The Emerald Isle – Final Days!

You would think that after 4 packed days, we would’ve decided to relax a little, but that wasn’t the case. We were off to go horseback riding through the hills of Ireland first thing in the morning! This was by far my favorite part of the trip. It doesn’t get any better than being on horseback and being out in the open hills of Ireland! An absolutely amazing adventure that we’d recommend everyone to try in Ireland (How do you think people got around hundreds of years ago)! Once the 4 hour horseback riding adventure was over, we headed out to Curraghmore Castle. It is an estate still owned by the same family that has been passed down through generations. We finally ended the day in Waterford with a delicious dinner before heading back to the villa.

On our last day, we went kayaking in Killarney for 5 hours where we got to explore the Lough Leane and kayaked around Ross Castle. The tour was really extensive and we were able to get a lot of sights in that we normally wouldn’t have on foot. We then headed over to the town of Killarney to grab a late lunch and explore the town a little. It was extremely cute and as always, the food was delicious! Once we were full, we set out to explore Killarney National Park. We first stopped by Muckross House to take a tour of the home. Once we finished exploring the Muckross House grounds, we got back in the car to drive around the National Park. We first hiked up to see the Torc Waterfall and drove up for a glimpse of the Ladies View. We finished the day with dinner and drove back to our villa for the final time.

img_4350
The horse back riding place had the two cutest dogs that came along for the ride.
013b57edde54dd979d2b14dfdfd880dcd62b025ff8_00001
I adored the horses we had!
img_4377
A treat is always nice to give!
01f266ffd170dde3cc6bc01ad87c99380670d92d1f
My horse’s name was Sweetie. She was the sweetest and gentlest horse I’ve had a pleasure to ride on!
img_4357
The hills were so vast and you can spot the two dogs in the background!
01569033e14e1e745687c7b08b44897a0c6d9d55c4_00001
There’s always a random farm scattered around the countryside!
01ce974b56080d6109fdad471d788298cc0612df1c_00001
Our guide was wonderful! We really enjoyed her stories and her expertise with the horses.
01c14ea98155f6bf007f7dbff0201ddc3a8f7af59a_00001
We had to get a picture of the two of us in the hills of Ireland before we departed to our next planned adventure!
0137bc591b517a3dbce5efe68be59160bf921ef7e5_00001
This is Curraghmore House.
01cf0d68976ffb6b153a5a6972d1cd27e42a631682_00001
It’s really impressive and the grounds are beautiful. It’s situated in the middle of nowhere amidst a lot of acres.
0103808736fb8db7fd23e5d1897cce3270818a75bd
The butler that takes care of the current family was extremely nice and took us on a tour of the grounds.
016223e57fe20fc8765ec5d549755c0d7ea4bfd0d6_00001
There is a shell house situated on the property that was built by one of the wives a long time ago.
01e35d31e88c9d8cfa192a72ef22561b4ed4fd5501
It literally contained hundreds of shells that were brought to her and it became a hobby of hers.
01775081659d65a179a267c06c0a4e42b21a49a50e
We were hungry by the time the house tour was over! We ended up going to Waterford and had dinner at a restaurant called Bodega. Absolutely amazing food!
017b99ac24ab2b115d383a4de225322656fc414452_00001
We were off the next morning to go kayaking.
img_4466
Even though it was a chilly and cloudy morning, the sights were worth it!
img_4440
This picture almost reminds me of mountains and lakes in Asia.
img_4472
We had to kayak through passages!
img_4475
I just sat back and relaxed while he padded away for us!
img_4469
Coming up to the castle from the lake perspective was really cool and topped the tour off nicely!
013e177a0f108b32a64e1717fad2eb94f708f1ca2a
Then we were off to the Killarney National Park and this was the first stop.
0174bc4a9498e867b344edfdfc8e63ab4d28b3a746
Muckross house was really great to explore!
0140bdb49055e1e67845d4bc609d0d8f7159ae650b
The gardens and grounds around the house were fun to explore!
0111263bb9ccaa7e812bfbc2e05556966cfb03ffe2
It’s situated by the same lake that we kayaked on (we didn’t kayak that far though).
013dffa8775ac3a8599607a401e5d5f7b4be311cf5_00001
The Torc Waterfall was tough to get to.
0146b7ac741771e1ddcb1f781732db1ebae1d6fc17
There were a lot of steps that were well built leading up and down to the waterfall.
01ea9c9c098a1489128cb6acb14c4ee82c9b00792b
Such a pretty waterfall!
018bc68c88aa47fbb64428e7905176677b1f2b4ecc_00001
The views around the Torc Waterfall allowed us to take a great picture.
01191a0ec88a16d5dec0947d383ea1c34aff4087af
Then we drove on to the Ladies View.
01ada316d22bcc8fc54cd9f27624af2c21953c7dae
Ireland is such a diverse country! So much to see and do!
014fe84f99d937cdb1b98ff6a68822f77632fa4878
We couldn’t pass up a beautiful sunset!
015a12752fe8ddd83f37a81954e4f0575ed27016af
We waited for it to set before we headed back to the hotel and called it a night and farewell to Ireland!

