Ireland

When I created my bucket list, the first country I put on it was Ireland. Out of all the destinations in the world Ireland went straight to number 1. I have seen so many movies which were shot in Ireland and the breathtaking beauty, varied landscapes and impressive nature that came to me across the big screen made me fall in love.

I like to escape home when my birthday comes up. It is not about getting older, but I and what better excuse than to treat use any excuse to go on a holiday. So I am going to treat myself to a 2 week holiday in Ireland. One of my long time friends Astrid is going to accompany me on this road trip. I have booked our flights, rental car and accommodation with Buro ScanBrit, the tour operator that took me to Scotland and Norway last year. I cannot be bothered searching for accommodation during my holiday and waste precious time. Not on this holiday anyway.

Day 1: from Amsterdam to the Wicklow Mountains

So on a Friday afternoon we meet at Schiphol, Amsterdam from where we fly to Dublin with Aer Lingus. It is only a short of an hour an a half. Upon arrival in Dublin, we will start our road trip straight away and we have to pick up our rental car. We have a short ride by shuttle bus to the car park. I have rented a simple and small car that will get us anywhere we need to go. We have to get used to driving on the left side of the road, but it goes a lot smoother than expected. The good thing is that neither of us is scared and a bit of confidence makes a world of difference when driving.

We leave Dublin and go south on the M50. We have to pay toll and the car rental company tolds us to register our rental car within 24 hours after arrival. He adviced us to find a shop with the toll logo on their window to register the license plate, so that we are covered when getting checked (I am pretty sure in future they will find an easier system for this).

Our first B&B is located in Rathdrum and we take a scenic route via the coastal town of Wicklow to get there. I prefer to get off the highway and we both love driving through small villages, alongside the coast or in the countryside. As soon as we are off the highway we get to see why Ireland is called the land of 40 shades of green. We are lucky with the weather, because the reason Ireland is so green is the amount of rain that comes down quite often. But not today and we get to enjoy our first day even with a bit of sun that makes everything even more green.

Our B&B Lettermore is 2 km outside the centre of Rathdrum and easy to find. I chose to stay in B&B’s mostly because I love the cosiness and the personal touch these places offer. We are welcomed in the most friendly way by Ann Griffin, the owner. After having checked into a comfortable room for the next 2 nights, we go out in the evening to find a place to eat. Ann has given us tips on where to go and we end up at the Jacob’s Well Pub, where we have a decent meal with a pint of beer. Life is good!

Day 2: Wicklow Mountains and Powerscourt House & Gardens

We had a good night sleep and we start our day with a delicious breakfast that Ann makes for us. She gives us tips for today and after breakfast we drive to the beautiful Wicklow Mountains National Park. Today again we are blessed with the sun shining, what a gift. We park our car at the lower car park in Glendalough, where the visitor centre is located and we get ourselves a map and go for a walk. Just behind the visitor centre there is plenty of history to be found. We stop at St. Kevin’s and St. Kieran’s churches, the Glendalough Roundtower and Catheral and its beautiful graveyards.

From lower lake we walk to upper lake passing Poulanass Waterfall, St. Kevin’s Bed and Reefert Church. We enjoy the immense beauty of Irish nature. It is the first of September today, but there is still plenty of purple from the heather on the mountains. All of a sudden I remember the movie P.S. I Love You (I watched this out of love for Ireland, not because I am a hopeless romantic 😉 ), a love story that started with an encounter in the Wicklow Mountains. We see no Gerry here, but maybe that is because Gerry was actually played by a Scotsman!

After a few hours we leave the park and take the R115/Old Military Road from Laragh and drive to Powerscourt House & Gardens. The road is quite a challenge, but our little car is doing fine and the drive is beautiful. Powerscourt is an impressive estate with the most beautiful gardens. First we get something to eat and drink at the Avoca Store and sit down on a bench in the gardens to enjoy our lunch. We take our time to walk around the estate and it is true: Ireland has 40 shades of green if not more.

At the end of the day we drive back to Rathdrum and relax with a cup of tea at Lettermore; it is such a lovely place. In the evening we go back to Jacob’s, for another delicious dinner. Life happens in the pub in Ireland. This is where you drink and eat, have a good time and sometimes you can even stay for the night. The pub is a kind of extended living room I guess.

