How do you plan your trips? I plan mine by taking a year off and throwing darts at a map. Another method of mine is having my friends tell me they need a vacation and agreeing to wherever they would like to go. The latter, is how I ended up in Ireland and Northern Ireland for two weeks at the beginning of May, with one of my greatest friends, Ashley.
The beginning of my trip started a little bumpy… I might’ve verbally assaulted Portland airport security when they confiscated my $12 unopened jar of almond butter. I don’t want to reopen old wounds, but the last time I checked almond butter is neither a liquid or gel! Anyways, after that whole ordeal I eventually boarded my plane and made my way to Chicago to meet up with Smash. 16 hours later Ash and I arrived in Dublin at 4:30AM. Check-in at the Westin wasn’t until 3:00PM, but we thought we would take our chances and see if they had our room ready… they did not. After a few hours of wandering, checking email, and napping on a couch, our room was finally ready. I would like to say I immediately jumped in the shower to get ready and explore the city, but once my eyes made contact with the fluffy white cloud of a bed, nothing else existed in the world. What was meant to be a short nap ended up being 6-8 hours. I don’t remember much of that first day besides eating a mediocre burrito bowl and taking a few photos from the O’Connell Bridge. The real fun began the following day when we picked up our rental car and started our two week road trip around Ireland.
- Wicklow Mountains National Park
- Blarney (Castle and all)
- Ring of Kerry
- Dingle Peninsula
- The Burrnen
- Cliffs of Moher
- Aran Islands
- Giant’s Causeway
- Dark Hedges
Miles driven: 1500
Here are some photos from our trip. I will have photos of Northern Ireland in an upcoming post.
Smash and I became well acquainted with this corridor of the O’Hare Airport during our 4 hour layover.
View from O’Connell Bridge in Dublin
Wicklow Mountains National Park was the first stop we made on our trip around Ireland. It happened to be my favorite stop on our journey and I wish we would’ve spent more time there. A blue sky and no rain is always a great way to start a trip.
Somehow Smash was able to get me to stop jumping on rocks for brief moment so that she could snap a photo of me.
Hair blowing in the wind after a quick make-out sesh with the Blarney Stone.
Ashley pondering her renovation ideas.
Trespassing on abandoned property has turned into a little hobby of mine.
The start of the Ring of Kerry. It was raining kind of hard so I wasn’t able to snap many photos.
We stayed the night in Dingle after making our way through the Ring of Kerry. Dingle is a very lovely coastal town with a ton of character and more pubs than people. We were able to listen to some live Irish music while visiting.
In a bee hive hut on the Dingle Peninsula. Please try to ignore my crazy color combination.
Swap the sheep for a cow and we would be in Point Reyes, Ca.
My view is better than your view.
Our tiny little ride, Annabelle Gene McDoogle. Yes, we named her. We had a lot of time on our hands while we drove.
Driving through the Burren to get to the Cliffs of Moher.
I saw a photo of the Poulnabrone Portal Tomb and told Ashley that we HAD to go here. I thought she was going to kill me during this part of our trip. What we thought was a 20 minute drive ended up taking us over an hour. We kind of missed our exit, but it wasn’t my fault! The sign that was posted was for some cave not for a tomb. Anyways, we finally made it there and I was expecting something a bit larger.
I was a little disappointed during our visit to the Cliffs of Moher. I enjoy natural beauty that hasn’t been tampered with and when we arrived I saw paved pathways, cement fences, and some dome looking thing with shops inside. Ash said that the last time she was there none of that crap existed, it was just nature at its finest.
My second favorite stop on our trip was Inis Mór, which is part of the Aran Islands. This place is magical! The people are super friendly and it’s absolutely gorgeous. We also happened to have amazing weather. Blue sky and warm weather? Umm yes, please.
Dún Aonghasa is a must see. Giant fort on a cliff with phenomanal views, you can’t go wrong there…unless you fall off the ledge.
Sitting on the ledge of a 300+ foot cliff. No big deal. I am actually deathly scared of heights, so I haven’t quite figured out what possessed me to even go near the ledge, let alone sit on it.
This little dude was barking up a storm. His owner yelled back from the ice cream shop “Give me a break, please”.
Our ride back to Galway, where part two of our trip begins…