Drinking guinness and kissing the Blarney stone

Ireland Travel Blog

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Rony, Carol and Matthew in Portmarnock
I managed to find a cheap return flight to Dublin for only 30 pounds, so off I left for a week in sunny Ireland. Was picked up at the airport by Carol who was kind enough to let me stay with her and Rony for a couple of nights. They have a 9-month-old boy Matthew, so it was great to meet him too. They live in a lovely part of Dublin - Portmarnock, which is on the coast and has a gorgeous beach nearby.

Before I left for my 3 day ‘Shamrocker’ tour of Ireland, I had a day to wander around Dublin. I passed all the major sites, but got off to explore Kilmanhem jail. I learnt a lot about Irish history, but the jail was also used in the filming of “In the name of the father,” a great movie, so I was happy to have seen if for that reason too!

There were 18 people on my 3 day tour of Ireland - 8 Americans, 7 Aussies, 2 Germans and a Spaniard.
Matthew
Our first stop was a whisky distillery at Kilbeggan. Apparently it’s never too early to start drinking, so we had a drop or two in the morning. After that, we made several stops including: Clonmacnoise, an ancient ruin on the River Shannon; Poulnabrone, an ancient stone structure; several churches and castles, and a fairy circle. We learnt some Gaelic to be able to make a wish to the fairies. We spent the night in a small town called Doolin. It consists of 4 pubs, a bridge, 5 lamposts and.. that’s about it! We had dinner and several Guinness’ at one of the pubs before heading to bed in anticipation of an early start the next morning.

After all waking up a little bleary eyed, we made our way to the famous Cliffs of Moher. Unfortunately there were warnings everywhere recommending people not to visit the cliffs due to the strong winds. Of course we ignored these and went to see them anyway! Oh my goodness though, was it windy! I’ve never experienced such strong winds before - they would literally stop you in your tracks. There was even a huge spray of water coming up from the ocean, like a backwards waterfall! At least we were awake after that, and we all decided the crazy weather added to the atmosphere. Next we took a ferry crossing of the Shannon River. Even this was rather choppy due to the strong winds! We drove along the picturesque Dingle Peninsula and visited the western most point of Ireland. Our stop for the night was Killarney, which is well known for its great nightlife. We all had dinner together and hit the local pub/club. They had an awesome live band and we drank and danced ‘til the wee hours of the morning.

The highlight of our final day was the Blarney Castle. Of course I kissed the Blarney stone and therefore acquired the gift of the gab. The castle grounds were lovely though, so we spent some time exploring those too. We were supposed to visit the Rock of Cashel next, but due to the strong winds (again!) they’d decided to close the site down. ‘Twas a shame, but I’d seen plenty of ruins by that stage anyway! We all said goodbye once we were dropped off in Dublin, but it was a good group of people, so hopefully we’ll stay in touch.

The following day I had a great time in Dublin hanging out with Emily. We visited the Book of Kells at Trinity College, the Guinness Factory and Temple Bar. We also made time for me to try an Irish coffee and hot toddy (whisky)… good stuff!

My final day in Dublin I did a day tour of County Wicklow. Some of the scenery was absolutely amazing here and I was really glad I’d got the chance to visit the area. Spent my final night hanging out with Carol, Rony and Matthew and I was sad to say goodbye as I headed to London the next day.

gigfydotcom says:
Guinness is good for you! http://www.gigfy.com
Posted on: Feb 09, 2008
ubirds says:
Great write up, I have Ireland in my plan and your notes are of great help to what I expect in Ireland. Have a nice day,
Posted on: Jan 17, 2008
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Rony, Carol and Matthew in Portmar…
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