Because of the health problems I had last year, I am unable to fly so whilst planning what we were going to do this year, we both came to the same solution simultaneously.......Ireland.
Beautiful flowers en route
I had only visited once before and it was a very long time ago, in fact we left home on the day of the wedding between Prince Charles and Diana, yes that long. Phil has been but usually on business so hadn't really seen much.
We took ages planning out itinerary, deciding what we wanted to see and how " laid back " it should be, it was a holiday after all and we are not lying on a beach sort of people, at least not at our age.
My sister lived in Ireland for a time and her daughter is still living there. I hadn't seen her for such a long time it was something I had to do, so that decided the area, South West tip which I knew was beautiful.
We decided when and started to plan our route. We both thought Killarney was a must but wanted to see things en route. Phil left the booking of hotels and B&Bs to me but spent ages pouring over maps and looking up things of interest.We had to be a bit careful as my mobility is not as good as it could be so we needed places where my mobility scooter could come into its own.
We booked the ferry from Fishguard to Rosslare, arriving early evening. The drive from home to the ferry took us right across Wales so we decided to book somewhere close to the ferry in Ireland.
View from our bedroom just outside Killarney
I really couldn't have chosen better, we were given a very friendly welcome and when we went into the lounge area we were confronted with a collection of beautiful guitars, some were really old classic makes. Some of my readers may not know that my husband is a jazz guitarist.....I'm sure you can imagine his expression I when he saw them.
The other wonderful thing about the b&b is the owner, he is a real, London trained chef and the food was unbelievable. We had a great nights sleep in a very comfortable bed and after a gourmet breakfast, we were on our way again.
We stayed one night at Cashel, quite an ordinary little town except for the impressive castle at the top of the town. It was very medieval so we didn't think my scooter would cope but it looked great from the outside.
The hotel was comfortable and the staff very friendly so another good sleep and we were on our way to Killarney.
Lots of pretty views on the way but when we got to the hotel.....wow. It was outside of Killarney so we were a bit away from the tourist area but we were overlooking the loch and in a lovely garden. The house was so tastefully furnished and our room was something to behold. I'm sure it's the largest bedroom I have ever been in. The bed was wide enough to get lost in and if you wanted some "me" time there was even another bed there. Our windows looked straight down to the loch. Everything in that room was just perfect.
The lounge area was so well planned with a beautiful staircase owing up to the first floor. Everything gleamed, the oak wood was highly polished and everything was spotless.
Our hosts were a lovely couple, happy to point out things to see and ways to go and their advice was invaluable.
We took that advice next morning and set off to see Muckross House and gardens. That was when my scooter came into it's own, the gardens were fantastic with incredibly beautiful trees and rhododendrons coming into bloom. There were still plenty of Spring flowers out and a little stream winding down alongside a path. It was a magical place.
We had some lunch in their little cafe and then set of for the Ring of Kerry.
The long drive was so worth it, the scenery was spectacular. Phil was totally in awe and I heard him mutter, " we have to move here!" We didn't get all round the ring, we thought we would save some for the next day.
See Part 2 here.