Members Login
Username 
 
Password 
    Remember Me  
Post Info TOPIC: NEW FACES and FAMILIAR PLACES -- The SAGA


Moderator

Status: Offline
Posts: 2172
Date:
RE: NEW FACES and FAMILIAR PLACES -- The SAGA


Friday, 19 June

In the morning, we rose early, dressed as smartly as our limited wardrobe permitted and drove down into the nearby village for a Memorial Mass for a recently departed Cousin, then returned to the house for a somber, but hearty breakfast.  We departed around noon, heading back, into the West, on the N22. 

Just before entering Macroom, the R587 branches off to the South (a left-hand turn, coming FROM Cork).  Staying straight on will lead you past the Memorial for the Kilmichael Ambush, before leading you into Dunmanway. A short ways beyond the turn-off from the N22, though, a RIGHT turn onto the R584, will lead West, through Inchigeelah and on, to Ballinageary.  This route has MUCH to offer -- Cranno'g Tir na Saideoge, Carrignacurra Castle (Stronghold of the O'Learys) and the factory and store of Lee Valley Clothing Ltd.

In Balligeary, is Lough Allua, the Coolmountain Soup Pot and a BEAUTIFULLY restored old Manor House.  Just beyond THAT, is Gougane Barra.  On the day, it was sparsely attended -- only 5 or 6 people came and went while we were there over the better part of an hour, or more.  We stopped at the Lee Valley store on our return, to check out the merchandise and visit the nice, little snack bar (and rest rooms!) on the second floor. 

A short, light rain began, just as we entered the store, but it was mostly over, by the time we were ready to leave.  We drove on, into Macroom and turned right (North) onto the R582 and returned to Millstreet and our rental house, in Dooneen.

More to come ...

Bob



__________________

Bob

Help Us to Help You.  The more you tell us about your plans (dates, interests, budget), the better we can tailor our advice to suit!



Moderator

Status: Offline
Posts: 2172
Date:

For info on the sites mentioned along the R587 and R584, see:

www.geograph.org.uk/photo/727054

Bob

__________________

Bob

Help Us to Help You.  The more you tell us about your plans (dates, interests, budget), the better we can tailor our advice to suit!



Guru

Status: Offline
Posts: 373
Date:

Bob, going to read this one in the a.m. By the way, did you ever go to the soldier shop? We were surprised and really had fun getting the kits and visiting with the owners and watched the folks, in the back of the shop, painting the little figures.......very impressive. If you have the time, for those of you that have not gone, be sure and follow the signs, well worth it....youngka

__________________
Living in Oregon, like to travel, love going to Europe, Alaska and maybe one day China.


Guru

Status: Offline
Posts: 226
Date:

Bob
Good to read your report about this under-visited part of Ireland; it brings back memories of one of our first self-catering experiences - a small cottage in Inchigeelah just steps from the bridge.  Gougane Barra is one of the most peaceful and beautiful settings I've seen. Like you, we had it pretty much to ourselves.

Speaking of 'car freaks' I took this shot on the Tarbert Ferry on a more recent trip. Many of the Morgan enthusiasts later went racing past us on those narrow Clare roads - very exciting.

Stewart



Attachments
__________________


Host

Status: Offline
Posts: 10694
Date:

Bob,

Thanks for continuing the saga. Have you taken the R619 from Mallow south to Crookstown? It was like riding a roller coaster. My husband complained about all the twists and turns on it (and he is used to Irish roads). I told him it looked pretty straight on the map. His comment: "If they drew the road on the map as it actually is they would have run out of ink."

Michele

__________________

"Ireland Expert"  Michele Erdvig

Click links for Michele's Book or Custom Ireland Itinerary

Visit Michele's Irish Shop for unique Irish gifts and beautiful photos of Ireland.



Moderator

Status: Offline
Posts: 2172
Date:

Michele -- I've only driven parts of that route -- but enough of it to understand your husband's sentiment ... biggrin biggrin

stewh -- Lucky YOU.  Had I been on the ferry, my wife would have probably filed for divorce, as I doubtless would have ABANDONED our planned itinerary to follow the cars along -- drooling raptly, the whole time ... aww

Bob



__________________

Bob

Help Us to Help You.  The more you tell us about your plans (dates, interests, budget), the better we can tailor our advice to suit!



