Day 2: Ireland – The West Won

Dublin, I’ma let you finish, but Western Ireland had some of the best views of all time!

Seeing as we were slightly underwhelmed with Dublin on Day 1, we browsed the day-trip pamphlets in the hostel lobby and set out on a tour of the Cliffs of Moher and Galway City for Day 2! We were fortunate to have an amazing tour guide, Rob, who delighted us with his Irish accent all day. First, we had to get to the western coast, so a quick 2.5 hour drive through the Irish countryside was necessary and, with views like this, we didn’t mind at all.

Irish countryside 1

Sheep farming in Ireland: Our current retirement plan

Irish countryside 2

Irish town of course

After passing through adorable little towns (and Bill Clinton’s go-to Irish golf course), we made it to one of the coolest sights in Ireland: the Cliffs of Moher.

The Cliffs of Moher 1

Casually sitting a couple inches away from a 400 foot drop into the Atlantic

Casually sitting a couple inches away from a 400 foot drop into the Atlantic

The Cliffs of Moher 4 The Cliffs of Moher 3

After hanging around the Cliffs for an hour, we jumped back into the tour bus and began our drive up the coast. Rob let us stop quickly in a place called The Burren, which was essentially the surface of the moon. The landscape here was made moon-like thanks to the melting glaciers during the last ice age.

DSC02520

DSC02521

Ahhh! On the moon!

Ahhh! On the moon!

We couldn’t help but think that if the Cliffs and Burren were in the US they would probably be lined with fences. But nope, not in Europe! 

Alexa The Burren

Wide open spaces! Kind of terrifying.

DSC02527

The Burren rocks

Plants poking through the limestone

Some more scenic views from the bus as we headed north up the coast….

Irish coast

Corcomroe Abbey in County Clare

Corcomroe Abbey in County Clare

DSC02528

…and then we made it to Galway, the so-called “hipster” city (a.k.a. there are a bunch of young artists here).

DSC02551

Point proven

We were only there for 2 hours, but we decided it was more our style than Dublin. The streets were smaller, had more interesting little shops, we thought the river was prettier, and the general feel and personality of the city just seemed to “fit”. Do you ever get that feeling about a place?

Off to explore!

Off to explore!

DSC02557

Original Claddagh ring shop

Original Claddagh ring shop

Despite Rob’s suggestion that we go get fish and chips, we went to some little pub that we had passed by on our way into the main shopping area, which is where we had one of the few cultural moments in Ireland where we realized it was not, in fact, the U.S.

DSC02562

Vinegar and “chips”.. No, thanks.

We were wishing we could stay in Galway for our last day rather than return to Dublin, but the capital city wasn’t quite finished trying to win our affections. Stay tuned for Dublin’s comeback!

– Abi & Alexa

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Day 2: Ireland – The West Won

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s