Unforgetabble Ireland : Kerry (Part4)

Killarney

Killarney is the largest town of Iveragh Peninsula. Bounded on the west by Killarney National Park, it is within minutes to some of the most beautiful outdoor areas. We did not have time to explore the town itself but visited Muckross House and Killarney National Park.

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On way to Muckross House from Gap of Dunloe, we drove through the town of Killarney.

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Muckross House

Erected on the eastern bank of Muckross Lake, Muckross House enjoys a beautiful view of Purple Mountain, Shelby Mountain and Torc Moutain across the lake. One can walk around the house to the walled garden or hire a jaunty car to explore its ground further away.

We took a guided tour of the house- all tours to the house are automatically directed by a tour guide. The house is a sprawling building elegantly furnished and exquisitely decorated. Photo taking is not allowed inside the house but we learned some interesting history. The Herberts of Muckross built the house in 1843 and hosted Queen Victoria in the house when she visited the area in 1861. The hope to gain royal favor did not come through due to in part the death of Prince Albert in the same year and the huge loan they took renovating the house turned out to be a financial burden too terrible to bear. They lost the house. The last owner of the house was an American business man, W. B. Bourn of California.

Muckross House

Muckross House

The garden

The garden

Muckross Lake

Muckross Lake

Lake side of the house

Lake side of the house

Front façade of the house on the north where the main entrance is located on the right

Front façade of the house on the north where the main entrance is located on the right

Ross Castle

Ross Castle is a 15th century castle built towering over Ross Bay on the eastern bank of Killarney’s Lower Lake. Medieval castles like this spark my husband’s fancy and we turned around back to Killarney and paid the castle a visit. It was already closed however when we arrived at about 6.00PM.

My husband in front of Ross Castle

My husband in front of Ross Castle

Overlooking Ross Bay, Shelby or Purple Mountain

Overlooking Ross Bay, Shelby or Purple Mountain

Castle’s western side facing Ross Bay

Castle’s western side facing Ross Bay

Torc Waterfall

Once back to N71 southbound, it is a short 10 minute drive to Torc Waterfall from Ross Castle. The hike from the roadside parking lot to the fall is another 10 minutes. At the same stop, there is a path leading to higher part of Torc Mountain but we left for Old Weir Bridge instead.

Torc Waterfall

Torc Waterfall

Unusual trees by the fall

Unusual trees by the fall

Old Weird Bridge
From Torc Waterfall, we continued on N71 southwards and easily found the entrance to Old Weird Bridge in a few minutes. Finding Old Weird Bridge itself is a different story.

My hope to drive up close to the bridge evaporated at the sight of a feet long metal stopper squatting in the middle of the road at the head of the trail. Tired and my legs heavy, I still had to see this bridge and Meeting of Water, where the three Killarney lakes converge. Besides, the map at the parking lot marked it as a 15 minute walk.

It took us however 40 minutes. And that was 40 minutes each way. The journey to the bridge felt longer than the journey back. My fatigue was relentless. The quietness permeating the area was somehow unsettling. I doubted. I wavered. But I trudged on. At the end of the day, I was gratified that I made it to the bridge and trekked the most beautiful outdoor trail.

Muckross Lake

Muckross Lake


The thick woods between the Muckross Lake and the path screened the path from the lake for the most part until we reached this point.
Brickeen Bridge

Brickeen Bridge

At last, the double arch Old Weird Bridge

At last, the double arch Old Weird Bridge

Muckross Lake near Dinis Cottage at the Meeting of Water

Muckross Lake near Dinis Cottage at the Meeting of Water

Beautiful lake view

Beautiful lake view

Deep woods

Deep woods

On the way back, Muckross House can be seen across the lake

On the way back, Muckross House can be seen across the lake

Zoomed in to the house

Zoomed in to the house

Woohoo! We made it!

Woohoo! We made it!

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