Ireland, United Kingdom · 9 Days · 22 Moments · October 2017

Hannah's adventure in Ireland

13 October 2017

We woke up early this morning & drove to Cork. It was hard work staying awake after our late night!! We'd planned to explore & have lunch in Cork, but we were running late, so we did a quick drive through to see the city & kept going. We ended up having a quick lunch at a gorgeous garden centre near the airport. Very sweet! We returned our hire car & had to walk through what felt like a blizzard (πŸ˜‚) to get to the airport departures lounge. Our flight was in a tiny plane, which also meant walking across the tarmac & waiting in the rain β„πŸŒ§β„πŸŒ§ it was so small it had propellors right outside our window & despite the cold miserable weather, was very smooth once we got up above the clouds! Once landed, there was a bus on the tarmac to drive us to the arrivals gate. It was quick & easy getting our luggage & then we had to get another bus to the car rental location.

12 October 2017

We bought more firewood on the way back to our cottage as we enjoyed it so much the previous night. We did a bit of washing & had a break. I had my quiet time, then we had dinner & then proceeded to continue the puzzle we'd been working on. We decided to watch Downton at the same time which was fun - we couldn't believe how much time had past by the time we finished the puzzle. It was 3am!!!
We woke up & started with Downton & tea in bed. Perfect! β˜• Once we got up & going, the plan for the day was to visit Torc waterfall and Dinis Cottage Tea Rooms. We started with the waterfall & enjoyed the pretty walk up to the falls itself. Then we drove a little further into the National Parks to visit the tea rooms. It was a 15 minute walk down a trail there & unfortunately was cold & wet. We did enjoy it though as around every corner there were new pretty views. We had a lovely bowl of vegetable soup once we got there & enjoyed the view out a massive window which had engagement engravings from couple as early as the 1800's. Very special ❀ From there, we headed into town to have a wander. We had a pot of tea & yum brownie, enjoyed a little shopping & tried to not get too wet.

11 October 2017

We changed what we were doing a couple times because we weren't sure what was best with the weather. There was some blue sky but also rain. In the end we decided upon trying to use the most of the blue sky & drive the Ring Of Kerry - a very beautiful, scenic tourist route! We got fog, clouds, rain, blue​ sky, a little sun & a couple rainbows! Thanks God! It was a lovely time exploring & thanking God for His marvelous creation!!! Wow 😍😍😍 We eventually came home through the middle of the peninsula (didn't do the whole ring) and enjoyed the range of views (and sheep/goats) along the way. We got back and had some down time, before a fire, deep conversations - prompted by conversation cards in our devotional about life & relationships, enjoyed wine, fondue and Downton ❀
A quiet morning. I've ended up on the couch watching cartoons with a lovely cup of tea - finally have lactose free milk, so very much enjoying that! I've missed my cuppas!! Also had my quiet time upstairs this morning overlooking the gorgeous view. Again, so very thankful!

10 October 2017

A quiet night tonight! Did some more of our bible study, had stir fry for dinner, did some of our jigsaw & watched Downton. We also had some delicious chocolate brownie ice cream covered in Coole Swan, a creamy liqueur made of Belgian white chocolate, YUMM! A lovely night!! I'm enjoying listening to the rain tonight which is seriously the most incredible sound right now ❀😍🌧
We then went for a drive to explore for a while. We started at Muckross House & Gardens. A beautiful historical house with finely groomed gardens. Very pretty! We then drove through the national park, admiring the trees, water, mountains, rain & gorgeous views!! We even stumbled across heaps of deer! Amazing to see the massive antlers on the bucks up close! We also drove past Ross Castle on our explorations.
This morning was another quiet one of reading and sleeping in. It's so nice to relax before exploring! Once up & going we explored​ Killarney for the day. We had lunch & then drove into town. We walked up & down Main Street & had a look at some shops, just enjoying the lovely feeling of the town. We loved that is wasn't as touristy as anywhere else we've been. After looking around for a while, we stopped for some chai & chocolate cake in one of the sweetest shops. It was obviously a local watering hole which served coffee & cake on one side & beer etc. at the bar on the other. It was a massive place.

