Trip Report – Ireland: Day 3 – Dingle Peninsula (Tralee to Kenmare)

After a disappointing stay in Tralee (read more about that in my previous post on Day 2), my wife and I departed around 8:30 for the relatively short (1.5 hour) drive to the town of Dingle located on the Dingle Peninsula.  The drive from Tralee crossed completely across the Peninsula and it was quite an amazing landscape.  Here is the only picture I took of the drive (picture taken about 20 KM outside of Tralee prior to reaching center of Peninsula):

View of Bay of Tralee from Northern Side of Dingle Peninsula

I guess at this point it would be prudent to add that my wife swears she thought we were going to die about 25 times + since I continued to pull off on the shoulders of these narrow roads to take pictures.  I think it was absolutely worth it……..

After crossing the peninsula we arrived in the town of Dingle around 10 AM only to discover that since the tour buses had not arrived there was nothing open (quite disappointing to know that the shops only open up once they know buses are scheduled to arrive, takes away some of the authenticity of the place, but I guess it makes sense from a business perspective).  We made the decision to drive up to some of the viking forts established on the peninsula around 800 AD.  The forts are about 10-15 KM west of Dingle but they are worth the drive as it is inexpensive (3 euro per adult) and a pretty interesting look at how they lived.  Here are a few pictures from the fort on the edge of a cliff:

Viking Fort on Dingle Peninsula (**** – 3 euros per person)

One more of the fort

Sheep on the path down to the fort

Looking over the edge of the cliff next to the fort

After spending approximately 45 minutes at the Viking Fort we made our way back to Dingle and discovered that the shops were now open as the tour buses had arrived, lucky us :(.  There is nothing worse than watching a bus disgorge 50 American’s straight into the least appetizing looking restaurant on the entire street but that was the scene that played out in front of us for the next 30 minutes.  Oh well.

My wife and I did enjoy the time we spent in Dingle as it was a very charming town with a great location.  We managed to get away from the coast somewhat into the interior of the town and found some really neat places that were less crowded.  Here are a few pictures from Dingle:

Foxy John’s Bar and Hardware (with my wife in front)

Dingle Waterfront

Chowder ($$ – Would highly recommend eating here, specifically 0ff the specials board. Near the waterfront – blue sign)

After spending about 3 hours in Dingle we began to make our way to Kenmare, our final destination for the night.  The drive took about 2 hours and resulted in us getting quite lost at one point but, no worries, we made it eventually.  We had booked a room for the evening in Kenmare at the Brook Lane Hotel based upon reviews from TripAdvisor.  I must say that this time TripAdvisor completely lived up to the hype and the hotel was all that we had expected.  Here are a couple of pictures:

Exterior of Brook Lane Hotel (145 Euro per night) from walking path into town (5 minutes to city centre)

Room Interior ( Brook Lane Hotel)

Creek on the path into town

Kenmare, Ireland

One more picture of Kenmare, Ireland (*** – Nothing really is a “must see” here but it is a fun town to stopover in)

We did have one frustrating episode in Kenmare that I feel like I should disclose.  When we checked into the hotel the proprietor recommended a restaurant for us that evening.  When we went into town that afternoon we looked over the menu and decided that it did look quite good so we made reservations for later that evening.  After dinner, we decided to have a few pints in a local pub and got to talking to some locals and it turns out that the owner of the hotel also owns the restaurant.  While we had no complaints regarding the restaurant (The name of it is No.35 and it was fantastic) we would have appreciated it if the hotel proprietor would have disclosed this to us when we checked in.  It probably wouldn’t have affected our decision on dinner and may have convinced us to try the restaurant had we been wavering.  I guess my complaint is that I felt it was quite deceptive, and quite frankly bad business practice, to not inform us of this fact when making the recommendation.

However, I tried to not let this cloud my judgement as I truly did like this town and would recommend it to anyone as a good overnight spot.

Look forward to the next installment coming this Thursday: Day 4 – Kenmare to Kinsale (Kerry Peninsula).

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