Wednesday, October 14, 2015

My Ireland Road Trip

In September two of my best friends and I spent two weeks in heaven: IRELAND! I'd been dreaming about travelling to Ireland for about ten years and the country as its people were everything I'd imagined them to be. Wild, beautiful, warm-hearted, stunning, adventurous, peaceful, cosy, windy, miraculous, funny


After almost missing our plane to Dublin (almost...whew!) we set out to explore Ireland's capital. We stayed at a very central hostel and could easily walk the city centre. Dublin Castle, Trinity College and St. Patrick's Cathedral were our favourite sights. The sun was shining and we even got a glimpse at the filming of Penny Dreadful Season 3. At Costa Coffee we fell in love with their triple layered lemon cake and hot chocolate. They definitely need to open up stores in Germany, too!


Then it was time to pick up our rental car and drive cross-country to Lahinch. We stayed at the lovely bed and breakfast Craglea Lodge and had a cosy room with an amazing breakfast. Our host Edel recommended to drive about five miles to Liscannor and walk to the Cliffs of Moher from there instead of parking at the official visitor centre. It turned out to be an invaluable tip! We spent the entire day exploring the coastal walking route, about 10 km to the visitor centre and back to Liscannor. The Cliffs of Moher were one of the very special highlights of our Ireland trip!


After our stay in Lahinch we drove on to Galway, the radio playing "The Galway Girl" by Steve Earle. In Galway we shopped a lot, dined in atmospheric pubs and enjoyed some relaxing sightseeing.


While staying in Galway we decided to drive to Connemara Nationalpark (about 1 1/2 hours). And even the drive through winding roads, mountain landscapes and lakes was simply beautiful. Sheeps were scattered over the hills and merrily walked over the streets when they felt like it. Be ready to brake! In Connemara Nationalpark we hiked up Diamond Hill (1,450 ft). I'd never hiked before and it was a small challenge for us to climb the steep rocks. In the end we were rewarded with a breath-taking view! If you ever get the chance to go to Connemara, don't hestitate. This part of Ireland is stunning!
We also drove by Kylemore Abbey, saw many rainbows and visited Martin and his Atlantic Sheepdogs in Streedagh. Martin was very kind when we called him spontaneously on the day of our departure in Galway. He welcomed us to his sheep farm and showed us how his dogs worked and told us a lot about different sheep breeds, competitions and about life on a sheep farm in general. Martin with his pet sheep Molly was one of the most warm-hearted and friendliest people I've met so far on my travels. Thank you!




After about one week it was time to explore Northern Ireland as well. It was different from Ireland but just as beautiful. One day we just drove along the Northern Coast, visited Dunluce Castle, Whiterock Beach and the Giant's Causeway which is said to be the windiest place in Northern Ireland. I LOVED the Giant's Causeway and it's wild and rough beauty!
We also did a little Game of Thrones locations tour by ourselves. Part of it was Mussenden Temple, Castle Ward and The Dark Hedges. We even drove by The Wall (yes, THE wall!). Not as impressive as one might think though as there were fences and security all around it.




We also spent a few days in Belfast. It wasn't our favourite city but we still had a good time there. The Titanic Museum was on top of our sightseeing list. I can highly recommend this interactive and very informative experience! Sunday aftertoon we went to the Lyric Theatre and saw Dancing at Lughnasa. Great performance!
From Belfast it's only a short drive to the Gobbins Path, a coastal walking route that first opened to  tourists back in the Victorian era. Futhermore we went to see a stone circle we originally hadn't imagined to be that impressive. It was located on a field and you had to walk a narrow and overgrown path to get there. And when we saw the stone circle for the first time the sun was setting and we were the only people there. It was kind of magical and really special.



Brú na Bóinne was a stop on our way back to Dublin. It's a mysterious site of a very old culture and there are guided tours only. You can choose between three different sites or combine them. We started at Knowth and our guide was very smart and so funny. Newgrange was really nice, too! 
If you are staying in Dublin for a few days I can highly recommend driving into the Wicklow Mountains. I loved the Wicklow scenery just as much as Connemara. There's the small town of Glendalough with a monastery that's definitely worth seeing. Back in Dublin we did some more shopping and enjoyed a last very nice sunset over Dublin.



So that was the route we travelled through Ireland and Northern Ireland. It was a unique and very rewarding experience. I can't wait to come back and travel the South of Ireland, too, and definitely come back to many beloved places from our trip this year



Q! These are the books I got in Belfast. Which should I read first? 

4 comments:

  1. The scenery is stunning!

    I've heard amazing things about Six of Crows and plan on reading it soon so I'm going to vote for that :)

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  2. Ohh :D YAAAAY for such an awesome trip :D And ahh. SO MUCH GORGEOUS. I love love love all your pictures. Thank you for sharing sweetie. You are awesome :) Glad you had a great time. <3 And yay for getting some pretty books too :) You really must read Six of Crows. <3 So good.

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  3. Looks like you had a great trip! I saw some of your pictures on Instagram and now I want to go see The Dark Hedges. You have been to places in Ireland that I've never been - and I've lived here all my life! :D

    You will have to visit Killarney and West Cork on your return trip! ;)

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