Ireland. We only had 48 hours. We landed at 11am on Saturday and our flight left at 11am on Monday. So really outside of the airport we had about 45 hours. It’s so weird to think that’s all we were there. It seemed like we did so much and it ended up being my favorite part of our entire Europe trip yet we were hardly there.
Ireland wasn’t some preplanned idea where we said let’s go to Ireland. Once you’re in Europe it’s pretty easy to get around Europe by hopper planes or train. We booked our flight to Norway and then for a flight home just looked for the cheapest city to fly out of. Thinking it would be Paris or London. Turned out to be cheaper to hop to Ireland and fly home from Dublin. But there was no way we were just going to fly into Ireland to fly home. So we arranged it stay, just a little while. We told a bartender one night that there was no way we could just fly in and fly out and he replied “Well, ya. That would just be rude.” Indeed it would have been. Glad we weren’t rude 😉
I sorta fell in love with Ireland the second I saw it through the window on the plane. Our entire trip it rained. And most of the time it was that socked in clouds kind of raining. But as we flew into Dublin all we could see was greenery. And the sun was shining, welcoming us there. I think that Ireland loved me before I loved Ireland.
Meg had little knowledge of what was happening on our trip. She wanted to be surprised the whole way. She didn’t even google the main places we said we were going. She was living for the surprise. For Ireland I had intended on getting off the plane, renting a car, and driving straight across Ireland to the Cliffs of Moher. Crossing my fingers we’d get there before dark and maybe even get lucky with a sunset. We’re in Ireland afterall, land of luck. Or something like that 😉 The flight over I had mentioned we were driving to the Cliffs of Moher. Finally Meg asked if they were similar to the Cliffs of MOTHER, she had really wanted to go there one day. Dots were connected that Cliffs of Mother is really Cliffs of Moher and her perma-grin began. The one place in Ireland she ever wanted to go to we were going to, as soon as we could get off the plane. Got our car and hit the road. Driving on the otherside of the road…. turns out I’m alright at driving on the other side of the car and road! We didn’t even stop for castles along the way, Meg’s favorite thing. We were determined to get to the cliffs. And we made it before dark, but not really a sunset. Still sooooo beautiful.
We rushed out there so excited to take photos. Jumped over the wall towards the cliffs to get more photos. And then we were yelled at and told if we did that one more time we were going to have to leave. Apparently you’re not allowed to jump over the wall. Although where we jumped the sign was a yield sign with a dude falling. That to me said be careful you don’t fall. If we had looked up or down the wall a few feet there were no climbing signs. OOPS.
Just driving around the view is soooo beautiful. The first night we stayed in downtown Limerick. We took a few minutes in our hotel room to relax and warm up after a freezing windy trip to the cliffs. In Norway nothing opened for dinner until at least 7pm. In France it was like 9pm if you wanted dinner. So we figured Europe eats late. We’ve got time to relax. And just before 9 we left the hotel to get some food. And nope, Ireland doesn’t eat late. Dinner is done by 7:30. I think they eat early to have more time to drink, I mean it kinda makes sense. And Pubs don’t serve any food after 7:30. After wandering for 30 minutes and seriously considering a visit to McDonalds we found a hole in the wall pizza place and devoured a fresh pizza. After only getting about 8 hours of sleep over 3 days in France we decided to have an earlier night that night. Afterall, Ireland was supposed to be the chill part of our trip.
Another fact…. Irish don’t usually eat out on Sundays. So took us a hot minute to find a place to eat. I’ve been dreaming about that breakfast since. A big Irish breakfast with tea in a pub. Oh, Ireland.
We didn’t have much planned for our second day in Ireland other than drive. And not on the highway. Although I secretly planned to take Meg to a castle or two. Meg is OBSESSED with castles. Her excitement around them is UNREAL and infectious. All she knew that morning after breakfast was that we were staying the night in Dublin, I was driving away from Dublin and trying to find some castle. But, here’s where I’m going to let you down a little bit. I’m not going to share the castle adventure with you right now. See I was trying to do something crazy and fun for my friend, but in return I realized something bigger. And that deserves a blogpost all for itself. Sooooo I’m gonna make you wait til next week to hear and see all about the castle.
Ok, fine….. a small preview! See… her excitement is unreal.
I could drive the country roads of Ireland for weeks on end. It’s so beautiful. Every town has the cutest little streets. And they were all lit up for Christmas and the holidays. Or as Ireland calls it…. Festive Season! And ugly sweaters are a real thing there. Not funny haha your sweater is so ridiculous. Like casual day wear with everyone wearing them. I was in Christmas heaven, I swear! We stopped in Kilkenny on our way to Dublin for dinner since it was close to 7:30. Decided to step into a local pub and grab a beer and dinner. Welllllll pubs don’t really serve food on Sundays. Who knew?! But the owner was awesome and quietly mentioned he had just come in that afternoon to make some soup for the next day if we wanted a fresh bowl he’d give us one. And there we sat. In a bonafide little Irish pub, watching NFL, eating fresh hot soup and drinking a Guinness. Which I don’t care too much for but I had a half link for sake of being in Ireland. The rest of the night I drank plenty of Kilkenny 🙂 And then we continued on our trip into Dublin. Parked the car and our stuff in our room and wandered the streets. Didn’t have to go far for multiple pub experiences, live music, conversations with cops, more food at a place called Elephant Castle…. marinate on that one….. And listening to those Irish accents and learning how bad American accents are and no one cares to have one haha.
Also take note that a beer in Ireland is a pint, not a 10 or 12 oz glass. Also… they’re pints are bigger than our pints. By about 4 ozs.
After a late night out we once again had a quick nap and were up to head to the airport. Which was an adventure in itself. We didn’t really get there on time. I wasn’t worried at all. Dublin’s airport really isn’t that big so I figured we’d go through customs in New York. WRONG. Also rather than having separate areas of the airport for international to the US and the rest of Europe they don’t. So you go through security to go to the security again and then customs. Easy for me since I’m American and we’re headed to the US. Not as quick for Meg who is Canadian. Oh and the fact that the airline flagged her to be screened every time, even before boarding the plane at the gate…… We hadn’t even made it to customs when the monitors flashed final call for our flight. At which point we looked at each other and said well whatever, if we don’t make it at least we can eat, we were so hungry. But we made it someway, somehow. And then devoured every snack we could find in our bags.
I think I might have left a part of me in Ireland. It’s magical. I can’t wait to get back there. Next time for more than forty-some hours.
If you get the chance to go to Ireland, go drive. Not on the highway. Just go get lost.
*All of the photos are a combination of Meg & I’s from our camera’s, phones, and GoPro. But mostly our iPhones 😉 *