Chilling Out in Killarney

August 14, 2013. Killorglin, Ireland – After a late night of music and drink in Portmagee, we finally took some time off.

Photo by Niall Huggard, Owner of Lake Hotel

Photo by Niall Huggard, Owner of Lake Hotel

Instead of getting up early and driving for an hour and a half to take a seven mile hike through the Gap of Dunloe, we decided to sleep in.

We did get to Killarney in time for lunch at the Lake Hotel on the shores of Loch Lein with the mountains of Killarney National Park in the background. It’s a beautiful hotel in a beautiful setting. While I ate my umpteenth serving of smoked salmon of the trip, I looked at the lake and wished we were staying there for the night.

My hotel envy ended when we checked into the Malton Hotel in the heart of Killarney an hour later. Another elegant hotel in a park like setting. Our suite – yes, a suite — was bigger than any apartment I’ve lived in and much nicer.

After soaking up the luxury and walking from spacious bedroom to spacious bathroom to spacious sitting room and back again, we went out for a stroll around town and a tasty dinner at the unpretentious Paddy’s Restaurant just a few blocks away.

On the way back to our hotel we were pulled into Scruffy’s Bar (in the Killarney Towers Hotel) by the sound of lively Irish music. Three young guys in their 20s or 30s (at my age anybody significantly younger than me looks in their 20s or 30s) were wailing away on fiddle, frame drum and guitar. We have heard lots of great music on this trip, but these guys were the best. Tight, energetic and creative. I thought I could hear subtle rock and roll beats in their playing, and maybe even a little Bo Diddley. Maybe it was the beer…