Monday, May 16, 2011

"Are Ya DAFT?" Driving through Killarney, Killorglin, and County Kerry

Jon and Priscilla came to Ireland for their vacation, and came down to Kinsale to spend a week with us.  Priscilla is Penny's sister, and like myself, Jon was in the U.S. Navy.  We had a marvelous time with them.

We took a drive to the southwesternmost areas of Ireland.  County Kerry has a striking countryside.  We took small roads through small towns, and ended up in Killarney where we parked and had lunch.  This area is heavily republican.  There are IRA memorials in several towns, as well as in Killarney itself.  We headed out to drive through the Iveragh Peninsula.  We headed west from Killarney and passed through Killorglin.  We couldn't find the road that we wanted, and so Penny asked passersby for directions.  The first one turned out to be Russian and didn't know where anything was.  The second was a grandmotherly type.  It turned out that she didn't drive at all.  She asked Penny if she was from Dublin.  Really!  When she found out she was from the USA, the lady couldn't stop saying "God Bless America!"  Agreeable sentiments aside, she was of no help.  So we tried again, and found a road heading out of town.

We stopped at a gas station and supermarket complex.  Penny went inside to ask directions and got this from a very helpful woman:  "Are ya daft?"  "Why would ya want to go on that road?"  She then recommended that we take a different road to Bantry and return to Kinsale from there.  By the way, at this point we were about a half mile away from the village of Ballykissane, which is adjacent to Killorglin.  If you have ever seen the television series Ballykissangel, this is the inspiration for the town even though it was filmed in County Wicklow.

Daft though we may be, we followed the woman's advice and headed out again.  I am getting quite used to driving right-hand cars on the left-hand side of the road.  I just have to remember to keep left and to look to the right for priority traffic when entering a roundabout.  So far, so good!

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