Adventures in Ireland: to Kinsale and back

Let me share with you some highlights from my annual trip to Ireland. I am very fortunate to have a friend there with whom I travel and who is able not only to come up with a unique itinerary every time, but also to drive us to places I would never get to on my own. This time we took another mate with us and headed to a colourful, cute and super – instagrammable town called Kinsale. But first we stopped by the Rock of Cashel, which we viewed from the ruins of Hore Abbey.

From there we headed to Lismore Gardens which were opened to public for free and hosted some sort of bookworm convention slash picnic ­čśë Everyone was basking in a glorious sunshine, a mini chamber orchestra played tunes from Game of Thrones…bliss. The gardens themselves were nothing short of splendid.

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Somewhere on the road we simply had to stop, get out of the car and photograph THIS view.

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After reaching our destination we decided to make the most of a sunny, warm evening (yes, I did say sunny and warm, and yes, we were in Ireland…) and wend for a walk around Kinsale. This charming town has a Spanish feel to it and for a good reason: it has historical links with Spain, dating back to the XVIIth century when the Armada sailed there to fight alongside the Irish rebels against England. Unsuccesfully. There are still Spanish flags near the Charles Fort, the best pub in town is called The Spaniard, and the whole town is so colourful one could indeed think it’s a Spanish pueblo. Kinsale has a reputation of a foodie heaven and when we walked around looking at menus, they did look inviting, if rather pricy. Hence the visit to The Spaniard: a lovely, very old pub with decent food and acceptable prices. Highly recommended. The additional bonus of driving all they way up is the view over the Kinsale marina, which looks even more beautiful from above.

Next morning we left our lovely B&B with the intention of driving first to Baltimore Beacon, and then to the most southwesterly point in Ireland: Mizen Head. Within 10 min we had to stop, get out of the car, and guess what, take pictures…This was too good to be missed:

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Baltimore Beacon – just how great this view is!

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It costs EUR 8.50 to enter the Mizen Head area. It is possible to explore it vastly using walkways, steps and a purposedly build bridge. The views are stunning and again, this could be somewhere in the Mediterranean, rather than Northern Europe:

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And, if this wasn’t good enough, we spotted a pretty beach nearby.

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I almost forgot to mention how we accidentally discovered the oldest castle in Ireland, allegedly built by the grandson of King Brian Boru in 1035. How cool is that. It seemed abandoned and mysterious.

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It took us four hours to get home just in time for another episode of GoT. And on Monday we explored Dublin – I covered that in the previous post.

Ireland is a wonderful photo destination. It DOES have good weather, in fact every time I go there there is plenty of sunshine. The only disadvantage of doing such trips is that I can’t really plan for the best light, therefore all these pics were taken in harsh daylight, which did not do these amazing locations any justice. In fact I lazily took most of them with my iPhone, since using my camera would not have made much of a difference. I hope that I will have an opportunity to revisit these places maybe out of season, maybe on a moody day, to take more meaningful pictures. Till the next time!

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