After leaving Limerick we headed to the north side of the Dingle Peninsula, where we spent a day scuba-diving at Castlegregory (in water at 13°C!).
|looking towards our dive site|
|near our accommodation (Harbour House) at Castlegregory|
|fruit of wild honeysuckle|
|cow in a field|
|Fresh Irish scallops and black pudding|
The next day we toured the Peninsula and adjacent Ring of Kerry, a famous panoramic loop. The scenic 456-metre high Conor Pass connects the town of Dingle, on the south-western end of the Dingle Peninsula, with Castlegregory in the north-east, and is one of Ireland's highest Irish mountain passes served by an asphalted road.
|Looking north from Conor Pass|
|near Slea Head, a promontory in the westernmost part of the Peninsula|
The Skellig Islands, 12km out into the Atlantic, have a gannet population of 50,000!
|seagull with Skellig Islands in the background|
The Blasket Islands are Ireland's most westerly. The next stop west is Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada. Legend has it that inhabitants' homes were decorated by elements from shipwrecks. The last permanent residents left in 1953.
|Blasket Islands, off the Kerry coast|
|Looking towards Blasket Islands|
|near Dunquin, Dingle Peninsula, the most westernmost part of Europe|
|west Dingle peninsula|
|Scariff Island (right) and Deenish Island, off the Kerry coast|
Heading towards Killarney, we stumbled across a sheepdog display.
|Sheepdogs herding flock of sheep|
About 18km before reaching Killarney, we stopped off at the scenic point known as Ladies View, whose name apparently stems from the admiration of the view given by Queen Victoria's ladies-in-waiting during their 1861 visit.
|Ladies View near Killarney|
Priest's Leap is the highest pass in Ireland, crossing from County Cork to County Kerry. The road up is single-track and very steep. The placename stems from an old legend, in which a priest pursued by soldiers escaped by a miraculous leap of his horse from a mountain cliff in the townland of Cummeenshrule into County Cork.
|sheep contemplating the landscape from Priest's Leap|
|view from Priest's Leap|
|Kerry/Cork county border|
We finished our trip to Ireland in Cork, Ireland's second city. It has a long history of butter making, and in the 1860s it was the world's largest butter market, exporting throughout the British Empire.
|Firkin Crane, where the barrels or casks of butter were weighed |
(now a dance centre)
|The old Butter Exchange|
|Millennium bridge over the River Lee, Cork|
|Hurling players practising|