Pack Your Bags: Irish Day Trips

First, I need to apologize
for making some people
very sad when I posted about Dublin.

I said I didn't really love the city
and that I had hard time connecting to it.

So, I'm sorry.

{I actually am, as I get really sad when people don't connect with a place I love.}

Though it was awesome having you pour out in the comments
what things & places made the city great to you
and I can't wait to try out some of your suggestions the next time I'm there.

So while Dublin still isn't my favorite place in the world,
I can't say one bad word about Ireland as a whole.

Getting out of the city
and into the quieter places of the country
is something I hope everyone gets to do at some point in their life.

{And I'm itching to get to Northern Ireland... luckily I have a hot wedding to go to there this June.}

If you are wanting to get out Dodge
{or Dublin, whatever},
I would recommend these two day trips.


& Wicklow National Park

If you can get out of Dublin,
it's worth the hour-ish drive out to to Glendalough 
home of good old St. Kevin
and his (once) famous monastic community.

The ruins of this long-lasting community
are in impressive shape,
considering how long they have been around.

There is a small museum at the Welcome Center
that will brief you on the history of the site
and then you can head out to see the ruins in person.

{I always like getting some context before heading out to a site. Who doesn't though?}

After you've looked at all the old rocks, ruins & graves your heart can handle,
head out to the lakes for the real treat.

There are two lakes...
the first is about 5-10 minutes away
and it's really pretty.

But keep going on the path
until you reach the second lake
{about 20-30 minutes from the ruin site}
so you can see this.

You won't be sad you did.

If you're in need of a great place to eat,
right up the road from Glendalough
is the charming Wicklow Heather.

Not only is the food delicious,
but the restaurant is a literary-nerd's heaven
showcasing first-edition works by famous authors
such as James Joyce & Yeats in their Writer's Room.

{Editor's Note: Remember in PS I Love You when Hilary Swank mets Gerard Butler
on the road in the Wicklow National Park... 
yes, these are those Wicklow Mountains.}


The Cliffs of Moher

I've been to Ireland
several times before making it out to this famous coastline.

I'd call it a "Rookie Mistake,"
but obviously, seeing as how many times I've gone 
 that wouldn't really apply.

{or "The Cliffs of Insanity"as you Princess Bride fans may know them}
are on the Western Coast of Ireland.

It takes several hours to get out there
and making it out there will take up a day of time.

But is it worth it?

Oh yeah, baby.

Because after you get there, 
you can have this view.

{24 week pregnant lady not included.}

There is a small cafe & a restaurant at the newly refinished visitor's center
that you can find warmth in 
once those coastal breezes get the better of you.

Rangers can lead informational walks, 
but from my personal experience,
 it's not anything to cry over
if you miss out on making the tour.

Apparently, there's not much to say about these cliffs 
other than that they are really old 
and that puffins come to nest there in the summer.

To reach the famous cliffs,
you have two options:
you can take a tour with a group like McCoole Day Tours

If you drive yourself, will you promise to stop in the town of Ennis for lunch?

It's a tiny little Irish village
complete with an adorable town square
and it will make your day trip all the better.

You have the Aspiring Kennedy's word on it.

For what it's worth,
I've also heard Galway is more than worth visiting
when you're out that way.


PS. There's an awesome giveaway happening right now
for a sweet pair of shades from The Sunglasses Shop. 
Don't miss out on the chance to snag a pair!

Posted on January 11, 2013 and filed under "europe", "ireland day trips", "ireland", "travel tips", "travel".