Thursday, March 22, 2012

Portmagee and The Ring of Kerry

Since at least half of us had a good night's sleep (Jamie and Carla, not so much), we took off Sunday morning for The Ring of Kerry. This part of Ireland is County Kerry and the scenic drive around this southwestern part of Ireland is called The Ring of Kerry. 

Our first stop is Portmagee, another fishing village. The best known restaurant here is The Bridge Bar, overlooking the harbor.

The Bridge Bar opened for the season two days ago. Good timing.

View of the Harbor and Valentia Island from a Bridge Bar window. As you might have guessed, there's a bridge to Valentia Island just out of view. Not a spectacular bridge, but a still a bridge.

A very busy place. Either because it's popular, or because it's the only place that's open. Maybe both.

Larger than it looks from the outside.

I liked it, but nothing compares very well if you've eaten at Out Of The Blue in Dingle. 

Refueled and ready to carry on.

The Atlantic. 

When we left Portmagee we decided to take a side trip to The Ring of Skellig, a smaller loop off of the Ring of Kerry loop that takes you to views of the Skellig Islands. The Skellig Islands are two rocky islands, the larger of which is Skellig Michael, with a 6th century monastery near its top, and 700 stone steps leading up to it. Between April and October, weather permitting (and it's not permitting more than two-thirds of the time), you can take a boat to the larger island and climb to the monastery. 

The Ring of Skellig highway, above, is not a major highway. Or maybe it is. Hard to tell here. 

This road kept Robin on her toes and alert. A winding, narrow lane with blind, sharp corners.

The Ring of Skellig drive provides lots of different ocean views.

Jamie takes advantage of the photo ops.

Aha! Our first glimpse of Skellig Michael. At this point we thought it was the probably the only view of it we would have.

I'll bet this road is packed with cars and tour busses in the summer season.

Our search for the Skellig Islands continues.