, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

After my lovely trip to Northern Ireland, I hopped on a bus and headed to Ireland. Huh? You went from Ireland to Ireland? Yes it’s a bit confusing isn’t it. Northern Ireland is part of Great Britain (which is also comprised of England, Scotland and Wales) whereas Ireland is considered a Republic. While I learned a lot about the history of the area and “The Troubles” of Northern Ireland during this trip, I’m just too lazy to go into it here so you’ll have to go find out on your own. Now back to Ireland….

I got on the bus near Augher and got off in Dublin later than morning. Since I was taking a later train out of town, I decided to do a bit of touring around Dublin. I did the Hop On Hop Off tour here-they have them throughout the world and seem to be a good way to see everything in a city within a limited time frame.

Dublin city

Dublin city

I enjoyed the tour of the city and thankfully had lovely weather. I will do a separate post on the Guinness factory but suffice to say, I had a great time!!

I only had 3 full days in Galway so booked myself on some tours. I used the Galway Tour Company and would highly recommend them. Both my guides were wonderful and so informative and hilarious! My first tour was to the Cliffs of Moher. The tours left around 10am which was so nice as I’m used to tours leaving around 7:30-8am. We stopped at Dunguaire Castle for a photo-op then went on to Corcomroe Abbey, which was beautiful. From there we got to see a fairy fort and the Gleninsheen Wedge Tomb (5800 yrs old!) and stopped in to a wonderful pub in Doolin for lunch. After lunch we headed to the Cliffs. It was a gorgeous sunny day which normally would have been great but actually only succeeded in making photos very difficult because of the glare. The wind was so much at the top of the cliffs that a few times I actually got blown several steps down the path. It was a great day though!

DSC08204 DSC08274 DSC08330 DSC08334

The next day I went on the Connemara tour. You always think of Ireland as being green but the Connemara is red and orange and gorgeous! We started the day at Ross Errily Friary, which was just as lovely and haunting as the Abbey. A quick stop in the cute little town of Cong and we were on our way into the Connemara. We stopped at Lough Nafooey, where the Irish version of the Loch Ness monster lives. After driving through the Connemara area, we headed to Kylemore Abbey. They had a great restaurant for lunch and then we caught the tour of the Abbey. It’s got such a great story behind it and is stunning. I didn’t see the gardens as it was January but the Gothic Church on the grounds was beautiful and the estate itself stunning.

DSC08458 DSC08526 DSC08550 DSC08685

My final day was spent in Galway City and I will do a separate post because this one is already too long. I had a great time in Ireland and would highly recommend that if you find yourself in the area, you get your butt over to Ireland!!