I Couldn’t Even Put Its Name In The Title

Let’s get the giggling out of the way right now, shall we? Say it with me: Dingle, Dingle, Dingle.

Feel better?

One more, just in case. I’ll wait.

Okay. It’s a relief you can’t hear me giggle every time I type it, because then there’d be no denying my inner 12-year-old.

I Couldn’t Even Put Its Name In The Title  So let’s get serious and be adults. First off, the good news: when we left Galway to head to the Dingle peninsula (*snicker* Agh! How did that get out?), we got our first correct directions of the trip. They only involved a left out of the hotel and a right onto the road, but still – thrilling.

On the way we took a ferry (18 euros at the mouth of the River Shannon), which was easy and saved us the ton of miles had we gone around. Drive on, pay, drive off. So civilized.

I Couldn’t Even Put Its Name In The Title

You didn’t think you’d get a post without old buildings, did you?

Touring Ireland you see how every small town is precious, and every countryside lush and soft. The sweetness was overwhelming, and I wouldn’t have been at all surprised if an adorable leprechaun had sprung from behind a tree and did a little jig just for our benefit. (Just how cute is the country? I had that vision completely sober.)

Plus there were no untidy houses anywhere – even the run-down ones were neat and clean. There weren’t any trashed singlewides or junkyards masquerading as landscaping like some places (ahem) I know.

I Couldn’t Even Put Its Name In The Title

Fashion-forward color choices!

While exploring the peninsula we stayed in Annascaul at The Old Anchor Inn. Lovely proprietors (Brian and Beata), a tiny but spotless room, plus free Wi-Fi and breakfast made to order. (Well, sort of. I asked for scrambled eggs and toast and got the eggs perched atop two pieces of buttered rye. Not how I had it pictured, but tasty nonetheless.)

Plus it was three doors down from Hanifan’s Bar with its wood-burning fireplace, framed photos of the Annascaul Walking Club, and red Christmas lights. Hanifan’s had a classic cast of characters including the bartender/owner who knew everyone’s name and what they drank, the been-around-the-block but smart and sassy single lady, the lovable drunk, and the fun and chatty lesbian couple. (Maybe that last one wasn’t so classic, but welcome regardless.)

I think we had a nightcap there every night we were in Annascaul, and I was disappointed when the bartender didn’t call us by name and start pouring our Guinness when we walked in. Probably needed a couple more nights for that.

I Couldn’t Even Put Its Name In The Title

Dingle: The Anti-Taos

The meals were great the entire trip, like at The Boatyard Restaurant in Dingle Town (yep, that’s what they called it, and I managed to keep a straight face every time). I had a spectacular Quattro of crab that included cakes, bisque, claws, and quiche. Also, thank God, a hearty serving of fries/chips. My potato levels had dropped since lunch, and I was in serious need of a carb injection, so – whew! – crisis averted.

I Couldn’t Even Put Its Name In The Title

I’m not a fan of animals as entertainment, but the dog did look proud.

Other highlights included the 4,000 year-old beehive huts, and Minard Castle:

I Couldn’t Even Put Its Name In The Title

The sign on the lower left says, “No, it’s not a good idea to get closer for a ‘better shot.'”

I Couldn’t Even Put Its Name In The Title

The beach below the castle.

Gallarus Oratory was beautiful in its simplicity:

I Couldn’t Even Put Its Name In The Title

This one’s a kid at only 1300 years old, and still dry inside when it rains.

Make sure you drive Slea (“slay”) Head. It’s spectacular:

I Couldn’t Even Put Its Name In The Title

Ahhhh.

There’s so much to see on the peninsula that Mom and I were sad to leave and yet, as always, we were also ready to get home. It was an easy day’s drive from Dingle across the southern half of the country and up the east coast to Dublin. Only one day to drive across Ireland! Small country but a big, big heart. Not to be missed.

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