Day 3: from Rathdrum to Waterford

Today we leave Rathdrum behind us and head towards Waterford, which means we go further south. Our first stop is in Avoca, known for its famous copper mines and hand weavers. You can find Avoca shops all over Ireland with beautiful knitwear, ceramics, kitchenware, cook books and delicacies (we saw the first shop yesterday at Powerscourt). Woolen Mills is an old weaving factory, which is still in use and we decide to go inside. We get a small weaving demonstration and what a lovely place to stop. Next to the weaving mill there is a big Avoca store and we go inside. It is difficult not to buy anything, all the products being sold are beautiful and buying something is very tempting. But we have a lot of travelling ahead of us and we will visit the Avoca store in Dublin, where we end our road trip. We do get something for lunch and get back on the road.

Our next stop is the North Slob near Wexford, an internationally renowned wild bird sanctuary. Up to 35% of the world population of Greenland White-fronted Geese come here each year for winter, along with other species. But I did not read my guid book well, because the geese arrive at the end of September instead of at the beginning of September. I can see about 20 geese, instead of 6,000. One of them is walking underneath a sign “only geese beyond this point” which I think is quite funny, like it is trying to make a statement. The area is really pretty, so no time was wasted by coming here.

It is time to drive towards Waterford where we will be staying tonight! Waterford is known for its crystal and you can visit the famous crystal factory. It is a Sunday and it is closed, so we drive straight to our B&B, Blenheim House, which is located just outside of Waterford. It is an amazing 250-year-old building and probably the most beautiful B&B during our trip. It stands on 4 acres of lawns, shrubbery and has a private deer park. The building has a long history but now functions as a B&B and is furnished with antiques and art objects. We are literally in the countryside, it is quiet and peaceful and only a ten minutes drive from Waterford.

A lovely lady named Clare welcomes us and shows us our room. We feel like going back in time: it is so beautiful. She makes us leave our suitcases behind and advises us to drive to Dunmore East, which is only 10 minutes away. It is a beautiful afternoon and we should be outside to enjoy it. We park our car opposite of The Strand Inn and Lawlor’s Beach. The Strand Inn is a hotel and pub and there is live music and lots of people enjoying their weekend. We sit down on the terrace, listen to the music, soak up the sun and have a good meal with a beer. We go back to Blenheim House and I enjoy a warm bath before going to sleep.

Day 4: from Waterford to Clonakilty

Clare serves us a good Irish breakfast and she asks about our plans. I tell here I would love to stay longer in this area and that Blenheim House is amazing! But we need to move on to our next stop, but I hope to return here some day! Guess what? Today again the sun in shining!

We go west and drive alongside the coast towards Midleton. When you go for a holiday in Ireland, you have to visit the Jameson Distillery, so that is what we do. Jameson moved from Dublin to Midleton in 1975. They needed more space than they had in Dublin and Midleton offered everything they needed. We make sure we have some lunch first before we join a tour. The property is bigger than we thought and we walk quite a bit; what a great place to visit. Our guide tells us all kinds of funny stories and anecdotes. After the tour comes the best part: we get to taste! The Irish are very proud of their whiskey and they have every right to be. I do not drink whiskey very often, but when I do it is Jameson.

After Jameson we move on to Blarney Castle. People come here for the kissing the famous Blarney Stone, but the castle has much more to offer, like the beautiful Gardens, Rock Close and The Stable Yard Café. We take our time to walk around the property before entering the tower. I you want to kiss the Blarney Stone you should not be afraid of heights! You have to go all the way up in the tower and you have to lean backwards to kiss the stone (you do get some help of course). Why do people kiss this stone? Well, for over 200 years world statesmen, literary giants, and legends of the silver screen have joined the millions of pilgrims climbing the steps to gain the gift of eloquence, meaning a promise to never again be lost for words. Somehow I do not think I am ever lost for words ;), but up we go and we kiss the stone. I try not to think about how many people kissed this stone and how hygienic it is, but we will become one of millions.

After our visit to Blarney Castle we drive to our overnight address in Clonakilty. We would have liked to visit Cork, but when putting this trip together it was quite difficult to make choices. But I decided I would like to visit this city separately and take my time to do so. We arrive a bit late at our B&B, The MacLiam Lodge Guesthouse. After freshening up we walk towards the centre and have dinner in The Phoenix and have a beer (or 2) after. So far our trip is pretty great and the amazing weather helps a lot!

Day 5: from Clonakilty to Killarney

MacLiam serves a good breakfast. It keeps us going and usually we just need a light lunch or a snack at lunch time. We try to get up early every day and go to bed on time. That sounds boring and maybe it is, but we prefer to get up early to have as much time as possible during the day and see things during daylight. We relax at night, usually there is not much going on in the country anyway, so we have a good night sleep and start the next day well rested.

