Circling Ireland's Southwest Region
There's no doubt about it IRELAND is a magnificent island to explore and one of the most stunning areas is the Southwest region of Ireland. The scenery is so captivating and inspiring around here that it makes you yearn to just settle down and call the place "home sweet home."
Not far from Shannon Airport is the attractive town of KILLARNEY. Killarney looks like the pages of an enchanting fairytale that has come to life and captured its viewers. The town of Killarney is filled with bed & breakfasts, churches, restaurants, and shops making it tourist friendly. The star attraction here is Killarney National Park a 24,000 oasis of woods dotted with sparkling lakes. Outdoor enthusiasts just can't get enough of this splendid park which offers an endless amount of biking and hiking opportunities. Killarney is a prime choice for spending a few days relaxing and meeting international travelers.
Whether you choose to drive or take a bus tour of the "RING OF KERRY" expect every angle and turn to reward you with first prize scenery that you'll never forget. This is "God's country"and the Irish know that the "Ring of Kerry" is one the countries biggest blessings. "The Ring of Kerry" is one of the best places to observe birds so keep an eye out for "Skelligs" known as Ireland's largest bird. The hiking around "Ring of Kerry" is awesome. There are also opportunities to boat, fish, horseback ride, and swim.
Once you get a feel for the "Ring of Kerry" consider spending a bit of time in some of its charming villages. I recommend the following: Cahirciveen for its different colored terraced houses. Kenmare for the heritage center and stone circle, Sneem an adorable village with a picture postcard setting, and Waterville a seaside village famous for its golf course and sport fishing.
Ahoy there! Dingle, Dingle, Dingle...I want to spend my wandering days in the Dingle Peninsula eating fresh seafood with the Irish on the sea, taking a swim, sipping some beer, and singing folk songs in the pub. The gorgeously scenic DINGLE PENINSULA stretches about 30 miles (48 kilometers) from Ceann in the west to Tralee in the east. A magical destination with long sandy beaches, seaside cliffs, glacial valleys, lakes, and mountains, the Dingle Peninsula is the place to take a vacation and enjoy the roaring Atlantic Ocean coast. Loaded with attractions and interesting sights the Dingle Peninsula is a great place to mingle with family & friends. You'll enjoy the gracious Irish hospitality and breathe the fresh salt air which will rejuvenate your soul in no time.
IRELAND'S southwest region is a gem of a place to visit. From Castle Country "Limerick" to "Skelling Michael" give yourself at least a week to harmonize with this quaint land and glorious scenery that will leave you feeling cheerful and happy from head to toe.
IRISH SODA BREAD
7 cups unbleached whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons caraway seeds
1 3/4 cup currants
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1 cup cold water
1 1/3 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons honey
2/3 cup oil
Mix lemon peel, cold water, buttermilk, honey and oil together. Add the flour, baking soda, salt, caraway seeds, and currants. Knead briefly and shape into 2 round loaves. Place on oiled sheet, cut across the top if desired to prevent cracking during baking. Bake immediately at 350 degrees for about an hour until the top of the bread is browned on top. Enjoy your Irish soda bread with lots of pure Irish butter!
Irish Soda Bread