We arrived in Ireland after a quick flight and an unusually long time in Passport security. Once we got to he hostel and had a nice nap we ventured around the Temple Bar area to partake in our first Irish poured Guinness and fish and chips that we had some how missed in the UK. We decided to call it an early night because Marielle and I had booked a day tour across the countryside to the west coast of Ireland to see the Cliffs of Moher.
The bus left at 6:45 the next morning as we embarked on our foggy 3 1/2 hour coast to coast drive. Along the way our cheery bus driver sang us many Irish songs that were hilarious especially with his accent. And he could actually carry a tune! One of the stops we made along the way for breakfast was actually a rest stop in a small town where apparently Barrack Obama had been a few years back. I guess he found he had some Irish roots in that small town, made a trip there to visit, and stopped for a pint of Guinness. Apparently this was the most exciting thing that had happened to this town and so they decided to make it their claim to fame. They revamped the whole rest stop and decided to name it none other than “Barrack Ombama Plaza”. So hilarious because it’s literally in the middle of nowhere. Once we got to the coast the clouds cleared and it was blue skies! We were able to walk along the cliffside and look right off into the Atlantic. Felt like we were on the edge of the world. We even made some time to relax and take in the scenery, while eating some “Cliffs of Moh-reos” haha! We then made our way to a small town for some Irish Stew (which was delicious!) and to an old abbey out in the country side. The bus didn’t get back into town till 8pm so it was a really long day but totally worth it! It was nice to get out of the city and see the green rolling hills, stacked limestone walls, and cattle grazing. We even were able to experience an Irish traffic jam (which is a joke because it refers to having cattle blocking the road in front of you). So we got the full experience haha. That night we somehow rallied and met up with the others for a pub crawl. Dane, Byron, Kayley, and her friend Chris from home were already a few Guinness deep by the time we got there haha.
Our last day in Dublin we went to the Guinness factory! Which was amazing! Best $14 I’ve spent. The place is like 7 stories high and teaches you all about how he beer is made, it’s history, production, and even let’s you pour your own pint before heading to the top floor for a 360 degree view of the city. So rad! We rounded off the afternoon with some warm soup to defrost our frozen fingers, and Marielle and I headed over to Trinity college to check out the Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript we had learned about back in art history class in college. That night as our farewell to our whirlwind time in Ireland we went out one last time to the pubs. This time we were joined by a few of Dane and Byron’s Aussie friends so we had a really big crew. It was fun to get to see all the bars, literally one after another, but I don’t think I could handle the hard core drinking culture. Especially after the non-stop two weeks we just had. I was ready for some R&R and a nice detox.
The next morning I unfortunately had to say goodbye to Marielle, but was so glad she was able to come meet up! Unfortunately this was the last stop with our Aussies as well. We were breaking up the family! The boys were staying in Ireland a bit longer and Kayley and Chris were headed over to Scotland. Meanwhile I was hopping on a plane back to the UK to stay with a friend for the week in the English countryside. I was looking forward to a little downtime and peace and quiet was just what I needed!