We have been to Killarney a couple of times before, mostly just passing through on the way to somewhere else, so this time, after our two nights at Macroom we booked a B & B in Killarney for one night to finish off the weekend.
Killarney has to be Ireland’s version of Disneyland: Paddyland. The town streets are packed with quaint shops and many pubs, all of which look old but some of which you suspect have actually been created in the current millennium. There are buskers galore.
Virtually everyone on the street has a camera around their neck (yes, I know what you’re thinking) or is wearing a baseball cap or a matching his ‘n’ hers jacket or plaid trousers or sometimes all four and you just know that this is tourist alley. Possibly the real Killarney residents only venture out, timorously, late at night, like the faeries that their visitors so badly want to find. Possibly they have all moved in desperation to Macroom, leaving their souvenir shops in the capable hands of their east European employees. Whatever, when walking the streets of Killarney you are not really experiencing the real Ireland, but begorrah, top o’ the morning to ye anyway!
However, Killarney does have a rather stunning lake beside it, Lough Leane, and this is what the post is really about. We very much enjoyed our trip on the lake, in part because of the unusual weather. There were heavy rain clouds but occasional bright sunshine which gave interesting patterns of light and dark on the lake and surrounding mountains.
The castle ruins you saw in the above photos are Ross Castle. A little further around is the Franciscan Muckross Abbey, another example of living history that we so enjoy in Ireland. It is built over an even earlier Abbey dating back to the 6th century and the beginnings of Christianity in Ireland. It’s in relatively good condition despite Cromwell’s attempt to burn it to the ground in 1644.