9 October 2017

We decided to go a different way home & as we drove up the mountain​, the fog came in thick. We ended up on a windy road through the hills that was 2-way but at times was only wide enough for 1 car! If 2 cars came head on, one would have to reverse to find a wide enough spot in the road to pass.There was a small brick wall on the cliff-side which dropped immediately down & all you could barely see was the flashing hazard lights of cars coming. A bit scary but thrilling too. There was even sheep on the road in the middle of the fog! When we got home we had quiet times with God & then a late dinner which we did with an impossible puzzle. Once in bed, we both read until we fell asleep.
I woke up early & had a quiet time on the couch & then made Ebby breakfast in bed. We did our Bible Study there & as a consequence did 24 hours technology free. We went for a drive to Dingle & loved the opportunity to just be present in the moment & enjoy the view! The views were magnificent!! Without technology we enjoyed following signs & seeing what was in front of us. So many stops along the way to soak it all up! We had Murphy's ice cream while in Dingle. I had chocolate fudge brownie...warm brownie with chocolate ice cream & topping! Yummmm 😍

8 October 2017

We hit the road & were SO excited to see the countryside. It was perfect! ❀ Just as we'd imagined! 😍😍😍 We first drove to the Cliffs of Moher which was STUNNING!! Simply beautiful... We then stopped for a quick lunch at Bunratty & finally made it to Killarney right before dinner time. The town is so lovely! I'm really excited to explore. Even more excited to sit & look at the gorgeous views surrounding us. They are so lovely!! Our "cottage" is gorgeous!! I can't believe how big or lovely it is!! Feel so incredibly blessed & thankful for it! ❀ I've said a few times today that it's​ starting to feel like a holiday! Hiring our car, having a little holiday place & then going & buying food. It was exciting to spend only 50€ on a whole bunch of grocery shopping for plenty of meals instead of that for one meal out as we have been πŸ˜‚ We had box pizza & garlic bread which was perfectly easy after a long day & watched some Downton on the couch!
First thing this morning we got up to catch the bus & pick up our hire car. However, once we got to the stop at 8am we realised it didn't come until 10. Oops! We booked a taxi & then finished all our packing while waiting. As we got our car we were told that I couldn't drive. After ALL of my hours HOURS of reading T&C's & all the research I did about car hire companies we chose this one as I could drive it being under 25. However, we were told the fact that I've had my license for 8 years doesn't qualify as I needed to "have my license for "8 years by Ireland standards." Unfortunately that wasn't clarified anywhere. Thankfully we're only doing short stints...I'll definitely plan to drive im England!

7 October 2017

We had a quiet evening in thankfully! We got back, sat down & both started reading our books for the next few hours. It was so lovely! I finished mine in 2 days! We had a late dinner once we felt hungry & then crawled into bed where we did some more of our Bible study. I've been so very thankful for what we've been working through. Confronting but very needed! A real blessing β™₯
Wandering the streets we stumbled across lots of things. One being a little local market with all sorts of goods & food. Irish stew & seafood in particular! We walked past an old church which was visited by Christopher Columbus & was also the location where Cromwell's soldiers stabled their horses. Oh the history!! We also found what's called "Lynch's Window." There were a few rich families in the area in history & they took turns in mayoral power. When the Lynch's were in power & one of the sons did some terrible stuff, he was trialled & sentenced to be hung. However because of who he was, no one would perform the hanging. Eventually his Dad stood up, said 'I'll do it' & hung his son from the window. Hence the expression, "to be lynched." We continued wandering & exploring, falling more in love with the culture, even found a little Christian shop, until we were ready to sit down. We found a cafe & had some cups of tea to keep warm β˜•
We slept in - it was perfect!! A very slow morning indeed. I had time to have a quiet time which was really nice! We eventually made it out to our bus where we got dropped into Eyre Square. We had a quick lunch at a nearby cafe & then spent the next few hours wandering the streets. It was a small city but had so much more character than Dublin! I loved the cobble Stone streets with pretty shops & pubs and the buskers, oh the buskers!!! There was one on every corner. So much life, it was great!! We even bought a CD of a band we really liked. A bit of a soundtrack for our car drive ;)

