The Dingle Peninsula

National Geographic once called it the most beautiful place on earth, and I can certainly see why. Thank goodness the sun was shining all day.

The peninsula stretches for 30 miles into the Atlantic Ocean. Mount Bandon is Ireland’s second highest peak, and the coastline consists of steep cliffs and sandy beaches. The Blasket Islands are west of the peninsula.

We learned that they had just finished filming the new Star Wars movie out in December 2017, so if you go to see it, you will see part of this spectacular scenery. ¬†Also, Ryan’s Daughter was filmed here. It took almost two years to complete. Far and Away was also recorded here.

We walked to photograph cliffs with sea caves and Calla lilies growing wild as well as beautiful purple bell-shaped flowers on tall stalks. 20160615_093253

We stopped to walk to a well-preserved, early-Christian church known as Gallarus Oratory. Its stonewalls slope inward and capstones form the top. The entire structure looks like an overturned boat. It is probably almost as dry inside as when it was first built. It is in structures as this that monks copied Roman documents that were in this way preserved and passed on.

The town of Dingle was charming. Local craft stores dot the streets. We found a really good music store for Irish music thanks to our guide, Laura, and bought quite a few CDs including the music of the Clancy brothers and the Dubliners.

The journey home to Dunraven Hotel in Adare through fields of cows and sheep and sometimes horses was just heavenly!