And here comes the day of our last day in Dublin. Plus the two days travelling to and fro, ten days were spent in Ireland.
On the last day, we decided to go and visit Croke Park and have the tour. We’ve never really heard of Hurling or Gaelich Football before, but on the day we arrived, we got into the crowd returning from a hurling match. 82000 people, from grandmother to tiny baby, in sports jerseys or shawls, and fans of both teams marching united. Peacefully. Laughing. I was fascinated.
So, we decided to take the tour and it was one of the highlights of our visit. You start with a 20min movie – I hear you groaning, but it was fun and moving and too short (never said that of a movie on a tour or museum before). The tour guide – John – was so enthusiastic, friendly and explained everything so well, the hour was over before we knew it. We even had lunch at the stadium.
And with that, it was time to go shopping, so we visited a few stores, bought a few gifts and a rugby jersey and some more things – and enjoyed walking through the beautiful shops and streets.
Well, our time in Ireland came to and end and the next day we had to fly home – it’s been a great trip, full of wonderful things.
Croke Park Stadium
Of course, no sightseeing trip is complete without the hop-on-hop-off bus, and that’s exactly what we did today – after a long and leisurely Irish breakfast.
The bus had live comments by the driver – very fun and full of details. We drove around half the town, seeing everything from the famine statues, the Jeannie Johnston to Trinity College and St.Patricks.
Until we decided on a whim to get off at the Guiness Storehouse and visit it today. As we had vouchers, we were able to bypass the queues and were in in a minute – and busy for the next three hours until we cme out again – having seen everything and after drinking the famous pint up in the 360° bar.
So back on the hop-on-hop-off bus it was to see the rest of the sights and get educated :)
For the evening we walked over to the Temple Bar region and promptly back out again and walked a bit around and back to Georgian Dublin – where we had a very nice dinner in a gastro pub.
My activity monitor claims we walked over 17km that day and it certainly felt like it!
A small garden we came across in Georgian Dublin
It was the first day in Dublin and we started by driving out of Dublin for a day trip to the Boyne valley.
We started by visiting Newgrange – only to discover that we couldn’t get tickets for the next hours. There’s quite a lot of people wanting to visit and we decided to do a road trip instead.
So we started by following the Boyne road – we started by visiting the “Battle of the Boyne”. Very interesting and wonderful gardens (plus a nice cafe).
On we drove to Monasterboice – that was quite hard to find – and Mellifont, where we had a late lunch.
By now we’ve had seen enough historic buildings and decided to drive along a little and then return to Dublin to see more historic buildings – no, the visit the Temple Bar region for a nice dinner and a pint.
Well, I’ll leave Temple Bar region on a Saturday evening to the younger folks – too many people having had too much to drink and a quite aggressive tone made us leave early. We had lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe – very nice and the cheesecake was really wonderful – and returned to a quieter pub for the after dinner pint.
It was the day of the looong road trip.
We started from Limerick and drove up to the Cliffs of Moher. It was a bit cloudy, but we still had breathtaking views over the cliffs. Lunch was nearly forgotten – but we had nice sandwiches and pink lemonade in the cafe after watching the exhibition underground.
And just as we left, the rain started :)
Now on we drove to Tullamore – that took quite some time! But we made it just in time for the last 5pm tour through the Tullamore whiskey brewery – very interesting and fun. I got to be the one questioned during the whiskey tasting – we only could take tiny sips and we still had to drive on to Dublin. Still, we were impressed with the whiskey and bought one of the special warehouse release bottles available only there…
And on to Dublin, back to the hotel we started in. This time, we got a much nicer room – bigger, too. We were so tired we had dinner at the hotel – and a very good dinner, too!
View on to the Cliffs of Moher
On this day, we drove from Killarney to Limerick – via the Dingle peninsula.
Another day of breathtakingly beautiful landscape – along the Dingle roads, driving on to Slea Head and over Connors pass.
We had lunch in a restaurant in a stone house – “The Stonehouse” – fresh fish and crab and it was truly great.
As the day draw to and end, we visited the Blennerville mill right before Tralee and saw an exhibition on the famine emigrants there. Very moving.
And on to Limerick, where we stayed at the Clarion and watched a group abseil down the front of the hotel!
View from Dingle
That was the day we drove the Ring of Kerry – truly spectacular!
There were so many sights and views, it’s almost magical.
We stopped to have coffee in a tiny coffee shop in Caherciveen, drove over to Valentia Island and gazed down the cliffs there. On to have lunch in a pub in Waterville and photograph the Charlie Chaplin statue. Finally back to Killarney, where we visited the Muckross gardens and then we returned to our B&B.
And to counteract all the Irish views, we had dinner at a would-be American diner – the burgers were quite good though:)
Roadside view along the Ring of Kerry
I’ll just act like I’m on day 2 and tell the tale:
We drove from Cork to Bantry along a nice coastal or country road. Decided to skip Bantry House and visit the town instead and had lunch with the locals at a lovely pub. Then we drove on to Glengariff – where we had coffee in a church converted to a cafe – and Kenmare – the latter is a really beautiful tiny town.
And on to the Ring of Kerry – which is on the list for day 3. We enjoyed a few of the sights – though the weather was not too great for viewing – and settled in a gorgeous bed and breakfast in Killarney for the next two night.
And on we went into Killarney and had dinner at the Smoke House – the best steak I’ve had in a loooong time. Definitively a recommendation!
Two of the sheep sitting on the roads while we drove along the Ring of Kerry
I’ve been loosing track of the time and didn’t keep you posted – so sorry.
We’ve been all over Kerry, driving the Ring of Kerry and the Dingle peninsula and seeing so many sights, it’s hard to keep count.
I hope a few photographs I took will turn out nice and I can share a few things afterwards with you!
Here we are!
We visited Kilkenny and the Rock of Cashel.
Ireland is wonderfully beautiful and the people are so nice and friendly – and the food is lovely, too.
So far, it’s been a great start if we exclude the rental car that caused some hassle – but let’s hope that’s fixed.
We’re quite tired and there’s much
more to come tomorrow!
We made it! We’ll be coming to Ireland this summer!
We plan to go from Dublin and drive to Cork, Killarney and Limerick and back to Dublin.
And see the Ring of Kerry, the Rock of Cashel, Blarney Castle, the Cliffs of Moher and so much more. And Dublin, of course.
It’s so exciting – I’ll have to reread a few of my favorite Irish books to start :-)