Ireland - Day 4

Learning to drive again...

Picked up our rental car at Hertz today for the drive between Dublin and Killarney.  I had rented a smallish car because the roads are notoriously narrow.  I'm sure the Hertz counter rep thought he was doing us a favor when he upgraded us to a HUGE Land Rover, but as I soon found out we should have stayed with the smaller car.

I'm not sure if I was more worried about driving on the opposite side or the small roads.  Luckily the first part of our trip was on motorways, so the roads were ok and I adapted to the opposite side drive fairly easily.  Clark did shout out a couple times that I was riding the edge of the road on the left, and I almost took out one sign, but no other issues.  The real fun started when we got off the motorway onto the smaller roads.  They are so narrow, they leave you no margin for error, and the speed limit is 100 kmph, I don't see how this is possible!  It some cases the road just isn't wide enough for two cars to pass, one has to stop and pull off to the side to let the other pass.  And when a large truck goes by, well lets just say I've closed my eyes and held my breath a few times!

The drive to Killarney was scenic.  we stopped at a nice Japenese Garden about an hour out of Dublin in Kildare, it's also the home of the Ireland Stud Farm, odd combination.


Outside of Kanturk we came across a large castle, we were the only ones visiting.

Kanturk Castle, also known as The Old Court, is situated one mile south of Kanturk town, the capital of the ancient Barony of Duhallow.  The Castle was built for MacDonogh MacCarthy, Lord of Duhallow.  The MacCarthys of Duhallow descended from Dermod, the third son of Cormac Fionn MacCarthy Mór (1170-1242), King of Desmond.  The MacDonogh MacCarthys were overlords of Duhallow.  There were three sub-chiefs to MacDonogh.  These were The MacAuliffe, The O'Callaghan, and The O'Keeffe.

The Castle was probably started at the end of the sixteenth century.  On the Map of Ireland made by John Norden between 1609 and 1611, there is a castle shown at "Cantork" (Kanturk) which is almost six English miles west of "Castle Magnere" and 10 English miles south-west of Liscarroll Castle.  Kanturk Castle combines a number of different architectural styles, making it difficult to pinpoint a specific date for its construction.  However, it was normal for a major work such as this to span several years, and the date of completion/suspension of work was probably close to 1618.


Killarney is larger than I had expected, and much more touristy.  Lots of shops and restaurants and hotels.  The Killarney Park Hotel is situation close to downtown, but far enough away from the hustle and bustle.

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