The halfway point of our visit to Ireland was a day I was pretty excited about -- a drive around the Ring of Kerry. I'd done some reading beforehand about all the wonderful things to see along the route, and knew it was the country's best known scenic drive. So I had high expectations, which unfortunately ended up being unmet.
We got off the motorcoach here not primarily for the view of Lough Caragh, but to see some roadside peddler who had a small dog that stood on the back of a donkey while he hawked trinkets. I normally wouldn't shoot a landscape with power lines running through it, but I was desperate.
Dingle Bay were so strikingly turquoise, something I associate more with the Caribbean than with Ireland. But I certainly wasn't complaining about seeing some natural beauty!
Thatch Cottage Restaurant in Cahersiveen for -- you guessed it -- food, bathrooms and souvenirs. Like I said earlier, given the nature of the tour I knew I had to adjust if I wanted to get some quality picture-taking done. So I wandered around the outside of the building and found this lovely area with foxgloves and dandelions growing. Lemonade made. :)
Jenny Seawright of IrishWildflowers.ie to the rescue! "Its a garden shrub, hard to gauge size from your photo but a species of Hebe (also known as Shrubby Veronica)."
Coomakesta Pass, again for just a few minutes. I was literally jogging from spot to spot trying to find a good view.
Deenish and Scariff Islands as seen from the pass. Danelle made me promise before the trip that I'd never make the group wait while I took pictures. This was probably the closest I came, as I jogged up to the bus right as the last other person was boarding. :)
Killarney National Park. It's known as Ladies' View because Queen Victoria's ladies in waiting admired it on a royal visit in 1861.
While my expectations for the day were unmet, I certainly wouldn't call it disappointing. If I'd thought things through a little more I would have realized that it wasn't fair to assume the bus would stop every place I wanted, for as long as I wanted. And that most people simply aren't as interested in the scenic stuff as I am. An important realization that would serve me well for the remainder of our visit. :)