Thursday, April 13th–Killarney, Co Kerry

Where to set up my laptop?; quiet morning at home; long walk over to the Deerpark shopping center for groceries & Slimfast, with a stop at the Franciscan friary along the way; a kabob lunch; Boots & Tesco; by cab back to the apartments; looking for an ATM and lunch; booking a tour for later in the week; buying caps at Quills Woolen Market; pastry run to the local French bakery; a late dinner at Bricin boxty house

Park Place Apartments

Silver VW Jetta

Slideshow

5/7/2017

It's now just past 11:15 PM and I only got home from a late dinner about half an hour ago.

Using my laptop on the dining table with the chairs that are too low for a prolonged period of time, such as when I was typing up my notes from yesterday last night, proved to be rather uncomfortable. Today I moved my laptop over to the coffee table and am trying that instead. It seems that by pulling the laptop more towards me than just to the edge of the table makes it fairly comfortable.

I did a fair amount today but there's not that much to say about it. I think I overloaded the small washer/dryer last night and several times today had to try breaking the larger load down into smaller loads and running those through instead. That seems to be working but during what is supposed to be a drying cycle the machine keeps making noises that sound a lot like washing.

I slept very well last night and woke up about 9 AM. I wasn't in a hurry to do anything or get moving so I spent some time figuring out what I want to do here in Killarney and when and making some calls to find out about a couple of shows that sound interesting. Even though I went to a couple of them when I was here last July they were wonderful and I'd rather pay to see them again than try to find a pub to hear some traditional music in.

One of the shows I want to see, Gaelic Roots, is at the Killarney Avenue Hotel which is part of the change that owns the Park Place Apartments, where I'm staying. When I checked in yesterday Maia told me I could book a ticket to the show with them here at the hotel.

Sometime after 12:30 PM I set out to walk over to where the Boots and Tesco are. On the way out I stopped by reception to book a ticket for the show and ask where to take my recycling and trash and whether I could get two more laundry detergent pads and a couple of rolls of toilet paper.

The walk took me through the center of town and out one side a bit into the suburbs to the Deerpark Centre mall. On the way I passed the Shire pub, Killarney's own and Ireland's only Lord of the Rings themed bar. I didn't stop this time but I will definitely go back since it's less than a 10 minute walk away from here. I did stop to visit the lovely chapel at the Franciscan friary which was not much further along the way.

When I got to the corner where the Deerpark Centre is located I stopped for lunch at a small café on the corner where I had to ask what about half the items on the menu were since there are few places like it where I live in South Florida and I didn't go into many places like it in London or Scotland although they're quite popular there, Mixor Kebab. I ordered their mixed kebab meal and received a huge amount of food, far more than I could eat. I only could handle about a quarter of the fries and only about half of the delicious meat.

When I went across the street at the intersection I was surprised and amused to see that the very first property right there nearest a main intersection is a large field full of sheep. Going up the street the first property you come to after that is a huge Aldi. I've liked other Aldis I've been to before but I wanted to go to the Boots up the road and then would probably just go to the Tesco there instead of walking back down to the Aldi with my restock of Slimfasts.

The Boots is behind the very large Tesco in a medium size mall with several other shops including a branch of the Argos stores which I went to several times in various cities on my trip last summer and where in fact I bought the Nikon camera body I'm still using but not the lens it originally came with since it stopped working in Edinburgh (perhaps due to the weather?) and which I replaced there, as well as a Carphone Warehouse which I've been to in Scotland and London.

I did find Slimfast at the Boots and bought six of them. I then walked back around the corner to the Tesco and stocked up on yogurts, juices, some cookies, instant decaf coffee but forgot to buy some sugar or sweetener, and milk. I next called a cab for the short trip back here. My cabby was a nice guy and when I told him I had walked over from here he teased me that if I had been a local I probably walked across the fields but even when he does so he is never entirely sure where the bulls are.

When I came upstairs to drop off my groceries and to put some of them in the fridge I noticed that the toilet paper had been dropped off but instead of getting more of the laundry detergent pads I had a second bottle of dishwashing liquid. I wanted to go find an ATM and wander around the neighborhood some more so I took the dish soap back down to reception to exchange for the laundry detergent pods, and the ladies there (one of whom was Maia from yesterday) gave me the correct receipt/voucher for tomorrow's show.

There are two ATMs at banks within a five minute walk from here and I remembered correctly that one of them is on the street you turn onto to get to the Tourist Information office so that's the one I got to first. I was also looking for the office where I saw the Ring of Kerry tours to book one for tomorrow and found it after heading back to the street the Park Place Apartments are on but turning and going further down it towards St Mary's church instead of back towards here. That's where I found the second bank with an ATM I remembered and the tour office where I booked the Ring of Kerry tour for tomorrow.

On the way back I stopped in at the enormous Quills woolen market where I really wished I didn't live in fairly warmer South Florida and could actually wear the wonderful things they sold there. I did, however, find four very nice caps which I did buy.

Right before getting back to the corner where the Apartments are I noticed that the small French bakery which I'd seen after it was closed last night was open, so I of course went in and it's the kind of place Dad would love. I bought a cookie and a couple of pastries for later and if I'd had dinner earlier would have had them this evening. I'll have them with a Slimfast for breakfast tomorrow instead.