Moderator

Status: Offline
Posts: 2172
Date:

More 19 June:

We ended the day by parking at the Railroad Station and taking the train into Killarney, on a whim, at 1948.  The Ticket Office was unstaffed, but a young man waiting on the siding advised us to go ahead and board, as the Conductor would collect our fare.  As it turned out, we never saw the Conductor.  The train ran about 5 minutes late, so we arrived in Killarney about 2035, only to discover that the LAST train back to Millstreet departed at 2149.  That wouldn't give us much time in Killarney, but the rain Station IS close-in.  We wandered down College Street, onto Plunket and turned onto High Street and were PLEASANTLY suprised to discover that a large stretch had been closed off to traffic and an improptu stage (in the back of a large, canvas roofed, three-sided truck) was featuring various performers from the Fleadh Cheoil Chiarrai. 

Info:  http://comhaltas.ie/events/detail/kerry_fleadh_2009/lang/ga/

We watched and listened for about an hour, then returned to the Train Station.  The ticket window there was unstaffed, as well, but there are two kiosk machines in the lobby that sell tickets and I dutifully purchased our two, one-way tickets there, at a cost of 9 Euro 50 each.  The return trip was uneventful and we arrived back in Millstreet about 2230.  No one ever checked, or collected our tickets.

We purchased take away from The Mill (a Burger a Chips shop, in the Square) and drove home to Dooneen.

More to Come ...

Bob



__________________

Bob

Help Us to Help You.  The more you tell us about your plans (dates, interests, budget), the better we can tailor our advice to suit!



Moderator

Status: Offline
Posts: 2172
Date:

Saturday, 20 June

We managed a slightly earlier departure this morning and the foggy clouds departed early, as well. Driving into Millstreet, I turned off to the South at the Square and then took the immediate LEFT that forks off from the Macroom Road, in order to park and attend to the ATM machine located at the Bank that occupies the "V". 

From there, I insisted that my wife accompany me for a walk of less than a block, to the entrance to the cemetary surrounding the old Church of Ireland grounds.  As I think that I mentioned earlier, only the FOOTPRINT of the church remains, although the crennelated, rectangular bell tower WAS salvaged.  Just beyond it, slightly South and West, is a grave stone for Richard Radley Leader, MD, who died on 15 June 1924. aged 73 years.  She was a tad reluctant to pose for the photo that I INSISTED upon taking -- until I explained the personal. historical significance of that heavily weathered grave.  On a June day, back in 1880, HER Great-Grandfather stood before the then living occupant of that grave -- doubtless, cap in hand -- in the regal, oppulent study at Keale House, registering the birth of a son destined to become her Grandfather.  The copy of John's birth record that we obtained years earlier was hand-written and signed, by this same, R. Radley Leader, MD.

Departing there, I drove South on the Macroom Road, to a wide spot, just a bit South of our intrepid, tire repairman's shop.  From there, to the West, stands (barely) the once majestic Mount Leader House.  On the East side of the road, a low, steep hill rises up.  On it, the clearly defined remnats of a fairy fort are visible.  After numerous photos taken of both sites, we continued South, into Macroom, were we turned East, toward Cork.  We turned off the N22, onto the R585, in Crookstown and followed the signs to the very impressive Memorial at Beal na Blath, where Michael Collins was killed in an ambush. 

From there, we continued onward to the intersection of the R587, were we turned left (South), into Dunmanway.  We turned West, then, onto the R586, and drove on, into Drimoleague, where my wife's Grandmother was born.  One of the cousins owns a 'Weekend' house there and we had been invited to a attend a family gathering that turned out to be a suprise, early birthday party for my wife!  It was a hot, sunny and nearly cloudless day.  We spent an excedingly pleasant, 4 or 5 hours, mostly in the rear and side gardens.  The cousin's gift to my wife was a silver necklace and earing set produced by a local artist, in which the pendant of each piece was a fuschia.  They had chosen it as a reminder to  my wife of her West Cork roots.

