Oh, Ireland! From the looks of my pictures you might assume that Ireland is a bunch of sheep, rolling green hills, and stunning cliffs. And you wouldn't be too far off. But there are also splendid cities, quaint little towns, and some of the friendliest people on earth. Spending an entire week in Ireland wasn't enough - I have to go back, I need to go back. I wish I could take you through every part of the trip but that would really take 8 blog posts, so instead I'm going to share my top 3 highlights and must dos.
1. The Aran Island of Inis Mor and the Cliffs of Moher
Those of you who know me well know that once I get something in my head, I kind of have to do it and that was exactly the case with this island. I read about it in my guide book before the trip as a "if you have time" and since we had time I knew it needed to happen. The Island of Inis Mor (the largest of the three Aran Islands) was incredible and made for the most perfect day trip ever. I would be lying, however, if I said it was easy to get there. Oh, there are plenty of ferries from Doolin, that wasn't the problem. It was the actual ferry ride to the island. It. Was. Not. Smooth. Getting out of Doolin Harbor was crazy, and I was convinced that the boat was going to capsize, and Nate was convinced all our things were going overboard. We basically spent an hour holding on for dear life and I'm not even afraid of boats! But, I promise you, it's so worth it. I mean just approaching the island's dock, dolphins were springing from the water to greet us like it was a movie. And then it's basically the cutest little town you ever saw. Ever. We rented bikes and spent a few hours biking the whole island. There are amazing cliffs, huge sections of the Burren, an ancient fort, beaches, rocky coast, and a wormhole when the tide is right (it wasn't, sadly). Doolin is so close to the Cliffs of Moher that after we got back from the island we took a quick sail past the cliffs before driving over to explore them ourselves. They don't disappoint. They are stunning and seem to go on forever. Nothing more really needs to be said, you must see them.
This is an amazing city and you could probably spend a week just here exploring all the museums, monuments, churches, landmarks, pubs, and eating all the fish and chips. And I did eat all the fish and chips. We did everything from seeing the oldest street to laying around in the grass along the river in Phoenix Park to exploring Kilmainham Gaol to sharing some pints at the oldest pub.
3. Ring of Kerry and driving the country
No matter what spots are on your must see, you have to rent a car and drive the country. We started in Dublin, headed to Galway and then Doolin, on to the Ring of Kerry, followed by Cork before heading back to Dublin. The countryside is gorgeous and lush and really this green. My dreams came true on the side of a mountain in Kerry when I got to watch a live sheep herding demonstration. So many sheep! So close! So fluffy! And the live music in Cork? Incredible. The best night of the whole trip!
To summarize, book a ticket and get on a plane to Ireland asap. And, if you want to get married, renew your vows, or propose and bring me along, all the better! I'm allllll in.