Ring of Kerry
On our drive to the Ring of Kerry we passed this craft shop with the Quinlan name on it. Pretty cool to see a shop with your last name on it. Who knows maybe it was a distant relative?
The gorse was in full bloom and covered most of the hillsides which I thought added brightness and beauty. Farmers here would disagree as they are a nuisance, hard to control, and very prickly.
Our first ring fort was a stop at the Staigue Fort. The fort was built sometime between 500 B.C. and A.D. 300. They didn't use any type of mortar so it's amazing to see how they meticulously cut the rocks to fit together. There are different thoughts as to what these forts were used for. Some believe that the people who built them used them in times of tribal war. Or that herders used these forts to keep their cattle in to keep them safe.
Some believe that they were used as a type of amphitheater where tribes would meet for important meetings or ceremonies. It was a striking image to walk through those thick stone walls and stand inside and realize that we were standing in something possibly made before the time of Christ.
We stopped at several scenic pull outs for the amazing views of the Atlantic Ocean against the cliffs of the Kerry Coastline.
We stopped at the Derrynane House where Daniel O'Connel (Ireland's most influential pre-independance politician who fought for the rights and equality for the Catholics) lived. It was a pretty estate and was surrounded by coastal lands that are now a national historic park.