United Kingdom, Ireland · 11 Days · 36 Moments · September 2017

Haley's tour through Ireland

24 September 2017

Here's a sampling of beers that we tried on this trip (and Guiness, of course). Stouts were the best, and among them, we liked Porterhouse Oyster Stout the most.
The view from our Dublin Airbnb!

23 September 2017

We went on a historic walking tour of Dublin! Very informative! The guide was a woman who got her PHD from Trinity College in Irish History. We saw Trinity College, the Old Parliament, Temple Bar, Christchurch Cathedral and the City Council building. City Council is the modern building... it was built in the early 80's and is significant because it was built on top of a 12th century Viking village. When they were starting the construction, archeologists started an excavation to see what was under the site. When the village was discovered there was a court case to decide what to do and it was decided to go ahead with the building instead of fully excavating and preserving the village. It wasn't what historians or citizens wanted, there were huge demonstrations and protests but to no avail!
We toured the Guinness storehouse and the Teeling Whiskey Distillery. The cool thing about Teeling is they opened in 2015 and are the first and only distillery in Dublin since 1971.

22 September 2017

After Annestown we drove back to Dublin where we're staying until we head home on Monday 😔 But on the drive we saw the most spectacular rainbow! The picture doesn't even do it justice!
After Dingle we spent a night in Annestown. Those 5 houses are downtown! Tiny cliff town in the south. We stayed in the peach cottage next to the blue one. We had a wonderful Airbnb host, who made us dinner and breakfast! The donkeys live right across the street and they were so sweet and came right over to say hi!

21 September 2017

Artem made a friend in Dingle!

20 September 2017

The last stop of the day was at Brandon Creek. And the sun came out for the first time all day... it decided it was time to be spectacular! We were at the base of Brandon Mountain, unfortunately the peak was still covered by clouds.
We hiked out to the tip of the peninsula through a sheep pasture. We even saw the sheep getting herded down the mountainside by a sheep dog and shepherd! That point is considered the farthest west point in Europe! Beyond the peninsula you can see the Blasket Islands.
It was a narrow cliff road to get to the tip of the peninsula!
The second stop on the drive was at the Beehive huts. It was a single family farm and dwelling that would have been occupied from ancient times up until 1200AD. The structures looked like beehives because of how they built them. Stones in a circle with each stratum closer to the center until the opening at the top was small enough to fit a capstone. No mortar was used. It's amazing to see the ingenuity behind it and that it lasted nearly a thousand years!
After seeing Funghi, we drove the whole Slea Head Drive around the tip of the Dingle Peninsula. The first stop was Dunbeg Fort. It's the ruins of a Promontory Fort that dates back as far as 500BC. Only parts of the structure date back that far... I think the majority is closer to the 9th and 10th century. Because it's on the edge of a cliff, it's subject to erosion and during a bad storm in 2014 a large piece of the cliff fell into the sea, taking some of the Fort with it.
It's not a visit to Dingle without going to see Funghi the resident dolphin! He's in his forty's now but still comes to say hi to all the boats that come out!

19 September 2017

Drove into Dingle and found our Airbnb which was right in the center of town and was definitely the prettiest Airbnb I've ever stayed in!!
Our second stop was at Bunratty Castle and folk park. The current castle was built in 1425 and then restored in the 1950's. It's incredible to walk around a castle that was lived in hundreds of years ago and picture life at the time!
We drove to Dingle today from Galway and made a couple stops along the way! First being the Burren National Park, the park consists of 4,000 acres of stark Carboniferous Limestone. We somehow had gps direct us to a part of the park that wasn't the main entrance.... But we were still able to stop and do a short walk to see the scenery! That's our little silver rental car 😊

18 September 2017

The last stop on the tour was the Ross Errily Friary. It's a 14th century Franciscan Friary. It is supposed to be the best preserved Franciscan Friary in Ireland. I haven't seen enough of them to confirm that myself 😉 But it did seem remarkably intact for a building from the 14th century. The funny part is the ground level has risen so all the doorways and hallways were very low. We both had to crouch to get under but Artem was practically crawling!
Next we stopped in Cong and explored the ancient Abbey and grounds! The town is also famous for being a location for the movie The Quiet Man. There is even a statue in town...
We made an unscheduled stop on the side of the road near Lough Nafooey... the roads are extremely narrow and we were in a giant coach bus. The driver said he needed to work up the nerve to drive the bus across that tiny stone bridge. But since it was such a beautiful location no one minded getting out and having a little look around. I'll tell you we made it! But it was very tight!! Somehow he managed to not scrape the side of the bus on the stones. Everyone applauded!
After Kylemore Abbey we made a quick stop at the Killary Fjord. The only fjord in Europe that's outside of Scandinavia. We also had a laugh trying to do selfies!
Kylemore Abbey is so picturesque. We spent a lot of time in the Walled Victorian Garden! Definitely one of my favorite sites in Ireland.
Today we toured the Connemara region north of Galway. These are some shots of the scenery on our way to Kylemore Abbey! Gorgeous day for stunning countryside.

17 September 2017

Then we spent the afternoon on Inisheer, the smallest of the Aran Islands. Beautiful little town, tiny island, very old school Ireland (according to our tour guide)! The Sunken church was fascinating... from the 10th century and over time it became buried in sand. And we got a little tour around being pulled by a tractor! All in all, a perfect Irish day!
Cruising under the cliffs!
On the top of the cliffs! There was some fog when we first arrived but it cleared off and we got some stunning vistas!
Today we're touring the Cliffs of Moher, from land and water, and going to Inisheer, one or the Aran Islands. These are from the ride to the cliffs! Beautiful day in Ireland today, much nicer that the wet windy day we had yesterday!!

16 September 2017

We stopped at Grianan of Aileach on our way out of Londonderry. It's a 10th century fort on top of mountain! Originally we planned to head straight to the west coast past Donegal and do a hike before driving to Galway but it poured rain all day! So we had to skip that...
Some country roads are very narrow!
Some country roads are very narrow!
We walked along the top of the old city walls! Not the best weather day but still very beautiful. This was our last few moments in Londonderry before heading out towards Galway.

15 September 2017

The peace bridge in Londonderry! Beautiful pedestrian bridge snaking across the River Foyle.
After the causeway we were able to climb up to the top of the cliff above it. Such a beautiful (and suuuper windy walk) It was a wonderful 2nd day in Ireland!
At Giants Causeway! Super cool hexagonal rock formations... left from ancient volcanic activity. It was like Artem's personalized rock playground!!
Walking to the Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge! Gorgeous area but bummed because we weren't allowed to walk across... Too much wind today! Still well worth the drive through the countryside and the views!
Driving through the countryside in Northern Ireland!

14 September 2017

View from our Airbnb in Londonderry!!