Wow so Ireland was amazing. What’s really weird is that I’m lying in my hostel bed in Copenhagen, Denmark writing about the time I spent in Ireland. Craziness. Side note, I had already written up this entire blog but then technology decided to take me back to the home page of my phone and the blog didn’t save so this is the second attempt at this blog. Hopefully it’s better than the first! (This is why I dislike technology). Also I’m doing these blogs on my phone from here on out as I did not bring my laptop to backpack through Europe so because it is harder to type so much on my phone, my blogs may not be as exquisite as they could be. Apologies in advance. Oh and also, just so you all know, I’m going to try to do a blog per country which could mean two blogs a week! Or less. We shall see how easy it is to keep up. I also don’t know how much detail I will go into for every single day of my visits. Some of the blogs may become vague or generalized but I’ll be sure to let you know of the most memorable and important (to me) experiences.
So Ireland! Emma and I got there last Saturday and left Wednesday afternoon. We were extremely lucky because Saturday through Monday (3 whole days) was pure sunshine! One day of sunshine in Ireland is a miracle but three days? No, that is just pure Irish magic in action folks. Someone must have wished really hard for sunshine. Our last full day (Tuesday) we received some authentic, gray skies and rainy Irish weather. You have to expect to experience some authentic weather in the countries you visit, right? Of course so Emma and I couldn’t complain. .
So our first day we go straight to our hostel to check in and refresh from traveling. We stayed at Kinlay House in Dublin if you want to look it up. I enjoyed it and so did Emma although our beds weren’t super comfortable, but I’m learning you cannot have high expectations for hostels if you want to enjoy your stay in anyway. But it was still light out and we were in Dublin (!!!!!!) so we headed out and found Temple Bar!
Temple Bar is both a singular bar and also the name of the strip/walk of a multitude of pubs (mostly) with a few restaurants/cafes/eating places. So we walked around there feeling hungry (we barely found a cheap place to eat), ate then decided to try a pub! We went to Auld (or Ald; it’s spelt with an Irish accent to spell old) Dubliner pub and got ourselves a Guinness (cheers dad!). We stayed for a bit listening to the live music. Generally all pubs in Dublin (probably all of Ireland too) have live music. Musicians take song requests, but mostly sing Irish songs. By the way, Irish music is my new favorite music. It’s so fun and happy!!! The music was good and of course the authentic Guinness was grand, but we decided to head out. We were so exhausted from getting up at 6 am. However, walking back to the hostel we came upon another pub/restaurant with live music and decided to check it out. I loved the live music here; it was two guys roughly in their 50s playing a banjo and an acoustic guitar singing only Irish folk songs. They were such good singers! Every musician we heard in a pub had such good vocals. Oh my lantis I can’t believe every musician in Ireland doesn’t have their own album yet! So we stayed there awhile and enjoyed the music then eventually headed back to the hostel for SLEEP. (I’m learning very quickly how severely important it is to get rest while traveling).
Sunday! We did a free walking tour with this company called Sandemans.
I have to interrupt myself. Sandemans does free walking tours in a lot of really big cities here in Europe. The tour guides always have a wonderful energy and have a vast knowledge of the city and country. You get to see some highlights of the city, some aspects maybe you didn’t even know about, get suggestions on places to eat or other places to go and it’s just a really great starting point for a trip to help you figure out what other amazing things to do during your visit. I did one in London then Dublin and this week in Copenhagen. So I’ve done three and they were all fantastic. Okay. I’m done advertising. Back to the main topic.
So Sunday we did the free walking tour (lasted about three hours, a little less). Then Emma and I joined some others from the tour for lunch in the park! The sun was shining and the park was packed with everyone trying to get some fresh vitamin D. Emma and I departed our tour friends and strolled through the park, then strolled past some beautiful artwork, and we finally found Oscar Wilde! Or his statue that is. Good old Oscar. We roamed the streets, went into a few shops, got some cheap supermarket food for dinner and headed back to our hostel. We ate then headed out for a pub crawl! That was fun and we got to meet some cool people from Germany, the states, Argentina, Spain, Greece and probably some other countries. But we headed home early because Monday was an early one.