6 October 2017

It was raining by the time we got to Galway. We found Cora (our hosts) who was so lovely to come & pick us up! She welcomed us & drove us around to help orientate us & then took us back to the house where we were so excited to have our own space. It was a little cottage, but so nice! We got a little organised, I made our pasta & sauce for dinner & collapsed on the couch. It was AMAZING! We watched the new Beauty & the Beast & went to bed. It was a very needed quite evening in!! πŸ’Ÿ
Before leaving we got some pasta & sauce to cook in our first Airbnb place that night. We were looking forward to not having to go out for a meal for once. Yay! We then had an hour till we had to be at the hotel to pick up our bags, so wandered & found some shops to look in. We then headed back to our hotel where we grabbed a drink at the bar to pass the time. We walked to the station again suitcases in hand (noticing calluses now!) & got our tickets only to be told that our pre-booked train didn't leave from that station & that we had to catch a tram to a different one. We were incredibly squished in with heaps of people!! We quite easily hopped onto the train, put away our bags & found our seats. We sat across from 2 lovely Irish people who gave us lots of travel tips & ideas. I've been so in love with the people we've met on our trip so far. So many friendly people with great stories!
Next came a pub called, "The Hairy Lemon", a family owned pub from over the generations. I had Guinness & beef pie - so full of flavour! We then had ice cream tastings at Murphys - an icecreamery using milk from the Kerry cows (very rare) from Dingle. The flavours were beautiful & unique. I had gin - very subtle but lovely! We then headed to a fish & chip shop that has been open for 130 years or so. They smoke their fish & then fry everything in beef fat. It tasted realllllllly good. Again, so full of flavour! Unfortunately we were so full we only had small bites. We walked through an upmarket shopping complex that has been created from a Lords city house. It was incredible! The last stop was a brand new gorurmet supermarket where we tried some Irish cheese to finish.
Despite being full from our dinner the night before, we got up and went to our food tour, meeting at Trinity College. We had a small group this time with our guide Jessica & 3 women from New Jersey. We started off with history of Trinity - amazing to hear its history! How when it became a college after a monastery it was purely for Protestants, but in the 1970's this changed. On either side of the bell is two patches of grass which are sacred as they're known to be the major place of battles. We first started at a place called Kilkenny, a shop selling original Irish designs. We went to the upstairs cafe where we tried Black Pudding (blood & oatmeal sausage), White Pudding (intestines & oatmeal sausage), a traditional Potato Cake and a Gur Cake (initially made by poor families when their sons would steal what they could - tasted like mince pies. "gur" means juvenile). We then went to a whiskey store & tried 3 whiskeys as well as an Irish cream liqueur. Strong but lovely!!

5 October 2017

The Celtic Night was a bit of fun!! We had a late 3 course dinner which was truly delicious! I had Vegetable soup (which I didn't know I was craving so much, the veggies were GREAT!!), chicken & a delicious dessert plate! Yummm 😍 The show itself was very touristy but fun to see. A mix of very traditional Irish music played by a band of fiddle, accordion & guitar. There was also some Irish dancing & jigs. I couldn't help but laugh at the two guys dancers. When they first rocked up, one was in a footy shirt, the other with a massive beer gut & I honestly thought "here they go for a big night of drinking...". Next thing I knew they were in dress shoes, very tight pants & dressy traditional shirts, dancing away πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
We walked from our airport shuttle bus & found our hotel, instantly falling in love with it! It felt very quaint and Irish. The lady at the desk told us about a Celtic Night they hold every night in their bar which we decided to book in for... By the time we got to our room, we were tired so truly enjoyed some serious down time...even had a nap!
Quick off the plane & through boarder security, we grabbed some sandwiches for a late lunch & discovered the freshest of bread. Yumm!!! Nice & easy onto our bus to the city center too thankfully! A nap on the plane certainly helped it to become exciting!!! I'M IN IRELAND!!!!