IRISH SUNBURN

muckross abbey

The morning began in tranquility as sounds of the city were absent from this far away retreat in the Emerald Isle. The sun was up early and as I was getting ready for breakfast, I kept checking outside both windows for signs of the Kerry Red Deer. I noticed one deer crossing the driveway to the woods across the way. A few minutes later, another one joined the first.

Breakfast commenced at 08,00h. Initially, I wanted to sit outside on the patio but all of the tables were set up inside the glass-enclosed dining area looking out onto the beautiful mountains and surrounding greenery. On occasion, deer would wander near the patio but not this morning. Only the birds were out.

Many options were available for breakfast. I started with a small croissant, a few red and green grapes, and orange slices.  Then there was a lovely wheat bread which I enjoyed with butter and blueberry jam and later with some Brie and Irish cheddar. For the hot part of the meal, I opted for two poached eggs which were an intense orange colour unlike anything I have seen before which made for a wonderful flavour. Lastly, I had a small cube of orange cake speckled with orange zest.

croissant and grapes

Around 10,00h, we set out for a walk to the park to see the lake. On our way down the driveway, we saw a group of red deer grazing in the field. What started out as a walk turned into more of a 12 or 13 kilometer hike to first see the Muckross Abbey and then the town centre of Killarney. Seeing how luck was on our side with the weather, the Irish sun kissed our faces, necks, and scalps an intense red. 

red deer
muckross abbey light
muckross abbey spiral staircase

On our walk back from Killarney, we stopped at a local park and sat on a bench enjoying the sounds of the water rushing under the bridge. We stayed until we were rested enough to move on.

There were bunnies along the way and a pottery shop where I perused the wares of a local artist. When we finally reached the parking lot of Jarvey's Pub, which also housed Monk's Lounge, we went inside to check out the menu for afternoon tea.

The only other people in the restaurant besides us were a group of five or six people seemingly planning a wedding. We sat at the same table as we did last night and ordered a simple meal. I ordered soup and a scone whilst he ordered a club sandwich. We expected this to take no longer than ten minutes. However, as the minutes turned into half an hour with no sign of the waitress, we decided to leave.

As we were leaving, the wait staff inquired about our stay at their hotel. We informed them we were not guests and decided to keep going, not mentioning the poor service of their lounge. But my boyfriend decided to briefly mention how we waited for half an hour for something which should not take so long.

We started to walk away, informing them we would simply go elsewhere, but they kept insisting to talk with us to find out more about our experience. In the end, they walked us over to Jarvey's pub (which I suspect was using the same kitchen) and let us know they would take care of our meal.

Once seated and having ordered sandwiches and soup, we still had to wait but I did not mind as who could complain when the meal is free. With the age of the Internet and travelers relying on online reviews, businesses tend to be more mindful of complaints as they can adversely affect their livelihood.

After our meal, we walked the 400 meters to our B&B and laid down to rest. What was intended to be a half hour nap turned into both of us sleeping for three hours until 20,00h. We finished our second day at Killarney by enjoying time by the wood fire downstairs drinking Cabernet and reading.