We cannot believe our luck with the weather and feel so blessed. Our first stop today is at Bantry Bay. We park our car at the harbour of Glengarriff and from here we take the ferry boat to Ilnacullen / Garinish Island to visit the famous gardens. It only take 15 minutes to get there and the ferry comes and goes every 30 minutes. We see seals lazing around on the rocks in this beautiful bay. I saw Garnish Island on a TV program once and am glad I remembered it. One we arrive we go for a walk. The gardens are amazing and a lot of special plants and flowers can be found here, some you may not expect in this Irish Atlantic climate.

On our way back on the ferry I chat with Captain Paddy (75 years old). I tell him that I love Ireland and that I could live here then he asks me to marry him. I answer that I would be honoured to be his wife, but even at 42 I am still not marriage material. He cannot stop laughing and says that his offer still stands! Back in the harbour we have a delicious lunch at the small church that lies across the road and since the sun is shining again today we sit outside.

After lunch we head towards Killarney and before we know it, we are driving on the famous Ring of Kerry. The scenery is absolutely stunning, it seems to get more impressive every day. We stop quite often just to admire the view and to take photographs. By the end of the afternoon we arrive in Killarney.

Tonight we stay in a small-scale and very stylish B&B called St. Anthony’s Lodge. We are welcomed by the owner Mary who is a very sweet lady (they all are). We get a cup of tea, chat a bit and check into our room, which is lovely. Mary gives us advice on where to go for dinner tonight. She names a few places and we end up going to the famous Bricin restaurant (and shop), located in the centre of town. We take the car, since we are a bit lazy, but we should have walked. Parking is difficult in the centre and not for free. But we do find a place to park. We walk around the shops a little bit, before sitting down at Bricin where typical Irish food is being served and it is a popular place. We order a Boxty, which is their house speciality. It is a traditional Irish Potato Pancake cooked on the griddle and you can choose your own choice of fillings. They are delicious. It can be busy here, so a reservation is usually a good idea.

Day 6: Ring of Kerry

In the morning we enjoy a delicious breakfast .Mary bakes fresh scones every day (if only I could get the hang of it back home, mine always end up like rocks). Mary’s son give us advice about where to go today. That is probably what I love the most about staying in B&B’s: friendly people and good advice!

Today we continue to discover the Ring of Kerry. Our first stop is at Muckross Abbey, also know as the Franciscan friary of Irrelagh. It was founded for the Observatine Franciscans about 1448 by a Mr. Daniel McCarthy. The ruins are very well-preserved. We visit the church with a wide, square tower and fine windows, also a vaulted cloister with an arcade of arches around a square courtyard. In the middle of this courtyard grows an ancient yew tree and they say it is as old as the Abbey. The graveyard in the grounds surrounding the Abbey is still in use.

From Muckross Abbey we go to Muckross House & Gardens. Muckross House is a 19th century Victorian House and it stands close to the shores of Muckross Lake (one of Killarney’s three lakes). This is such a pretty part of Killarney National Park. We do a small tour inside and learn that Muckross House was built for Henry Arthur Herbert and his wife, the water-colourist Mary Balfour Herbert. There is more to see than just the house: the gardens are pretty impressive as well and there is a farm, pottery, restaurant and more.

We continue our drive along the Ring of Kerry. Our next stop is at the Meeting of the Waters. As the name implies the Meeting of the waters is where Killarney’s famous lakes converge. The Upper lake, Middle Lake (known as Muckross Lake) and Lower Lake (Lough Leane) all come together here. You can only get there by foot or bicycle, so we park our car a few hundred meters away from Torc Waterfall and go for a walk. This area is peaceful and tranquil. There is a lovely old teahouse where we sit down for a warm drink and something to eat, a bit of a late lunch. The windows of the teahouse are engraved with names and they tell how old this teahouse is. I would love to go back in time…

At the end of the afternoon we drive the world famous Gap of Dunloe in the opposite direction (a tip we got from Mary’s son). This is only possible after 4 p.m. when there are no longer horses & carriages on the road. It is a beautiful scenic route and at the end of the road we find Kate Kearney’s Cottage; a picturesque place to stay, drink and eat something. We sit down in the big garden and enjoy a beer (one of course, since we still have to drive). Today was another perfect dat with the sun shining bright and us saying cheers is to celebrate this perfect day, this perfect holiday really!