Monday! Emma do I had a tour booked though Paddywagon tours. We had to be at the pick up point at 7:30 am (that was a doozy) to leave on this giant bus (think like a rockstars tour bus kind of size). It was cool because we listened to Irish music the whole time. What was really cool about this tour bus/company was (for one the awesome Irish music it played) the bus does not take a direct route to the Cliffs of Moher because that would mean staying on a boring highway the entire time. Instead we went indirectly and drove through a few different small towns and saw more genuine Ireland countryside. Honestly Ireland is so beautiful. More beautiful than England without a doubt. So we saw more of Ireland and got more bang for our buck! We stopped s couple times for picture opportunities and honestly the tour before the Cliffs would have sufficed for me because our driver also spoke through his headset on the overhead system and told us all about the history of the land and the people as we drove along. Really it was a wonderful day trip. But then we got to the Cliffs of Moher and the trip got so much better. Holy freakin lantis. Words cannot begin to describe how beautiful these Cliffs are. I could have walked all along them and stared at them the entire day. That’s not an exaggeration. If I ever go back, I already have a plan to be there when the sun rises and not leave until supper time. The Cliffs were just so so so so green, at least on the top, and the sides of the Cliffs were wet from the Atlantic. The contrast between the BLUE Atlantic Ocean and the green, brown, grassy beautiful clifffs was astounding. Pictures will never do this place justice. It’s simply impossible. The camera cannot capture the vastness of the ocean, the reality of how big the Cliffs are, or …. I was trying to think of a third thing for a whole 60 seconds but I’m really just kind of speechless about these Cliffs. Honestly. I’ll just leave it at that. So eventually we left and drove back through another small town and headed backward to Dublin to crash and burn from fatigue. I felt like a kid in the back of the car falling asleep from all the excitement from Disneyland or something. Oh! Because we took an indirect route, our giant bus got to drive on narrow and winding roads. That was fun.
Tuesday! Tuesday was beer day. Emma and I booked a time to tour the Guinness Storehouse. It is not the actual brewery, more of a museum, but it is directly next to the Guinness St. James Gate Brewery. Okay. I left this place with such a deep appreciation and respect not just for Guinness beer but for Irishmen everywhere and all of Ireland! You don’t even have to like Guinness or beer at all to enjoy this place! For one, Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000 year contract to lease the land the brewery is on…………..um, what was that Brooke? Did you say 9,000 years? Why yes I did Brooke! I said 9,000 years!!!! ……. holy lantis who does that? A genius named Arthur Guinness I suppose. And they’re only just over 250 years into that 9,000 year contract. I don’t even want to save the planet for the animals or the ocean but we need to save the planet so Guinness can live out their lease! Did you also know that Guinness gets its dark ruby red color from the nearly burnt barley it bakes? Well now you do. When I come home ask me how they make Guinness and I can tell you. I also learned about the various forms of transportation over the years and the vast variety of advertisements (some were just weird). I learned how to properly taste a Guinness and how to pour a Guinness from the tap correctly. I can show you all that too when I get home! We were there. Early 3 hours. It was great. The rest of the day we explored some more and did the pub crawl one last time, again meeting really cool people from all over the world. Unfortunately we had to leave the next day.
Ireland was amazing. An absolutely beautiful country with the most friendly, warm, welcoming, and open people I have ever met. The music is grand and everyone just wants to have a good crack (which means a good time basically)! So here’s to Ireland and the wonderful memories made. I sincerely hope to go back again and explore more of the country.
Cheers! Or as the Irish say, Slanche!
Ps- because I’m doing this on my phone, I can’t figure out how to caption the photos soooo just enjoy the pictures 😊