Memories of Ireland: Sunshine on Dingle

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Ireland Week continues here! (see yesterday’s post here)

Day 7 in Ireland marked a turning point in the weather; the grey Irish cloud, that we had grown accustomed too,vanished and dazzling sunshine took its place. Not one to waste the opportunity, we set off to finally explore the famously beautiful countryside of County Kerry. However while most tourists in this situation would head to Killarny and further into the Ring of Kerry, we instead headed further west; into the Dingle Peninsula.

From our hotel in Tralee, we took the N86 road before turning onto the R560 at Knockglass More. From then on we headed to the village of Brandon and Brandon Point beyond it. From the car park below Brandon Point, we simply enjoyed watching the clouds gradually fall away to reveal bright blue skies.

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Good weather finally arrives in Ireland

From the top of Brandon Point, the view stretched all along the northern coastline of Dingle, at this point I learned that in this particular part of Dingle everything was called Brandon, in some form or the other. We stood on Brandon Point, over looking Brandon Bay and Brandon Town and behind us just peaking over the Brandon hills were Mount Brandon and Brandon Peak, all named after St Brandon.

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The mountains of Dingle, just peeking over the lush green hills

After exploring the land of Brandon we headed back up the R560 road, up and up and up. Up into the Connor Pass, the highest mountain pass in Ireland (at 1,496 feet above sea level), here we briefly stopped to take photos before driving down into the town of Dingle.

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The tiny town of Dingle from the top of the Connor Pass

We didn’t stay long in Dingle as we were soon driving along the A559 to Dunmore Head, the most westerly point in Ireland and arguably Europe. The road here got incredibly narrow and followed right along the cliff edge, we couldn’t believe it when huge, tourist packed, buses came speeding towards us. At this time of day the road was jam-packed but eventually we manged to find a place to park and strolled along the road to little cafe for a much needed ice cream. With an ice cream in hand, we sat down and enjoyed the view across the Atlantic Ocean, Dunmore Head and the Blasket Islands, just off the coast. With the sun shining high and with such beautiful surroundings I could of happily laid there for hours on end, but it was not to be sadly.

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Dunmore Head

However I told my parents that and we couldn’t go to the edge of Dunmore Head until sunset, so we turned back to Dingle in search of some supper. When we eventually emerged from a  local restaurant, fed and full, it was time to go and watch the sunset. We raced back to Dunmore Head, which thankfully was a lot less busy, and I raced on to the top of the headland, determined to catch the sunset.

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The Blasket Islands from Dunmore Head

I arrived with plenty of time and settled down to watch the sun sink over Dingle, the Blasket Islands and all the rest of Ireland.

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The sunset over the standing stone which marks the top of Dunmore Head

Plenty of photos were taken that evening and I can assure you it truly was one of the most breathtaking evenings that I have ever witnessed.

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The Dingle Peninsular in the twilight

By the end of the evening I had just about completely fallen in love with Dingle, perhaps this was just because it was the first fully sunny day we’d had in Ireland, but Dingle also reminded me a great deal of Cornwall, with its tiny coastal villages, rocky islands and brilliant sunsets, but unlike Cornwall it also had a 3000 foot mountain range in the middle of it (heaven for me). Dingle also seemed to me to be architecturally Irish, with its green hills, mountains, quaint towns and pubs filled with folk music and Guinness; whenever I heard of Ireland these images would spring to my mind and in Dingle my thoughts were mirrored in every way.

It is a part of the world that I certainly hope to return too, if only to admire its sunset once more

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Sun sets over Dingle

Thus concludes my tale , if you enjoyed this story feel free to write in the comments, or leave like and thanks for reading.

Also don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and visit me at Google+ for more updates and pictures. Or now check out my Facebook page for much more photos of this day and more.

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