Vacation Finally!! – Day 1: Gap of Dunloe

In my two years in Ireland, I’ve never travelled so much as much as I’ve travelled in the last few weeks. We planned to go to the South-West of Ireland and stay there for a couple of days. My husband booked a holiday home in a small town at the south of County Kerry, called Kenmare, which is 45 mins drive from the main Killarney town center. Most of the tourist attraction is in Killarney, and hence the decision to stay close to it.

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Kenmare Town Center

The Ardmullen holiday home was just the right choice for a relaxing vacation. It was so spacious that two to three families could easily be accommodated. Although a little on the pricey side, it had all the luxuries of a modern, self-catering accommodation. It was about 10 minutes walk from the Kenmare town center, where there were quite a few shops and restaurants to select from. A gas station and ‘Centra’ was just a block away catering to any urgent need. The house was well-equipped with all things of comfort like dishwasher, washing machine etc. A private car parking was also really nice to have.

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Front of the holiday homes

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Living Room
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Backyard
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Master bedroom

The next morning we started our journey from a visit to the Gap of Dunloe. There are two ways to go to the Gap of Dunloe from Kenmare: One is through the Killarney town center and the other through Mol’s Gap. We took the latter one, since that route was more picturesque.

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Spectacular view from Mol’s Gap

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Yes we were there!
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Route to Sneem – N71
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Another stop infront of a small shop and cafe

Okay, this was a beautiful lake on our way to ‘Sneem’. You can even go down the hill to fish. Unfortunately, I could not remember the name of the lake. 😦

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Hubby looks perplexed 😛

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Can you spot the fish?

Stopping at all the photography points, beautiful lakes and scenic views we got to the village of Sneem in about an hour or so.

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Sneem meaning ‘The Knot’

Sneem, is known for its remote and relaxed way of living as well as hospitality towards the tourists. It was just the perfect place for us to stop, have a cup of tea and some snacks. My brother-in-law got us smoked salmon on pumpernickel bread with some sour cream and dill topping. Loved it!!

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Brother-in-law offering prayer beside the Sneem River
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Bridge on the ‘Sneem River’ connecting the North and South squares

After getting refreshed, we headed back to the Mol’s Gap from Sneem and took the Black Valley route towards the Gap of Dunloe. The route was, no doubt, quite a challenge. The road was so narrow that only one car could pass at any one time. Later we got to know from our tourist information center that the Black valley route is mostly for bikers and walkers, cars are not encouraged to drive there. Well, that explains a lot.

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The narrow road to the Gap of Dunloe in our background
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Gap of Dunloe
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‘Wishing Bridge’ in the background

However, the experience was awe-amazing. We stopped at a point to take our bikes out of the car and man what an adventure that route was on a bike. I will admit I was riding a bike after a long long time. I could dedicate a whole blog on the adventures of my bike-ride on the route to Gap of Dunloe. But just to give you guys an idea, I can surely say, I wasn’t riding the bike but the bike was riding me…. crazyyyyy!!!

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Finally we got to the Gap of Dunloe and Oh God is that a piece of earth or what! All the pictures I have ever seen of the Gap on the internet could not justify the beauty and the serenity of that place.

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Gap of Dunloe, or Bearna an Choimín (meaning Gap of the common-land) is a narrow mountain pass between the two mountain ranges of MacGillycuddy’s Reeks and Purple Mountain. Of the five lakes of Gap Of Dunloe I found the ‘Black Lough’ most beautiful, with its lush green grass, crystal clear water and lambs grazing the fields, it looks like a picture of some fairy-land in story books.

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Black Lough
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My Favorite capture of the Black Lough

Our day ended with a grand dinner at the Usmania restaurant in Killarney town center. The sizzling chicken tikka boti with saute onions and raita were delicious (to date the thought of it waters my mouth). The sea-salt ice-cream from Murphy’s Ice-cream shop was the perfect finish to an excitingly pleasant day!

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Killarney Town

So, do you guys find this blog helpful? If you have visited Gap of Dunloe, then share your experience with us. Would love to hear from you!!

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3 thoughts on “Vacation Finally!! – Day 1: Gap of Dunloe

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