Kathleen revisits her leaves
Leaves of modesty in Killarney National Park

The Ring of Kerry and the Tourist City of Killarney

July 12-14, 1999:

Tidy is GoodThe Ring of Kerry forms the centerpiece of many vacations to Ireland. It's literally a ring-shaped road that spans from Killarney to the ocean. We only scratched the surface with a day's drive through it.

Ring of Kerry, looking out to seaThis sign says something about the aspirations of the local towns.

You can see the trademark blue and greens of the Ring of Kerry countryside.


Ring of Kerry looking inland   


We waited till 4pm until the sun came out cause we knew the scenery would be worth it.





Henry going over another fenceHenry going under another fenceNo trip to a part of Ireland would be complete for Henry and Kathleen without a detour to look at megalithic stones.

This one was guarded by some nasty signs and fences.




Stone AlignmentKathleen and the stone alignmentThese stones are some of the tallest in Ireland. We looked out over a blue-green lake in the background and heard the wind whistling past the tall, thin stones.


Tourist cars choking the cityAfter our long day around the Ring, we stopped at Killarney for the night.

Busses at a standstill  






Busses and the cars bring the town to a virtual standstill in the evening. By foot is the only way to travel.

Irish store actually open at 11pmMost towns in Ireland shut down at 5:30, but not Killarney. It starts to bustle at that time, when all the tourists have left the ring and the nearby national park, they go to the stores and pubs looking for the 'Irish experience.'

Here you see us buying souvenirs at 10:30.

Paid musicians   





In the true Irish tradition, musicians gather after work for good craic (fun) and tunes at the local pub. But this is tourist Killarney, and such gatherings can't be left up to chance. This group of musicians is well paid to play for the crowds of mostly Americans.

More paid musiciansThe night we were there, a group of American teenagers were doing Irish step dance routines to this paid band for the amusement of the American crowd.

They just called themselves Irish Dancers.

Sure is a small world.

Next day and the day goes on   

The next day life gets underway with the empty kegs lining the streets as reminders of the previous night's revelries.

As we roamed the town in the daylight, we learned about other lives dependant on the tourist trade.

The Dunne FamilyHere you can see the Dunne family passing on the proud family tradition of playing in the streets for money. They held forth earnestly out of key for hours as we kept passing them through the day. They drew quite a crowd and had cassettes for sale.

Tourists taking a rideFarming doesn't bring in a good living for many anymore, but those who still have land and livestock can do well in the 'on season' by providing these 'jaunting cars' as a service to visitors.

Next to High Cross of Moone

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