Monday, June 13, 2016

Dingle, Ireland

Driving around Dingle during our three days there was absolutely a highlight of our trip. It was definitely one of those places that having a car was necessary and we were glad for our tiny little Nissan Micra so that we got to explore the peninsula at our leisure.

Our journey began at the Cliffs of Moher and we made our way to Dingle. Enroute, we were stopped by a true Irish roadblock! The farmer was herding them with his car - I guess we are in the 21st century? Ha. We drove in to Dingle through Conor Pass and the light was just amazing. We checked into Dingle Skellig Hotel & Peninsula Spa and then went straight off to explore the town. 

We wandered into John Benny's for a late lunch (and some Irish coffees). The seafood chowder was AMAZING and it was just a great little cozy place. We wandered around the marina for a bit before heading to Dingle Distillery. Unfortunately we were a bit early for a whiskey tasting - the distillery is fairly new and hasn't finished aging their whiskey yet. We were able to get a tour and sample the gin and vodka - both of which were yummy!

Since this was technically our first evening, we were pretty wiped. After this, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for our drive around the peninsula the next morning! 

We woke up bright and early the next morning. We had heard that Star Wars was filming at a few points around the peninsula, so we had a few goals for the day - drive around and explore while also looking out for the filming of my childhood obsession. We grabbed some picnic stuff from the store and we were off!

We took the Slea Head route, and while the drive would theoritically only take a few hours to accomplish, you also have to factor in the frequent stops for pictures and hiking! The weather was absolutely gorgeous, so we found ourselves pulling over constantly to snap a shot or twenty.

Once we started approaching the Ballyferriter golf course, we saw signs of filming. Between the helicopters and security guards advising people to "move along", we knew we were getting close! Finally, we saw the huts! Lucking out into a free viewing session on a telescope, we nabbed a picture through my iPhone of the huts and filming of someone in a white robe (thus the weirdness of the picture below). I feel so lucky to have witnessed ACTUAL filming of Star Wars. For those of you who don't know, this was literally my childhood. I can't tell you how many times I've seen each movie (but it definitely exceeds 50), so this was really an unexpected dream come true. 

We continued along the rest of the route, stopping to eat our picnic lunch and enjoy the views. And take more pictures of cows. :)

That evening, we wandered back into Dingle to ruin our dinner with ice cream at Murphy's. This is a mandatory stop for sure! We had reservations for dinner at Out of the Blue restaurant where we had my favorite dish of the trip - fresh mussels. We ended our night at Dick Mack's pub. We sampled a variety of Irish whiskey and made friends with a local when I shared my whiskey with him. Or just gave him the rest...he was toasted. 

Our last morning, we had time to snap a few shots around our hotel before we were off on our next adventure - Killarney National Park and the Beara Peninsula!

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