Three words: Bucket. List. Item.
If you have managed to miss my social media spam, I am interning in Dublin, Ireland for the summer and spoiler alert: it’s amazing. Much, much more about the intern experience and Dublin to come but first I have to tell you about the amazing weekend I just had. The Cliffs of Moher is a huge bucket list item and is one of the most widely visited landmarks in Ireland with good reason. So naturally, we set out to visit.
Me and four friends decided to book a two-day tour and we would HIGHLY recommend. For 100 euro, we got picked up in Dublin and taken to Galway where we boarded an all-day tour to the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren. Then, we got dropped off in Galway where we were provided with a very nice hostel and continental breakfast in the morning. Our second day was filled with a tour of the national park, Connemara, Kylemore Abbey, and other views along the Wild Atlantic Way. I cannot stress how amazing of a deal this was. The drivers/tour guides were wonderful and even stopped a few extra times for photo ops. We got free time in Galway to experience their food and nightlife. It was a total win-win. I’ll leave the link to the specific tour here: https://lallytours.com/blog/travel/dublin-connemara-cliffs-package/
Day One was everything I had wished for and more. First, the weather in Ireland has been nothing short of amazing. They’re having a record summer which apparently isn’t great for their water resources but is definitely making a California girl feel at home. The day we toured the Burren and the Cliffs of Moher was nice and warm. The skies were clear which made for beautiful views. We drove through the Burren, a region of County Clare that is comprised of a combination of open grassland, bedrock, and hills, and stopped first at Aillwee Cave where we ate lunch. While we didn’t enter the cave itself, we did find a little mountain trail and hiked up a bit to stretch the legs and check out views of the Burren.
The Cliffs… the Cliffs. I can’t even articulate how incredible it was to be out there looking over the edge- from a distance of course. On one end was miles of coast, on the other a gorgeous tower. The tour allowed us an hour and a half, plenty of time to see both ends and enjoy the moment while also documenting. Feast your eyes… need I say more? And these don’t even do it justice.
We stopped briefly in Doolin and had some delicious homemade ice cream, at a castle for a photo op and had a wonderful extra stop somewhere on the Wild Atlantic Way with a breathtaking view of the ocean. The drive was so picturesque and relaxing. I didn’t realize how badly I missed the ocean. I’ll never take it for granted again.
We were back in Galway by 6pm- a perfect amount of time to see the city center- Eyre Square and Shop Street. Eat some oysters at Gemelle’s (30 euro for a seafood dinner for 2!). Watched street performers and were thoroughly entertained by the pub scene. My new favorite thing is to go to pubs and watch the World Cup. It’s amazing. We ended the night at Kinlay hostel, a cute hostel that the tour booked for us right in Eyre Square! I had quite a hot night because of lack of air conditioning but ran on adrenaline once we got up the next day!
Connemara was the opposite direction as the Cliffs from Galway. It’s a beautiful national park. So green. So many sheep. Check out the pictures! It contains small Irish-speaking communities. Our big stop of the day was Kylemore Abbey which was first built by a wealthy couple and then converted into a school by the Benedictine nuns. A gorgeous piece of architecture complete with amazing Victorian gardens.
The drive back along the Wild Atlantic Way was beyond words. They played some traditional Irish music and talked about local radio stations. Once back in Galway, we had a little over an hour before we had to catch the bus back to Dublin. We spent this time getting delicious chocolate from Hazel Mountain Chocolate and eating pizza from the Dough Bros in Eyre square. The day came to an end with us watching the sunset in Dublin- quite a feat as it doesn’t happen until after 10 pm!
Overall, we had the BEST weekend and saw so much more than we could have imagined. 10/10 would recommend.
What do you think? What do you want to see next?
By Kaitlyn Raymundo