Having only been to Killarney once before (also for work), and having spent absolutely no time whatsoever in the town itself â€“ preferring instead the cosy confines of the Quality Hotel, until I had to actually go and do some work â€“ it has remained in my mind as somewhere frequented only by domestic tourists, meeting attendees and Americans.
So we set off for the place two weekends ago, on a bright Friday afternoon, journeying down the motorway as fast as we possibly could â€“ before of course, running into a car crash just beyond Limerick which kept us going on the road until nearly 10pm due to the delay.
For this visit, we were staying at the Park Place Apartments, which it turned out was at one end of the main street. Myself & Anna have something of a long and proud tradition of finding the cheapest places, and every trip is something of a game of Russian Roulette with some bets paying off and other bets not so much. The Park Place was actually booked for us (as I was also down for work) and it must be noted that with the exception of a few unusual things, it was generally very well appointed and came with Velux roof blinds that we really were very strongly tempted to take home with us and enjoy a dark nightsâ€™ sleep for every more. The only unfortunate worth mentioning is the bathrooms werenâ€™t realistically cleaned properly before our arrival and bathrooms are the one area where, I think itâ€™s safe to say, most people donâ€™t really like to trade down.
The next morning I was up and out bright and early for work, while Anna took in the sights of town and decided, quite promptly it appears, she was in love with the place. Later on in the afternoon, we took to the National Park and paid a visit to Muckross House. Unfortunately â€“ and another gripe â€“ it seems youâ€™re not allowed take pictures from inside the building, so youâ€™ll have to make do with the cover picture for the article, which is the outside. With the weather playing ball, which it probably doesnâ€™t the rest of the entire year, the gardens looked fantastic, the house itself looked in great shape and even with a boat-load of Americans following us about on the tour and interrupting each other one after the next to ask questions, the whole thing seemed great. Awesome, even.
Back into town then for the evening, we tried our luck first with a hotel bar off the main street, which was exceptionally busy, before continuing on to a pub down at the end of the street, Sheehanâ€™s, which was completely empty when we arrived. I mention that, because within about 30 minutes of arriving, a few locals wandered in, then a few more, then some tourists, then literally a few bus-loads of tourists, a uniform 50 people walking in every few minutes and within a half an hour, the place was literally at standing-room only. Unreal.
With the pints safely onboard, it was back to the apartments, down with the roof blind for complete darkness and off to sleep!
The next morning we were back up bright and early (around midday I think it wasâ€¦), packed and off for a bit of a drive around the Ring of Kerry, taking in the hills, the mountains, fields and seaâ€¦before finally deciding it was time to head home.
On the whole, Killarneyâ€™s bigger and definitely better than expected, the Park Place will always go down in mind for being the perfect sleeping environment and yes, there are just as many Americans as expected â€“ no disappointment there!