Co-ordinates: S 51º43'15", W 9º32'08"
Weather: Sunny with a cool breeze
Air Temperature: 17.3C / 63F
Pressure: 1015 hPa
Wind: 12 knots
This is the second time the Silver Explorer has come to Glengarriff in sunshine, causing the locals to ask us to come back often as they’ve had a dreadful summer with only two good days in it (or so they said). It was a delightful Zodiac ride to the shore; we were the main entertainment for several passers-by and about a score of common seals that obliged by flopping about for the guests to take pictures.
We set off in two buses for the spectacular ride through the scenery of some of the Ring of Kerry, taking in Kinmare and Smeeth. We stopped to admire the view that so pleased Queen Victoria and her ladies-in-waiting in 1846 that they named it Ladies’ View and we could well see why: a myriad of charmingly laid-out tarns inter-tangled in the soft greens of the hillside below us. Hurray for digital photography – we must have taken hundreds of pictures between us.
It’s not far from there to Muckross House, which is grander than it sounds. We heard a rather tragic tale of the Herberts who, on being told that Queen Victoria would visit for only one night in 1861, went a little crazy over the preparations. They rebuilt parts, had fabulously expensive and lush wallpapers and furnishings made, and even built a personal fire escape for her, should the worst happen. We don’t know if she enjoyed her visit, but we do know that it bankrupted the family who were obliged to sell up to pay some of their debts.
We had an excellent lunch in Killarney with time to explore this charming town before wandering back to the ship via a different route. The scenery is unremittingly stunning and well worth the trip. A good day all round!