After departing the fine company, we drove to the local grocery and purchased a large assortment of flowers, before heading on to the graveyard at the Catholic Church.  Resident there, is my FIL's Grandmother, an uncle and three of his first cousins and we came to pay our respects.  It took us a while to find the latest addition, as the stone had not yet been carved, but two gravediggers kindly interrupted their work to show us the spot.

It was a sad, reflective time and we spent a goodly while there, quietly reminiscing.  Here now, since only May, was Sean, Laird of the Mountain -- unrepentant bachelor, semi-hermit mountain farmer -- a man who knew NO guile -- and who also knew NONE of the social graces that we call tact.  He was, we've been told, often querulous, always brusque and, sometimes, down-right combative.  He was a man that was used to being alone; who always said what he thought, without regard to how it might impact the feelings of others.  He was a true gem -- representative to an era that has all but faded away. 

I have grown to love the New Ireland -- Land of the Celtic Tiger -- but there is SOMETHING indefinable about my romantic facination with Old Ireland -- the "REAL" Ireland, to us Yanks.  I will miss his knowledge almost as much as we will miss his company.

After a bit, we drove on, into Deelish and Castle Donovan, meandering about the lanes and byways for a while.  Neither of us could bring ourselves to ascend the heights into the Meelagh Valley, though, so we drove the back way into Dunmanway and turned North onto the R587.  We passed by the turn-off of the R585 and Beal na Blath and instead, continued on, past the Kilmichael Ambush Memorial. 

In Macroom, we headed West, on the N22; following liesurely along the Kerry Sculpture Trail, trying to spot as many of them as possible.  We parked in the lot next to the Tourist Office and made our way back to the impromtu 'Square'on High Street.  Caught an un-inspiring meal at one of the eateries along the street, between listening to the music and watching the step-dancers.  We had a very enjoyable time, unhindered by time constraints, but it was VERY crowded.  We attempted to find a nice pub to settle  into, but after finding near, Standing Room Only in the few that we tried to enter, we finally gave up that notion. 

As we were driving back to Millstreet in the near-twilight, I saw a blurry shape dart out, from the side of the road and instantly felt the impact of tire on someting OTHER than road.  Slamming the brakes, I saw a small animal writhing in the road behind me -- it LOOKED like a black, extremely fuzzy weasel -- but, before I was completely stopped, it had thrashed its way into the tall grasses along the side of the road and disappeared.  I can only hope that it survived the encounter, but my gut feeling is that it probably did not.  It is quite disturbing to think that I had come all the way to Ireland, only to kill a wild animal ...

Somewhat subdued, we returned to Dooneen.

More to come ...

Bob



__________________

Bob

Help Us to Help You.  The more you tell us about your plans (dates, interests, budget), the better we can tailor our advice to suit!



Host

Status: Offline
Posts: 10694
Date:

Bob,

What a lot of highs and lows in one day. It sounds like a lovely party for your wife. I know the jewelry she received. I have admired it in some shops in Ireland before. She must love them. Sorry to hear about the little critter you ran over. My husband has done in a few birds and bunnies on Irish roads over the years.

The nostalgic "Old Ireland" has such a magnetic pull. Especially to those of us who actually experienced it. Some things I don't miss such as the bathroom down the hall shared by all the rooms in a B&B. But I do miss the "good old days" when farmers used to take their milk to the dairy on a donkey cart in those big metal milk cans, the hand-made hay piles, no traffic on the roads, no motorways, tea and a chat on arrival at a B&B, being able to drive right up to tourist attractions and park in front of them, no admission charges to many things.

Keep at it. I am enjoying the journey.

Michele



__________________

"Ireland Expert"  Michele Erdvig

Click links for Michele's Book or Custom Ireland Itinerary

Visit Michele's Irish Shop for unique Irish gifts and beautiful photos of Ireland.