I hung out here past 8 PM before heading out to find somewhere to eat, probably later than I should have waited. Most of the shops were closed by then. I wanted to have dinner at Bricin restaurant and boxty house which is upstairs from their large craft store. Boxty is rather like the Alsatian gallette but instead of being a wheat pancake is made from potatoes. When I got there about 8:30 PM the host told me I'd have to wait until around 9:15 to get a table; a couple who were waiting before me couldn't wait but I said I'd come back.

I went back downstairs and wandered around the huge craft store and then back down the street. I went into a smaller souvenir shop down the street and across the road which I hope I can find again because they had some Ireland jackets that I hope they have in a size that will fit me and because they have packs of at least half a dozen Irish guitar picks. I think I'll buy about half a dozen of those, take them home with me, and once I'm back I'll contact some of my musician friends from the Renaissance Festival who came to dinner at my house and find out where I can air mail the picks to them.

I still had a few minutes to kill before heading back to the restaurant at 9. There was a musician playing outside but all he was doing when I could hear him were anti-Donald Trump and anti-Hillary Clinton songs to the tune of famous American folk songs although they were rather amusing the first time I heard them. He was telling people he had to leave at 9 to head down the street to Danny Mann's which is famous for its Irish music but I decided that if he was tonight's entertainment I wasn't interested. Besides I wasn't sure how long dinner would take.

Dinner at Bricin, and the place itself, was very, very good. I had several minutes to look at the menu while I was waiting to be seated and decided that the 30 Euro set meal was the best choice. I had their seafood chowder for starter, the boxty with chicken for the main, and the crumble for dessert along with a bottle of the Scarlet Pimpernel, a locally brewed pale ale. After that I headed back here.

I took a short break here to take the third and final smaller load of laundry out of the washer/drier after running it through the drying cycle a couple of times. I'm leaving here next Wednesday so I think I'll do a small load Saturday night and a last load next Tuesday night.

I have fairly firm plans for what I want to do here in Killarney between now and when I leave next Wednesday.

Tomorrow, which is Good Friday, I'm going on the day tour around the Ring of Kerry. It leaves from the ticket office at 10:30 AM so I need to leave here between 10 & 10:15. Then that evening is the Gaelic Roots show at 8:30 PM. The show is at the Killarney Avenue Hotel which is only about a fifteen minute walk from here but I think I'll probably take a taxi back here instead.

Saturday night I plan on going to the Irish Nights at the Jarvey's Rest pub which is at the Muckross Park hotel & spa. A jarvey is a driver of the horse carriages traditional here in Killarney. The show's later but if I want to go to the dinner as well I need to be there well before 7 PM. The hotel's only about a 10 minute drive from here but apparently an hour's walk so I might take a cab over and back. There is quite a bit of parking at the hotel, which is quite near another place I really want to go to, Muckross House and its gardens and traditional farms which also has lots of parking. I went to Muckross House by horse carriage last summer on the day I was leaving Killarney for my next stop but didn't have time to take the tour of the interior or wander around and see the gardens and farms then so I think that's how I'll spend the afternoon.

There is a huge event venue here in Killarney, the INEC or Ireland's National Events Centre. When I checked their web site to see who was playing while I'm here I saw that the High Kings, a very popular Irish folk group, is playing Easter Sunday so I called and booked a ticket to that. The concert's at 9:30 PM but the venue has two or three restaurants or cafes there so I think I'll try to be there around 7 to have dinner. INEC is about a half an hour walk from here so I'll probably walk over and take a cab back. From what I can tell from its web site, Ross Castle doesn't seem to be affected by Sunday being Easter but looks like it's open its usual hours. I've been there twice (once on the CIE tour eleven years ago and last summer as part of my trip through the Gap of Dunloe and the Lakes of Killarney) but have never had time to take the tour of the inside. If I'm lucky and the boat tours (http://www.killarneylaketours.ie/choose-a-tour/waterbus) are running I might also try and get out on the water. The castle's about a 45 minute walk from here. I probably won't walk all the way over and back but just there and then take a carriage back to where I can catch a cab back here.

Monday night I'm going to the Celtic Steps show, which I enjoyed very much when I saw it back in July, again. It's out at the race course so I've arranged a shuttle from here to there and back again with pick up at 7:40.

Tuesday, my last night here in Killarney, I think I'll try and hear some traditional music in a pub one last time.

There are three other places I really want to go back to, two a lot closer than the other. The incredibly lovely St Mary's cathedral is only about five minutes from here as the crow flies but due to no road going from here directly to there is a fifteen minute walk. The Shire bar is only a ten minute walk from here. The place I want to go that's further away is Blarney, both the small town itself and the castle and its grounds as well. They're only about an hour and a half's drive from here. So, depending on the weather next week, I'll go to the cathedral or Blarney on Monday or Tuesday.

And now it's after 1:15 AM. I need to get up around 9 AM to be at the departure point for my day tour of the Ring of Kerry tomorrow on time. I'm going to watch a bit of something streaming then go to bed.


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