It is evening when we return to Killarney and we go for fish and chips on High Street before we drive back to St. Anthony’s and relax in our cosy room.

Day 7: from Killarney to Kilkee

The next day we drive to the Dingle Peninsula, where an impressive coastline starts and beautiful beaches can be found. We stop to visit the Beehive Houses, the Dun Beag fort and take a break at Coumeenoole Beach. The beach is stunningly beautiful and you really do not expect a beach like this in Ireland (well, I for sure did not). I need to put my feet in the sand, so from the Slea Head Parking where we leave our car, we descend to the beach for a while. Once we get back to parking, we have an ice cream and enjoy our view a little bit longer. It is the end of summer, but today we really are 2 Lucky Travellers having the most amazing weather so far! Seriously, what are the odds? For 7 days in a row we have sunshine, we are truly blessed on this trip.

We get back on Slea Head Drive and move on to Kilkee. We take the Killrush Ferry from Tarbert to Killimer and with this crossing we save ourselving about an 1,5 hour drive. I would have loved to go to Limerick as well, but decisions had to be made when planning this trip. There is simply too much to here in Ireland and it makes us want to come back someday.

In Kilkee we stay at the Bay View hotel and not in a B&B. But the location is great, so we were OK with this choice for the next 2 nights. We have a comfortable room located at a corner and we can see the ocean from our window. After we have checked in, we decide to go for a walk around Kilkee.

We pass by a wall painting from Che Guevara, definitely not the person you expect to see on a mural. But he once visited Kilkee when apparently he got stuck at Shannon Airport due to heavy fog. At night we have dinner at Naughton’s Bar. The friendly bar owner loves a chat and gives us tips for the next day. The bar is only a few steps away from the hotel so we can leave our our and have a beer (or 2, maybe 3). It is weekend and there is a pub below the hotel and lots of young people go out tonight. This means it could be a bit noisy tonight, so we might as well stay at Naughton’s, relax and enjoy ourselves.

Day 8: Aill na Brun, Loop Head and Kilkee

Breakfast at Bay View is good. So far we have been served breakfast, but here we can choose from a breakfast buffet and there is plenty to choose from. We did not get up very early this morning, but took it easy. After all, it is Saturday 😉

We decide to follow the advice of Naughton’s owner and will discover the Loop Head peninsula. So back on the road we go (but we do not have to drive far). Our first stop is at Carrigaholt, where we visit the medieval Carrigaholt Castle or what remains of it. It stands at the end of the fishing pier and overlooks the Shannon Estuary and the harbour. It is enclosed by a courtyard and high walls on one side, and by rocks and the bay on the other. We cannot go inside, it is closed, although I can take look inside through the windows. It was worth to stop here and take some photographs.

We drive via Kilbala to Loop Head Lighthouse / Aill na Brun. If you have read my other blogs you know I have a thing for lighthouses and this one is real pretty. We walk around it since the lighthouse is closed as well. But this area is so amazing, we are not in a hurry to leave. We take a walk alongside the beautiful cliffs and Astrid wants to know to high the cliffs are and gets on her belly to have a look. Well, she decide to stretch her arms and let her camera see how high the cliffs are. I used to be fearless, but I am clumsy, so I will either drop my camera or fall down myself. So I watch from a distance. We both enjoy the impressive coastline. The more north we travel, the rougher the coastline seems to get.

Back in Kilkee we leave the car at Bay View and have lunch at The Strand. Apparently it was here where Che Guevara was a guest in 1961. The Strand is located at the Strand Line, by the water, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. It is one of the finest restaurants and also a guest house. It is the perfecth place if you want to eat freshly caught seafood. The staff in incredibly friendly, but so far in Ireland we hardly met anyone who is not!

After lunch we go for another walk, it is nice to not be in the car and stretch our legs. Around Kilkee there are quite a few walking paths and the views are amazing. In the middle of Kilkee there is a pretty little beach. On the west side you can walk the Cliff Walk (we passed it by car on our way back from Loop Head). We walk north towards Georges Head and Corbally Cliff and sit down in the sun and enjoy the amazing view. At night we return to Naughton’s for dinner, since we had such a good time last night, so why not go again.

Day 9: from Kilkee via Cliffs of Moher to Galway

Yesterday we had a relaxing day in and around Kilkee. Today we need to get back on road again to continue our road trip. The coastline remains an eye catcher and we stop quite often to enjoy the view and take photographs.

