Two Weeks in Ireland 

One rainy day a couple weeks ago in Santorini, out of curiosity I looked up where the cheapest flights out of Greece were and saw a 60 € round trip flight to Dublin.   (I used the “everywhere” search option on Skyscanner, FYI.  If you don’t know about this travel hack, you should!) I couldn’t pass it up…obviously.

It was raining in Greece so I figured why not pop over to the notoriously rainy Ireland and see the famous Cliffs of Moher- you know, since I can’t exactly enjoy the beaches of the Greek islands in the rain.

It was an impulse decision, and one that will go down as one of my favorite choices these past 8 months.  Ireland was calling me and as I traveled around the country for 2 weeks I found a million reasons why.

On day one, I stressed big time about trying to see everything.  I am not a speedy traveler.  I really like to take my time and get to know a place, but this trip was different.  I only had 14 days, at least 14 days too short for an ideal visit.  Anxiously I went over to the receptionist at my hostel with a map in hand trying to make some sort of plan.  (His name was Keith and he looked like he could be in a 2001 boy band.)  Keith laughed and calmed me down and helped me realize just how small the country is, saying “If you wanted to you could see almost everything worth seeing in two weeks.”  I looked at him like he was crazy, and I still think he’s crazy, and not because of his bleached blonde spiked hair.  Two weeks is NOT enough!  If you are planning time in Ireland, give it at least three.  

Maybe it’s just me (but I doubt it), this country will completely suck you in.

I felt an extremely deep connection to the land of this country and was enamored with the people immediately- it helps that I love the Irish accent.  I kept having that feeling you get when you just know you were supposed to meet a particular person or be in a particular place at a specific time.  I was meant to go to Ireland.  It felt like home…a new home.  I kept telling everyone “That’s it I’m moving here!” and I meant it.  

Ireland honestly brought out the best in me and I wouldn’t hesitate to move there for a while at some point in the future.  I was the healthiest I’d been in well over a month.  *Confession* The previous month in Greece left me a bit gluttonous (but it was worth it).

With so much natural scenery outside I was motivated to get out and explore and exercise.  I ate pretty healthy (soup everyday to stay warm) and only indulged in a few drinks.  I’d say I was pretty damn well behaved during my visit.  I also took time to myself every single day to read, write, or just sit in silence.  It was like hitting the healthy reset button, which I needed more than I realized.

I took in as much as I could but feel like I only got a taste of the big green picture that is Ireland.

I’d always dreamt of seeing the famous Cliffs and the deep green countryside of the Burren.  My dreams didn’t come close to the real deal- and neither do the pictures, but I tried.

  

I’m often asked where my favorite place is that I’ve traveled and my response is never concrete.  I can not possibly pick one place or one experience over all of the others. It’s impossible.  Instead, I like to the answer down into categories: favorite city (torn between Paris and Prague), favorite islands (Koh Tao and Crete, favorite overall experience (Italy…the entire country).  And now, Ireland has created a new category for me.

Favorite landscape.  

IMG_6809.JPG

There’s something to be said for the way the Irish have preserved their land and their heritage, leaving much of the country untouched.  You can travel all over and never see a place with such amazing countrysides.

Where else in the world can you find countless castles, lush green surrounding, national parks, untouched “fairy trees,” and little cottages on the countryside?

Ireland is a very special and unique place.

Oh, and did I mention the beer?  I’m not even much of a “beer person,” and I never really liked Guinness.  Then I went to the Guinness Factory in Dublin for a tour.  I spent hours there and saw every corner of the place then went up to the “Gravity Bar,” which has panoramic views of the entire city, for a pint.

For some reason, we’re drinking crap Guinness back home in the states and they are keeping all the good stuff local.  IMG_6742

Within two weeks I stayed in 5 different towns/cities.  Each one had a totally different vibe but still the same Irish humility.  My favorite town was the unexpected one, Killarney.  I loved the National Park and went there three days in row.  I hiked, jogged and walked for miles.  It was exactly what I needed.

First stop: Dublin  
Second: Ennis (Clare County) IMG_6764.JPG

Third: Galway    

Fourth: Killarney  

Fifth: Cork    

I am already making a list of the places I will visit during my next visit. Five was not enough, although each stop was more than fulfilling.

And if it weren’t for the weather, I would move to Ireland tomorrow.

Even though the weather sucked almost the whole time, I still enjoyed every minute.  Ireland may be cold and rainy, but there is plenty of Jameson, Guinness and stew to keep you warm.  🙂

 

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32 thoughts on “Two Weeks in Ireland 

  1. MariaAbroad says:

    Your pictures are stunning and fuel my wanderlust of going to Ireland. I love the lush greens and the grey skies. After living in Texas and dealing with 100 days over a 100 per year, I would gladly take the rain of Ireland any day, haha!

    Like

  2. Mikki says:

    Oh my gosh! Just found your blog! What an awesome trip. I recently researched my ancestry and I am even more Irish than I thought. My husband and I want to go some day and now after reading this.. I want that someday to be even sooner!! Sounds like an awesome trip .. I love spontaneity like that!!

    Like

  3. Hannah says:

    I’m so glad you loved Ireland! I called Galway home back in 2011 and still consider myself to be an honorary Galway Girl. I’ve been back 3 times since and every time the plane lands in Dublin I get a feeling like I’m home. Something special about Ireland for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Rachael Sandon says:

    Great photos! I am excited to visit Ireland someday. I have to say I am particularly jealous that you went to the Guiness factory…I like the Guiness we have int he US and I have heard from others the factory has the best!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. eulandas says:

    Beautiful images! We’re headed to Ireland this summer. I can’t believed I’ve lived in the UK for nearly 5 years, and haven’t explored it yet! Wonderful suggestions of sites to see!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Elaina says:

    Lovely post! Your photos are just stunning. What part of cork did you go to? I’m from there myself, but i agree with you on Killarney it’s such a beautiful town! thanks for sharing ☺

    Like

  7. marie says:

    Your photos are beautiful! I find it really funny that it was raining in Santorini – just can’t imagine bad weather on the island. What are you doing in Greece?

    Like

  8. Els Mahieu says:

    Glad you enjoyed your trip! Haha, loved the fact that you went to Ireland because it was raining in Greece as well, so you might as well go to another wet country 🙂 And you’re right, Ireland sucks you in, no doubt about that!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. thewordhermit says:

    Awesome post. I love how your personality shines through your writing. I haven’t been to Ireland, but am remedying that very soon. That luscious landscape is pulling me as well!

    Like

  10. Tom says:

    I have the same feelings towards Ireland, it definitely feels like home to me and I love the culture. Think it helps that a few of my best friend and ex-girlfriend were Irish!

    You should check out Northern Ireland at some point! Belfast is a great city and Enniskillen is another with some interesting places to visit!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. JJ Berman (@theurbanenomad) says:

    I’ve been toying with the idea of heading to Ireland and this posts has pushed it closed to the top. I also love your anecdotes, definitely reminds me of things that go through my head while I travel and meet new people. Also, I never knew Skyscanner had that function as I always used Kayak’s Explore, thanks for the tip!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Becca says:

    I spent 9 months teaching dance in Ireland last year and I actually worked in one of the sister hostels to the one you stayed in. I know Keith! We became great mates in my time there and he actually is the one who turned me towards your blog! Love what you’re doing. Live your life girl!

    Like

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