Snapshots from the Dingle Peninsula

Somehow it’s already August and I am back living in Paris wondering how our grande vacance has already come to an end. Wasn’t it just last week that I was researching places for us to live in the countryside so that the hubs could work in some rural libraries? Two month long stays in new cities, a trip to Scotland and then to Ireland with the sister-in-law for me, and a relaxing week vacation with the hubs and pup later, here we are, settled back in to our new teeny apartment in Paris, adjusting to city life once again.

As much as I can’t wait to talk about the trip we took last week to Provence, I am going to backtrack a bit and talk first about my trip to Ireland instead. I had this post nearly ready to go before we packed up and left Dijon, but just as time always seems to do, it got away. Before I knew it, my laptop was packed up with the “non-vacation items” and my brain had officially entered a “no-work zone” before I had time to hit “publish.”

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Though I am still somewhat in southern France vacation mode and wondering why my lunches don’t taste the same – oh yeah, no rosé – I am also happy to reminisce back to unusual sunny skies, ideal weather, cold pints of Guinness, and the slow pace of country life I experienced with my sister-in-law during our few days in Ireland.

Our trip started with a quick visit to Dublin where we toured the Guinness showroom before we headed inland to the Rock of Cashel, the reputed site of the conversion of Aenghus, the King of Munster, by St. Patrick in the 5th century AD. After a tour of what’s left of this 12th-century castle , a few scoops of sheep’s milk ice cream from the sheep next door, and a walk through some nearby ruins from a 13th-century Cistercian monastery, we hit (the left side of) the road for a three-hour scenic drive to the stunning Dingle Peninsula where the majority of our time in Ireland was spent.

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The Dingle Peninsula was an absolute dream and was everything I expected Ireland to be. Bright, floral-front pubs, friendly Gaelic speaking locals, fantastic folk music, green pastures filled with sheep, and jaw-dropping coastal views were everywhere. What I did not expect however were crisp blue skies and unbeatable weather (highs every day were around 72-75 degrees). We weren’t the only ones who were surprised though.  One of my favorite moments of the trip was when my sister-in-law asked a local what the weather was usually like, only to be answered with one firm, almost crankily-stated word: “rain!” Ah well yes, I expected rain too, but was so glad to not see a single drop during our stay.

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Our time spent on the peninsula was filled with multiple rounds of fish and chips on the Dingle harbor, Irish whiskey and cold pints of beer, folk concerts with the local crowd, coffee, pie, tea, and scones with an unbeatable coastal view, farm visits, multiple scoops of “Dingle salt” ice cream (AKA some of the best ice cream I have ever tasted) from Murphy’s Ice Cream, a sheep dog herding demonstration, Star Wars filming location visits,  and a strenuous hike to the top of Mount Brandon, the highest peak on the peninsula.

After three too short days on the peninsula, we headed south to Cork where there wasn’t much time for more than a full Irish breakfast (yum!) and then a flight back to Paris. Thanks, Janna, for flying into Ireland and “forcing me” 😉 to leave France for a few days.

“Snapshots from Provence” coming at you soon!

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