Moderator

Status: Offline
Posts: 2172
Date:

Sunday, 21 June -- Father's Day

A cloudy morning caused us to linger, abed, once again.  We finally made our way into Killarney around noon, where a visit to an Internet Cafe scored us two round-trip train tix, Millstreet to Dublin, for 80 Euro, departing about 10 AM on Monday, returning about 7:30.  Regular, 'walk-up' price was over 70 Euro per person, so not a bad 'Internet Only' deal!  A door or two away, we settled into a little cafe for luch, followed by a phone call home to our daughter.  She patched us into a three-way call with my wife's parents and we stood on the street, rendering Father's Day wishes all around, with background music provided by the near-by stage of the Fleahd.  It was a rather, uhm, paradoxical moment.

After hanging up, we drifted over to the crowd surrounding the stage and listened to the music while catching glimpses of the tradional dancers -- both competitive, costumed competetors AND impromptue, amatuer observers who were moved to join into randomly created 'Sets' -- observers becoming, in effect, the observed.  It was great fun.

After an hour or so, we drifted back to the car and returned to Millstreet.  Still being early, we passed through town and headed up, onto Mushera.  It being a breezy day, we returned to Knocknakilla were we enjoyed a long, quiet visit among the ancient contsructs, totally unmolested by the dreaded midges that had plagued us on our earlier attempt.  I really can NOT over- praise the sheer serenety of that place -- nor the panoramic vistas that are on view.  It truly IS a Magical Place.

From Knocknakilla, we drove past Saint John's Holy Well -- suprised by its newly created visibility, since the Forest Service has 'Reclaimed' the heavily wooded trees that formerly masked the hill-side site.  After turning around in the entrance to the Millstreet Country Park (an as yet, unvisited location that is high on my, 'Next Trip' list), we drove to Ivale Cross and parked.  We took in the Monument to the Butter Road, and directly opposite from it, the Kerryman's Table.  Then after extensive consultations with my VERY detailed, #79 Discovery Series Ordinance Survey Map, Jack Lane's AUBANE: WHERE IN THE WORLD IS IT? (an exhaustively detailed, Local History) and some sheer LUCK, I drove North, toward Kilcorney, to the very NEXT crossroads and turned RIGHT. 

This area is called Brookpark on ALL the maps, but locals know it by a DIFFERENT name -- Ivale.  This townland is where my wife's great-grandparents were living, on 24 June, 1880 -- the day that her Gradfather was born.  We spent an hour or two, driving slowly, up and down the road, stopping frequently to get out , snap photos and even walk around a bit.  It helped, I suppose, that the day had turned glorious -- warm and sunny, with great, puffy white clouds that floated in a deep, vibrant, blue sky.  We even parked at a building site for a while, just to admire the views and to try to get a sense of the place.

Being objective, now, AFTER THE FACT, I suppose there was nothing UNIQUELY spectacular about the verdant fields or rolling hills.  Beautiful as it was, there would be no compelling reason for a tourist to go out of their way to see this area.  There are no crumbling castles, no imposing Manor Houses, nor are there any other "Must See' tourist attractions.  Still and all, I had spent ten years searching out this piece of ground and I did NOT find it disappointing.

We made our way back to town.  It had been a VERY good day.

Bob



__________________

Bob

Help Us to Help You.  The more you tell us about your plans (dates, interests, budget), the better we can tailor our advice to suit!



Host

Status: Offline
Posts: 10694
Date:

Bob,

How nice that you finally found what you were looking for after ten years. There is still an old stone circle that I have yet to find. I'm sure that one day I will. And sometimes you find the most wonderful things while on a wild goose chase.

Michele

__________________

"Ireland Expert"  Michele Erdvig

Click links for Michele's Book or Custom Ireland Itinerary

Visit Michele's Irish Shop for unique Irish gifts and beautiful photos of Ireland.



Moderator

Status: Offline
Posts: 2172
Date:

Yar --

There's a ring fort near the intersection in Camp (Dingle), that I've spent some time looking for....

Like many other interesting things in Ireland, there never seems to be enough time to see  and do everything.

Bob


__________________

Bob

Help Us to Help You.  The more you tell us about your plans (dates, interests, budget), the better we can tailor our advice to suit!

«First  <  1 2 | Page of 2  sorted by
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.

Tweet this page Post to Digg Post to Del.icio.us


Create your own FREE Forum
Report Abuse
Powered by ActiveBoard