Today we visit the famous Cliffs of Moher! It is probably the most touristic spot on the west coast, but rightfully so. Where yesterday all was quiet and peaceful, here the Cliffs of Moher it is really busy. But it is a must see, so we cannot just drive by. We go for another beautiful walk and A long walk this time. A few months earlier it would have been full with Puffins, but this time of year they have left quite some time. If you are afraid of heights, then walking here is not always easy, because you sometimes walk dangerously close to the edges. You have to be careful, wear sensible shoes and do not take any dangerous selfies. After the beautiful walk we have lunch at the visitor centre, but we think it is to crowded and quickly move on to Galway.

In Galway we stay at the Rock Lodge and it is nice to be staying in a B&B again, although we enjoy staying in the Bay View Hotel as well. We check in, leave our car and explore Galway on foot for the rest of the afternoon. Galway is full of life, it is a vibrant university city and there is always something going on here. It is Sunday afternoon and that means most people are enjoying their day off and go out for a drink and a meal. We do a bit of shopping and then have a very tasty dinner at Italian restaurant Magnetti. After we go to a pub for a drink and have a Galway Hooker (the name of an Irish beer brand). It tastes pretty good I must say 😉 so we have another one (we are on holiday after all) and say cheers to another beautiful day.

Day 10: from Galway to Westport – Connemara

It is monday morning and we are having breakfast at the Rock Lodge. We realize that all of a sudden time is passing by quickly, but we have 5 more days to go. From Galway we go to Westport. Our first stop is at Kylemore Abbey and its Victorian Walled Garden. For the first time during this holiday it is very cloudy during our drive and before we reach the Abbey the rain comes pouring down. But when we reach the Abbey the rain stops!

Kylemore Abbey and the Victorian Walled Garden were originally built as a Castle in 1867 as a romantic gift from Mitchell Henry to his wife Margaret. This place is full of history and tragedy, romance and royal visits. It became home to a community of Benedictine Nuns in 1920 and has been renowned as a place of spirituality and education.

To me this place is pretty magical, I cannot explain why. Upon arrival you have to stop on the other side of Lough Pollacapull and just admire the view over the abbey. Kylemore Abbey looks pretty dark and gloomy on the outside, but the interior is totally different and not what you expect. It is really pretty. We visit the Gothic Church and the Mausoleum where Mitchell and Margaret rest before we go for a walk through the walled gardens surrounding the abbey, which are beautiful and even the sun comes out again now and then.

Halfway through the afternoon we drive to Connemara National Park. Just like at the Wicklow Mountains, here also there some heather kis in bloom. We par our car and decide to go for a long walk again, since it is dry. But after a short while the sky turns dark again. I does not rain anymore though and the sun keeps trying to break through the clouds and it makes this rough looking part of Ireland even more stunning. I love the ootdoors! We only get to see the famous horses in a meadow, unfortunately not in the wild. But what an incredible part of nature we are visiting here!

At the end of the afternoon we arrive in Westport, which is located at the south-east corner of Clew Bay and voted as the best place to live in Ireland (and as the most tidiest town several times). It is colourful, has lovely bridges and an amazing food and pub scene. We are here on a Monday night, so it is a bit quiet, but that is ok. In Westport we stay at Altamont House for the next 2 nights. It is another friendly B&B where we feel right at home and chat away with the owner and the other guests upon arrival. In the evening we eat at the Clock Tavern and have an early night.

Day 11: Achill Island

The next morning after a lovely breakfast we have to choose between climbing Croagh Patrick and visiting Achill Island. We have done quite a bit of walking these last few days, so we go for the second option. We have to cross the Michael Davitt bridge to get to Achill Island. The scenic views are impressive from the moment we arrive. The weather is a bit rough, but it is dry and the wind and waves hitting the coast just give us spectacular photographs. We stop at Keel for tea and scones and drive to Keem Bay, where we take a walk on its beautiful beach. We keep on touring till we covered the entire island and drive back to Westport, where at night we have a delicious meal at O’Malleys and a pint of beer at Matt Molloy’s where there is live music (on a Tuesday). We hang around for a while. Oh… we really love Ireland!

Day 12: from Westport to Boyle

Today we leave the coast and drive inland to Boyle. After the beautiful, impressive and rough coastline on Ireland’s west coast, the inland is a completely different landscape. Boyle is very quiet and peaceful. We check in at our last B&B and it is really beautiful. It is the Abbey House and right next to it are the remains of the old abbey. We get a lovely spacious room and feel right at home again. There is not an awful lot to do in Boyle, but we do not mind having a quiet day. We walk around in the village, visit the old Abbey and King House Historical and Cultural Centre. Halfway the afternoon we have a late lunch and grab a burger somewhere. We walk a bit more and at the local supermarket we get something to drink and some snacks for later at night. We return to the Abbey House and decide to have a lazy evening in front of the TV; why not!

