Killimes, Tarbert and The Foynes Museum
Coming from Kilkee we drove to Killimer which is the North side of the car ferry, Tarbert being the southern port. The ferry takes you right across the Shannon. This is faster than going all the way around to the other side of the Shannon and it's a beautiful boat ride with great views. You can get out of your car and climb up to the deck to make the whole crossing. From Tarbert it was an easy drive to the Foynes Flying Boat Museum.
The Ferry Boat ride is lovely and allows you views up and down the Shannon River Basin.
The lighthouse was visible a good share of the way across the river and is right near the Tarbert Ferry Port.
The countryside is multi-shades of green and flat with mountains in the distance. There are a lot of wind farms in this part of the country and you can see evidence of them from the ferry. The roads from Kilkee to the car ferry are good and we made it with time to spare. As we waited for the ferry we chatted with other passengers and enjoyed some coffee from the cafe on the premises. Once on the other side of the Shannon we headed for Foynes.
The Foynes Flying Boat Museum is dedicated to a part of Irish History dealing with the beginning of aviation. Ireland played a large role in early trans Atlantic commercial flight. There is a replica of a flying boat and it is true luxury travel for the 1930's and 40's. Learn about Charles Lindbergh's connection and that of Maureen O'Hara who was a patron of the museum for many years.
The museum is fascinating with a second focus as a Maritime Museum. Early exhibits of boats and uniforms tell the story of Ireland's Maritime history.
This is truly a museum not to be missed. We came because my husband was an Air Force guy but I became a convert after touring the exhibits.
This is also the place where Irish coffee was first served to weary flying boat travelers. You can enjoy an Irish coffee today in their very nice cafe.
After the Flying Boat Museum we stopped in Listowel for a tour of the castle and arrived on Steeplechase Day. The castle is right next to the raceway and the town was hopping. We were able to watch a race or two from the castle walls.
Listowel Castle is another great OPW property and we had a wonderful tour of the castle. It's on the Heritage Pass so we had free entry and a guided tour. There is only one wall of the castle remaining but that has several rooms in the still viable towers on either side of the central wall. The castle has undergone a major restoration. You can learn how they built they high ceilings in the castle that have survived until today. The history of the owners is also explained giving you a feel for how they lived and fought in Medieval Times.
Super restoration job.
From Listowel Castle we drove on to Tralee where we were spending the night.