Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Trip Part 3 - Ireland

Once we were able to get our of France, we flew to Ireland. Our original plan was to drive to southern Ireland, spend the night in Cork, then drive up along the coast, spend a night in Ballyvaughen, and then go back to Dublin. But due to the delayed flight, we had to stay an extra night in Dublin and skip going south.

One of my favorite animal pictures!

We thought the water color was a bit strange and wonder what caused the soda brown like color.

A random water fall at the side of the road. It was really pretty. A Canadian guy was nice enough to take our picture.

Glendalough monastery.

Upper lake of Glendalough. A really gorgeous lake and hike.

Some old ruins at the lake.

The water here was a lot more clear.

Overlooking the upper lake.

Just another pretty picture of Ireland.

The Burren of Ballyvaughan, County Clare. Lots and lots of rocks. 

Poulnabrone Portal Tomb.
Cliffs of Moher. So amazing.  

Random church ruins on the side of the road.

The Kylemore Abbey. We didn't have time to go in but it sure made for a nice picture.

I loved how the sheep just roamed around. But they were not easy to take pictures of despite their numbers.

I don't have tons to say about Ireland. This might have to do with the short amount of time we stayed there. We did enjoy the experience as there isn't much to dislike about Ireland unless you dislike spending your days looking at pretty scenery, but I think we would have liked at least a few more days there. Nonetheless, this is what I do have to say:

What I liked about Ireland:

1. How the animals roamed around wild.
2. The amount of rivers and lakes there were.  I love water.
3. How nice the people were. They were so friendly and so hilarious. A stark contrast to Paris.
4. We didn't eat as much in Ireland but whatever food we did get was yummy. Especially the chicken sandwich I got at the park stand at Upper Lake. For being a food shack, if was seriously delicious. 
5. Cute and clean and wonderfully comfortable bed and breakfasts all over.
6. The fresh air.
7. They spoke English.

What I did not like about Ireland:

1. Their accent was lovely but it didn't always make for easy conversation. Sometimes they talked so fast we couldn't understand a word they were saying. The British were much easier to understand.
2. If you have a gps it will either take you on crazy scenic roads that are gorgeous but a bit too much for the stomach or it will take you through semi ordinary towns and down long boring highways.
3. A lot of the land between cool sites was just farm land so don't always expect to see gorgeous views.
4. I loved the animals roaming around but it wasn't always fun waiting for the animals to move out of the midde of the road. Darn dog.
5. The nice thing about cities is that everything you want to see is relatively close by. In a country like Ireland you have to drive a lot.


1. Rent a car.
2. Bring snacks for the car if you want a quick meal. They definently don't have many, if any, fast food restaurants there.
3. Don't stress too much about stopping in the middle of the lane of a rural two way road to take a picture. We did it all the time.
4. Don't stress about staying at bed and breakfasts. They aren't any more expensive than staying at a hotel in America as long as you don't convert the pounds to dollars. And even if you do, they aren't that bad at all. Much cheaper than hotels in the cities and about the same price as the hostel we stayed in in Paris.
5. Get a bed and breakfast in a town that has quite a few things you can do around it (like within a few hours) and stay a couple nights. It will make for a relaxing pase and allow you much more sightseeing time.
6. Allow time for hiking the national parks. They are amazing and worth the effort.
7. You don't necessarly have to fly into Dublin, especially if you are coming from another European country. Figure out the first place you want to go to and see which airport is closet. Dublin is just an extremely popular place to fly in and out of.
8. Consider taking a long enough trip that you can hit up both Ireland and Northern Ireland.

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