Day 26 - Ross Castle and the Traditional Farms

The morning started off with a scrumptious breakfast a the B&B. This was by far the best breakfast we had and the kids really enjoyed their food.

After breakfast, we packed up and headed towards the Ross Castle, which is in the Killarney National Park. 

The Castle, like every other Irish castle we have seen so far, is a tower house. We walked around the castle and enjoyed the outdoor scenery. Kian had fun climbing on one of the outside walls. We planned to go inside to see the rooms, but you cannot get in without a guided tour and the next available tour was not for another hour. 

Instead of waiting around, we checked out the exhibition room, which provides a bit of history on the castle. It turns out that the majority of the castle was actually ruined at some point, and they worked hard looking for older materials/stones to match whatever was remaining to use in the restoration project. 

After our visit at the castle, we headed towards the Muckross House and the Traditional Farms. We asked if a guided tour was required to see inside the house, and since the answer was yes, we once again opted for the outside view and walked towards the Traditional Farms. 

There is a path that takes about an hour to walk, where you go through multiple farm house replicas, and get to see a small farm house, a large farm house, a school house, and farm labor cottage, and more.  The purpose of these houses/cottages/stables is to show you how the traditional Irish farmers lived in the early 1900s. 

We were told that all the houses we saw were replicas built for educational purposes only and that no farmers lived there at any point. 

The walk was very interesting and the kids had fun going from house to house. In each place there was a person who talked about what sorts of things would go on in the house.  They also had fresh baked bread and invited everyone to take a bite of the buttered bread they had on a platter near the door.  Unfortunately we missed the milking demonstration, but did see a lady making butter.

The walk around the farms/farm houses took us more than 1 hour since we made a longer stop at the baby animal petting section and the little bounce house.  As you walk around the loop, before reaching the visitor, there is small playground area called the "Woodland playground". 

Hannah had been waiting for a long time to get to the playground, so despite being hungry, everyone took off their cranky pants and played for a bit. 

After the playground we headed towards the Muckross House just to see it from the outside. Remember what I said about our cranky pants? Yah, they were back on!  But the house and the grounds were beautiful, and if we had time I would have liked to see the inside. 

We did grab a small and quick bite at the Muckross House cafe before getting back in the car to drive home.

We knew the drive home would take around 4 hours.  We left Killarney at 4PM, and along the way we stopped for a quick dinner in Galway.  We also stopped and got milk and cereal for next day's breakfast :) 

We reached the Killary Fjord around 9PM as the sun was just starting to set over the mountains. The breathtaking views reminded us of how much we missed Louisburgh and the surrounding areas. 

Killary Fjord at sunset 

Killary Fjord at sunset 

It really is incredibly gorgeous here. I am not sure there are proper words to describe how beautiful the sunset looked over Doolough Lake. But I guess that's why they say "a picture is worth a thousand words."

Sunset over Doolough Lake

Sunset over Doolough Lake

We reached "home" with 2 very happy kids and the gorgeous pink sky over the ocean was just a bonus as we unloaded the car and headed inside to get ready for bed.