The Emerald Isle – 3rd & 4th day

We had no time to spare and were off on more adventures the next morning. Our mornings began really early around 5 or 6 with a quick breakfast in our villa. We ended up going to a local grocery store and figured breakfast would be easy to make with eggs, ham, and cheese between some bread! Simple ingredients, but they were delicious and wonderfully fresh!

I love castles, who doesn’t, right? We visited two different castles on the 3rd and 4th days that took up most of the day. On the first day, we visited Blarney Castle and Gardens. This castle has a famous ‘Blarney Stone’ that is meant to be kissed for good luck. Many line up at the top of the Castle to kiss the bottom of this stone. The grounds of the castle were beautiful and easily took up several hours of exploration! We then headed to the city of Cork and visited the English Market. The second day, we visited Bunratty Castle and Folk Park. This was a special castle in that it was mainly intact with representations of what it may have looked like at some point. It was attached to a folk park that had a little village and other houses representing the time during the Castle’s period. Lastly, we were able to squeeze in a hike in Sheepshead way that offered breathtaking views!

img_3993
We started out at Blarney Castle
img_3994
It was intact from the outside
img_3996
It’s astounding to see up close like this!
img_3999
The interior was captivating as well
img_4002
There was a fireplace still intact even though the floor fell away!
img_4009
Really cool to explore all over!
img_4022
The views from the top showed beautiful fields
img_4036
The skeleton of the castle that is left over gives a good image of what castles were like.
img_4065
We then started exploring the grounds and came across various things
img_4067
There was a fern garden on the grounds as well
img_4068
The steps were intricate on the way down!
img_4077
There was a beautiful waterfall mixed in with the fern garden
img_4094
There was also a cave located on the grounds
img_4096
We were actually able to go inside and explore! Pictures inside didn’t turn out great due to how dark it was.
img_4105
This was a picture from the other side of the castle grounds. Extremely impressive!
img_4119
Beautiful gardens and stone walls throughout
img_4138
More beautiful gardens
img_4146
Absolutely lovely to walk around!
img_4149
More waterfalls spread throughout!
img_4150
There were walkways built among gardens
img_4156
Lovely walk through trellis
img_4163
We just had to take a picture inside of it
img_4172
The wishing steps were fun and one of the last attractions to see!
img_4197
The drive to Cork was interesting full of colorful houses! Even though it was raining, we were able to get some good pictures!
img_4199
The English Market had a lot of fresh produce, meats, seafood, and locally produced goods.
img_4206
Such cute cobble stone alleys that led us to a pub and then we headed home.
img_4236
Bunratty Castle was impressive!
img_4237
The setting was done well to really depict the right times!
img_4239
This was the great hall.
img_4243
This was a common area.
img_4246
The staircases in the castles were difficult to climb.
img_4250
The rooms were surprisingly small!
img_4267
This appears to be a King’s chamber.
img_4274
The grounds had a delicious dessert shop that had homemade desserts that were to die for along with tea! A must reprieve after all of the castle exploring.
img_4294
Interesting period dated homes throughout the grounds!
img_4306
On our drive back out towards Sheepshead way, we couldn’t help from taking pictures of interesting buildings.
img_4315
As we began our hike through Sheepshead way, the weather and views were amazing!
img_4321
It started to drizzle a little bit while we were spotting some sheep!
img_4330
And then it began to rain much harder as we were deep into our hike with nothing around, but sheep to keep us company!
img_4331
There were these adorable little lambs feet away from us!
img_4334
And more gorgeous scenery.
img_4342
And a final close up of the cutest lamb!