for me to remember Ireland. We enjoyed fish and chips at the Lobster Pub for lunch during the tour. The area around Waterville was a vacation home to Charlie Chaplin and family; it was said that his daughter Geraldine now calls this area home. It was also a summer vacation once for Richard Nixon. One of our stops was for a view of Dingle Bay. Another one of our stops was for a donkey photo opportunity and great view of mountains, streams and an old bridge!

Rain started in earnest after lunch. Photos through the windows became impossible; too bad, as the views of the coastline were spectacular. Mary and I shared a seat and Jim and Phil each had their own seat. Barbara and John took the day off as they had seen the Ring of Kerry on previous trips.

Back at the hotel by about 4 pm; the rain had stopped and Gerald offered to take those that were interested into town after a quick stop at the hotel. About ten of us decided to stay on the bus for a trip to town. Walked about the shops and then stopped at the Internet CafĂ© for a go at the computers. Jim finally was able to sign on and then in Martha’s mail we found two letters from Brian for John and Barbara; something to do with plumbing problems in their house. We had them printed and took them back to the hotel; a short twenty-minute walk from town. No, the bus only took us there and then we were on our own for the return; Gerald said if we got lost, flag a taxi and for five euro they’d get us back to the correct hotel.

We were in the Riverside Hotel just at the edge of Killarney, our home for two nights. We had dinner with John and Barbara, Stuart and Grant; another tasty delight. My chicken looked like Lobster when it arrived. We were close enough to walk back to town for a visit to the pub after dinner; but only a few ventured forth! Washed our hair and watched the new of the Hurricane Isabel hitting the Carolinas and headed for Washington D.C. Even George Bush was sent out of town due to the storm. Estimated 120 mph winds were expected. The hotel has hair dryers permanently stored inside of a dresser drawer. We’ve also had a coffee set in each room; many times that is also inside of a drawer!

So it’s off to bed for a good nights sleep; we have an early schedule tomorrow.

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