Our next adventure to Ireland was a drive around the Ring of Kerry and visiting a quaint pub in Limerick. Here is this leg of the trip:
W. B. Yeates
The Ring of Kerry is an 111-mile scenic drive around the Iveragh Peninsula. On the drive there, we stopped by the church where W. B. Yeates is buried.
I remember taking Humanities in college and reading poems by Yeates. As an Irish poet, Yeats was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in December 1923. He is buried at a small church and with a very unassuming grave.
His epitaph contains the last lines of “Under Ben Bulben“, one of his last poems written before his death:
Cast a cold Eye
On Life, on Death.
Horseman, pass by!
The Ring of Kerry
The Ring of Kerry is a beautiful drive reminiscent of some of our great California scenic coastal drives.
On one of our stops along the way, we stopped into a small gift shop. Cameron tried on Irish hats.
We also found a crest with our surname. It says that Miller came from Irish and Scottish heritage with a name of Muilleoir. It was common for families to change their last names to a more English sounding name when they migrated to America.
On to Limerick
Once we visited the Ring of Kerry, we stayed in Limerick. If you remember from Humanities, a limerick is a humorous poem containing just five lines. The first, second, and fifth lines must rhyme and the third and fourth lines have to rhyme with each other and have the same rhythm.
Our tour director challenged each of us to create a limerick. By this time in the trip, we were in a routine of traveling by bus to see fantastic sites, drinking lots of the local beer and Irish whiskey, and getting up early each day to start again. Here was my limerick:
Guiness, Jamison, Irish Cofee and the like,
Have clouded me memory of our time last night,
We danced and sang and partook some more,
When at “last call” they told us it was quarter past four.
I awoke at noon in a terrible fright to find that the bus was nowhere in sight!
Yet Another Pub
In Limerick, we found a really cool Irish pub, with the best Irish singers so far.
If you want to hear a clip of their music, click here. They really made the evening fun. They taught us a traditional Irish dance and they had several people come up on stage and play spoons. Of course, Cameron was chosen and he played spoons like he knew what he was doing.
After the band stopped playing, we went downstairs and hung out for a few more hours. There were 2 Irish girls sitting in a booth downstairs playing and singing traditional Irish tunes. They were not paid to do it, they were just having fun — that’s the way it is in Ireland. The drummer from the band we were listening to earlier joined in and they all entertained us for hours.
Next Stop: Galway
We spent 2 weeks on this trip to Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland, so I will continue chronicling our journeys over the coming weeks. The next blog will cover our visit to Galway – a bustling college town.
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If you missed the prior posts, you can see them here:
- Cork and Killarney Ireland: Kissing the Blarney Stone