Day 13: from Boyle to Dublin

Breakfast is lovely. I will miss the B&B’s and their personal way of looking after their guests. We have been treated so well. The owners have made our stays so comfortable and we felt very welcome.

We leave Boyle early and and get back on the highway to Dublin where we arrived on day 1. We drive straight to our hotel so we can check in and leave our luggage. Mespil Hotel lies a bit out the centre, but it is only about a 15 minute walk, so that is not too bad. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the room or the hotel, but we miss the atmosphere from the B&B’s we stayed in. After we checked in, we return our rental car and that means our road trip has come to an end. We rented the car from the airport but can leave it at a station in the city. We really do not need it here in Dublin.

After having returned the rental car, we walk through the city for the rest of the afternoon. It is a very friendly city, there are no high-rise buildings and it is very well organized and arranged. We have some Chinese street food for lunch and after lunch just continue our walk. There is a really good atmosphere in Dublin and plenty to do and see. At the end of the afternoon we go for a drink in a pub (I cannot remember its name 😉 and have some snacks on the side and stay there until we think it is time to return to the hotel. You can find plenty of cafes, bars and restaurants in Dublin, from simple to chique, from cheap to expensive!

Day 14: birthday in Dublin!

We have one more full day to spend in Ireland. We are in Dublin yesteday and today we decide to explore the rest of this friendly city on the Hop on Hop off bus. We have walked so much yesterday and today we let the green bus help us to see the rest of Dublin’s highlights.

We first stop at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, which is one of the most impressive cathedrals I have ever seen. As its website says: “The Cathedral is a place where history is alive and tradition breathes, where lives are remembered and transformed, and where all are welcome to experience and explore the loving presence of God.” Now I am not religious but am interested to learn about all kind of religions and I love to visit cathedrals and churches. The buildings are often very old, have loads of history, interesting architecture, art and when visiting I always manage to learn a bit about their history.

Today is my birthday (OK… I will tell you: it is my 43th!). I like being on holiday during my birthday. I do not mind getting older, but travelling to me is a great gift, so what better way to treat yourself for your birthday and do what you love most?!

Our next stop is the Guinness Storehouse, an experience that you cannot skip while being in Dublin! It is the home of Guinness! It is both the brewery and a massive touristic attraction, but built in such a smart way that everybody will love it. The visitor area is built as a huge glass pint and slowly you go up another level and learn everything about this black gold. We end our tour at the top of the glass pint, at the Gravity Bar and here you get a pint of Guinness. Cheers to me 🙂 The view from this level is amazingyou can look around you 360 degrees and see the entire city and beyond. I am not used to drinking Guinness and breakfast has been a while, so we are getting pretty cheerful. We stick around for a while, it is not a bad place to celebrate my birthday!

Halfway the afternoon we leave and have to eat something. We have a few more stops on the Hop On Hop Off bus and end our tour at the centre of Dublin. We visit the Temple Bar (and have a drink), the Molly Malone statue and Trinity College. We attend a free street concert by Mutefish and listen for almost half an hour. We end our walk at Portobello Road where we see Italian restaurant I Monelli and Astrid treats me to a delicious meal as a birthday gift. We return late at night at the hotel. Our Irish adventure is coming to an end, but what a great (and sunny) day today and a perfect end to an amazing holiday.

Day 15: from Dublin back to Amsterdam

Our last breakfast in Ireland, we check out and just around the corner of the hotel there is a bus that takes us directly to the airport. The departure hall is modern and full of shops, bars and restaurant. Oh well… let us have one more pint of beer before we leave this amazing country; one more cheers for Ireland!

Being in Ireland for 2 weeks was great, but still too short! The country has so much to offer and I think we covered a lot. We came here the first half of September and were extremely lucky with the weather. We loved staying in Bed & Breakfast’s, almost everywhere you will be met with a cup of tea and you will receive the most valuable tips for your stay. We booked 4 star B&B’s, which are more comfortable and you have your own facilities (bathroom and toilet). In the small villages you eat in the pub where the food is simple but good. We really did not need more! The country has left a big impression, but its people even more. The locals are incredibly friendly and hospitable! I am definitely going back someday!

Travel Blog by Elisabeth, One Lucky Traveller

September 14, 2012

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