My first stop in Ireland was three nights in Dublin. What a wonderful place! My first days were spent visiting cathedrals, museums, Trinity College and drinking far too much Guinness! I visited the Guinness Storehouse which I heard one man describe as an alcoholic’s Disneyland.
After recovering from an almighty hangover I was off to Kilkenny, ‘the marble city’. I ate some Lebanese food while sitting in the gardens of the Castle. Also to explore were many churches and I climbed a tower at one church for a lovely view of the city.
On to Cork where I stayed at a bar & hostel run by a guy from Dunedin who came for a visit six years ago and never left. 10% discount on the room for being a Kiwi and 10% discount at the bar influenced my opinions of Cork. I can see why they call it ‘Ireland’s Real Capital’.
An easy morning trip to Blarney castle to kiss the fabled stone to get the ‘gift of the gab’. The whole grounds of the castle were great to explore, a highlight being the ‘poisonous garden’ with a variety of dangerous plants including marijuana and opium.
I spent Saturday night in Killarney which was the night of the French Top 14 final, ASM (my team) vs Paris. Unfortunately we lost, but I met some French guys from Toulouse at the pub and crashed a 21st birthday party.
I was in Killarney for one reason, to take a day trip of the Dingle peninsula. The whole area has incredible scenery! I can’t sum it up in words! Think castles by the sea, windswept beaches, rolling hills and mountains. Our guide and the others on the tour were awesome and it was a great day out.
Galway was really hyped up by everyone, and honestly I preferred Cork, but I had a great time anyways and used it as a base for a day trip to the Cliffs of Moher with a detour through The Burren. The Cliffs are really incredible, 200m high and a world heritage site. The Burren is essentially hills of limestone cracked and eroded over time to make it look like rocks, we also stopped at a 5000 year old tomb.
After one more night out in Dublin I was on my early morning, £9 flight to Scotland.
Until next time,