We left Munich early on Thursday in order to get to Dublin at a reasonable hour. After we landed, we immediately rented a car and drove to Cork. We were given a brand new Audi! So clearly we were cruising around Ireland in style. Being in a car where my dad had to drive on the left side of the road the whole time was terrifying at first but we eventually got used to it.
We arrived to Cork that evening and we walked around a little bit. It wasn’t my favorite place in Ireland because it felt like a very industrial town. However, I can’t really speak for it because we were only there for about 12 hours. Also, things were dying down a little early because the next day was Good Friday and therefore all of the pubs shut down at midnight.
The next day was a little difficult finding a place to have breakfast since it was Good Friday. Fortunately we found a hotel that was serving breakfast and we all ordered a delicious full Irish breakfast that included eggs, sausages, ham, black pudding, and mushrooms. After that we drove to the Blarney Castle. It was exciting seeing our first Irish castle! The gardens that surrounded the castle were beautiful. That’s when I first realized that people weren’t kidding about Ireland being the Emerald Isle! Everything was so green. We also climbed the 100 steps to the top of the castle to kiss the Blarney Stone! I felt like I needed to sanitize my lips after that…
Afterwards we drove to the Cliffs of Moher which were absolutely beautiful! The man who we paid to park told us that we were very lucky because we had great weather: sunny and warm! Normally it’s dreary and probably rainy (which I’m sure is an obvious assumption since it’s Ireland and all). It was so sunny that I even got sunburnt! I know I shouldn’t admit that since I’m probably the only person in history to get burnt in Ireland. That’s how white I am I suppose. But anyways, I think the Cliffs of Moher are definitely worth a visit if you ever go to Ireland. I hear it’s very cheap, fast, and easy to get there by bus from Dublin so it would make for a nice day trip.
Next we drove to Galway which was apparently where the whole Irish population was hiding for Good Friday. Driving through the streets of downtown we saw that it was very bustling and lively. Apparently there was a food festival happening all weekend. Also, since the weather was so nice, everyone was out and about walking along the gorgeous bay area. Sadly since it was Good Friday all the pubs were closed but we were able to find a restaurant that was serving alcohol (since we can’t go a day without it, right? Haha just kidding). I would love to go back to Galway on a day that is NOT Good Friday because it looks like such a fun, cute little city!
We were sad to leave Galway the next morning because it was so beautiful and relaxing and we had an awesome apartment that overlooked the water. But we were also excited to head to Dublin! So next came the last stretch of our roadtrip through Ireland. After a couple of hours we arrived to Dublin and got settled into our other really nice hotel called the Ariel House, located in the sophisticated suburb of Ballsbridge. The best part about staying there was that we met the nicest receptionist named Cecelia. We told her that we were going to the Guinness Factory and she offered to drive us which was very sweet of her. Not only that, but during the car ride we found out that she was actually a Guinness embassador and had an ID that allowed her to park, take us inside, skip the massive line (note: don’t go to the Guinness factory on a Saturday), AND get a decent discount! It was absolutely amazing especially since our time in Dublin was so limited. She saved us so much time, it was awesome!
We had a lot of fun touring the factory. It was funny that I had just been there the month before for St. Patrick’s Day and I enjoyed it just as much the second time. It was cool to see that it was just as lively (if not more!) as it was on St. Paddy’s! On the second floor in the large room there was live music playing and even Irish dancing. When we first walked in, the band was playing Galway Girl!! (Refer to my post about St. Paddy’s Day weekend to understand my love for that song). I was a happy girl. We also went up to the Gravity Bar which was cool because my friends and I didn’t get to do that when we were there in March because when we got up there it was closing. The Gravity Bar was sooo crowded but it was nice to get the 360 view of Dublin while sipping on some freshly poured Guinness. That evening we enjoyed some of the pub scene in the Temple Bar area. Again, it was cool to see that Dublin was just as lively as it was during St. Patrick’s Day. It shows just how much spirit exists in that country!
The next morning, Easter, my family left for the airport to catch their flight back to Philly. It was very sad to see them go since I got so used to spending time with them again. But this time I knew I’d be seeing them in 2 months (rather than 7) when we said goodbye which made it OK considering how fast the months seem to pass these days. I spent the rest of the morning sleeping a little more before checking out of the hotel, then I walked to my friend Liz’s house (who I stayed with the last time I was in Dublin since she is living there doing her Master’s). Her friends welcomed me to their Easter dinner which was very nice of them. The next day Liz and I got lunch and walked around Dublin a little bit more before I caught the bus to the airport to head back to Madrid.
Ireland was incredible! I’m so lucky I got the chance to go twice within a one-month period. Our trip was a bit of a whirlwind but we conquered so much and since Ireland is so small, we really got to see a lot of the countryside by driving around. It was also so nice experiencing it with my brother and parents because we had always talked about taking a trip there together but I never thought it would actually happen, especially since my brother and I are getting older. But I’m so happy we were able to do it! Overall, Ireland is truly a wonderful country and I’m already thinking about my third trip there!