My first solo travel was as ironical as it could get since I met the most people I have ever in any of my travel ventures. I took the opportunity to go visit my cousin in Dublin and tour the country on my own. My favorite place out of all parts of Ireland that I visited was Killarney, which was a three hour train ride from Dublin with a train change in Mallow. My impromptu visit to the small town of Killarney based of the recommendation of a local in Dublin turned out to be the highlight of my two week trip in Ireland.
Killarney is a small town in the south of Ireland located adjacent to the Killarney National Park where nature is at its best. The town seemed to be very compact and walk-able and my hostel was only 10 minutes from the train station. I stayed at the Black Sheep Hostel and by all means recommend staying there while travelling to Killarney. It was my first hostel experience as well and it was just so exciting that I was doing so many things for the first time in my life. Since I was a little tired from the train ride, I took some time to unwind and relax in the hostel garden. There were home grown veggies and a small chicken farm in the back of the hostel which had a little shed area to lounge. I remember wrapping a blanket around since it was a little chilly and filling out my gratitude book. It felt so relaxing to just sit down and do nothing for a bit and just be thankful.
As I was starting to make some green tea for myself in the dining area of the hostel, I met some fellow travelers. There was one who just arrived and was quite curious to explore the area. I got to know her more and we decided to go explore the Killarney National Park for the little daylight we had remaining for the day. It was at a walking distance from our hostel about five minutes away. As I stepped into the National Park, I couldn’t believe the natural beauty that encompasses Killarney. We walked along this pathway where I could hear several male deer grunting as it was the mating season. The pathways were well marked and the weather seemed perfect. The clear skies with the flock of birds flying over the group of deer seemed magical. There were not many people within our vicinity and it felt wonderful to be out there in nature all by ourselves. I remember enjoying conversations about being mindful and being in the present.
As it got darker, we made our way back to our hostel. We stopped at the grocery store to get some vegetables and cooked our dinner at the hostel that night. We also went out to the little town later at night to enjoy some Irish music while sipping on some cider. I couldnt have asked for a better first night and went back to bed so thankful to God. I was very excited for the next day and was really looking forward to exploring the Gap of Dunloe.
I was happy that the weather was sunny the morning of the tour. There was a vintage car that drove us to the Kate Kearney’s cottage which was about a twenty minute drive. There onwards I made my way into the Gap of Dunloe in a jaunting cart with the horse Lily who was mid age about 10 years old. We rode along hills and valleys of the Gap of Dunloe overlooking grazing sheep and the most stunning scenery I have ever seen in my life. It was raining, sunny, windy and chilly at the same time , our guide called it the Irish mist. The sight of the colorful sheep grazing along the valleys and chilling in random spots along the road was just so adorable. It was a sight that is going to stay in my memory forever.
The jaunting cart’s dropped at another little cafeteria by the lakes of Killarney so the onward journey was by a boat towards the Ross Castle. I remember enjoying the deep blue calming water of the lake surrounded by all kinds of rock formations. I met some more fellow travelers along the way and enjoyed conversations with them in the boat ride. As we reached the Ross Castle, the weather was perfectly sunny and the castle stood right next to the lake in a beautiful location. Soon after the tour driver dropped everyone back in the town of Killarney.
Since it was still the middle of the day around 3 pm and there were a couple of daylight hours still left, I wanted to go see the Muckross house house and Abbey since I heard so much about its history. I hopped on a taxi to go there and the driver was so helpful to show me the scenic walkway back to Killarney through the national park. The beautiful old house of Muckross stood by the Muckross lake surrounded by well marked pathways in the Killarney National Park. Out of no where there was this horse carriage ride which offered me a ride towards Killarney and it felt like I was living a fairy tale moment. After walking a couple miles I finally arrived at the hostel and decided to stay indoors and keep it low key that night.
Soon after the next day I had another tour booked with Paddywagon to see the Ring of Kerry. I am happy I did so since it was a rainy day , the bus tour was the best way to go. The bus made its way through different villages along the scenic drive. The guide showed us deers and sheeps along the way while describing how the different farm owners have colored the sheeps for recognition purpose. We made various stops along the way and my favorite was the last stop which was the Torc waterfall. The waterfall looked more dense and flowy because of the rains.
As it was getting closer to sunset, I was starting to realize that my precious trip to Killarney was coming to an end. But I was still so happy and full of memories. I turned back to take a last capture of the beautiful little town and then made my way to the train station. At the end I was so proud to have made the decision to explore Killarney by myself. Have you ever traveled on your own? What was your experience like! Please Share!