You are in for a long post this time so you will have to bear with me…as I actually took some notes while traveling this time. After about six times of trying to recount my trip by memory, I decided this may be a better way to go.
So, without further ado, I began my journey as I usually do by taking a train. This time the journey was from Lancaster to Manchester Airport (and if you are ever making a train journey to Manchester Airport, book a train very generously in advance of your flight as these trains are often delayed or cancelled).
On Friday night I was on a 10 p.m. flight with Ryanair to Dublin. Security at the airport in Terminal 3 went very quickly (Manchester Airport security is very quick in all terminals) especially because we were there at an off-peak time. Sadly, you get what you pay for with Ryanair and our flight was delayed for almost an hour (but our return flight was early!). Therefore, upon arriving in Dublin Airport, and getting a taxi to my hostel…I did not get into a bed until around 1:30 a.m. on Saturday morning. But, do not fret! I was very excited for my tour and got there on time 6 hours later!
P.S. If traveling with Ryanair, they have very small carry on baggage size restrictions. Don’t worry, they do not check your carry on bag, and even a very full backpack easily fits under the seat. Additionally, if getting into Dublin airport late, take a taxi…do not deal with the AirCoach.
Okay, essentially the entire remainder of this post is going to focus on the two-day tour of Southern Ireland that I took. While I did stay overnight in Dublin for technically two nights, I was not really in the city at all and I have no decent pictures of Dublin at all. Judge me if you will, but after seeing the tour pictures, you may think I am not so crazy. So without further ado, I present to you the iconic Paddywagon Two Day South Tour of Ireland:
The tour left on time but the loading area was very hectic…and for about 15 minutes I was paranoid I was on the wrong bus…but I wasn’t! The first stop on the tour was Cashel rock which is a beautiful ruins site sat upon a hilltop. My driver used the journey time to give a rather complete history of Ireland while placing emphasis on contextualizing the locations we were visiting. The tour also played a contemporary mix of Irish music as well as some traditional music as well…this makes the journey go so much quicker. Huge shout out now though to all the Paddywagon guides; they are all funny, completely literate on basically all of Ireland’s history, and helpful. Anywho, Cashel Rock:
Now, I took over 700 pictures over the course of the weekend, so I will be linking the google drive folder at the end of this post if you would like to see every single photo I took. Personally, I normally just choose pictures I think look good for the posts, so definitely take a look at the full album.
The next stop on the tour was Blarney Castle…and yes, the notorious Blarney Stone. The weather was absolutely perfect throughout the tour which made all the sites that much better. Below you can find photos of Blarney Castle as well as a video of me kissing the Blarney Stone and thereby endowing me with the gift of gab (as if I didn’t clearly already have it). So, I utilized my time here to visit the Blarney Stone, walk through the castle, see the poison garden, and stop in for a quick walkaround the Blarney Woolen Mills:
The next stop on the tour was the city of Cork. For myself, this is also where I stayed overnight since I was on the two day tour (and the price of a hostel for one night is included in the price). The hostel I stayed at was Kinlay House and it was by far the nicest hostel I have been in yet; the rooms were huge, the bathroom was massive and so was the kitchen!
In addition, the WiFi actually worked which is a pretty race occurrence in hostels, in my opinion.
I spent my time in Cork visiting the English Market (a lovely little market with stalls selling mainly fresh meats, cheeses, fish, sweets, breads, produce, and canned goods). However, I did stop at “The Sandwich Stall” and got a kickass ham sandwich with all the ingredients being locally sourced…as well as a chocolate thing that looked good:
From there, I spent the night visiting St. Fin Baare’s Cathedral (where I was able to pay my respects for Remembrance Weekend), Red Abbey, and of course a souvenir shop. Cork is a lovely, walkable town of around 300, 000 people but the city is bustling with activity on the weekends:
On Day 2, the tour got started at 7:30 a.m. Since the two day tours are connections of two, one day tours the driver I had was not the same which was actually nice. However, all the drivers are excellent, know the history, and play great music. The first drive consisted of driving from Cork up through Limerick and then to our first stop: The Cliffs of Moher. The drive actually feels a lot like the Midwest with all the dairy cows and agricultural communities…except with about 30,000 more castle ruins.
The Cliffs of Moher were stunning…so I will let the pictures/video do the talking:
As well as a couple photos from the edge:
And a video I took right from the edge as well:
The lunch stop was in Doolin, where on the drive there you get to ride on The Wild Atlantic Way…which is an absolutely beautiful road.
The next stop on the tour was a short drive away to The Burren or “The Baby Cliffs of Moher”. This coastal spot is beautiful and even better with perfect weather. And, I got to walk over the limestone rocks again…which I loved getting to do in Malham (you can see an earlier post in regards to this)! In any case, here is The Burren:
Here is a video from The Burren as well:
The final stop of the tour was Bunratty Castle where I used my time to climb through the castle and its grounds. It was really during my time here that I felt like a little kid again getting to climb through the castle and its towers. After getting to walk along steep cliffs, and see castle ruins, it was super fun to actually climb through one (much like Blarney on day one!)…that makes it two castles in two days! So, Bunratty Castle:
Finally, I made my way back to Dublin where I spent the night with friends from my University that were also in Dublin. In turn, we all were at an Airbnb where I got the whole floor to myself…which after hostels was very nice:
The next day I simply made my way back to Lancaster (I phrase it this way simply because I don’t want to talk about travel anymore)…And with that:
THANKS FOR READING! CHECK OUT THE WHOLE PHOTO COLLECTION BY FOLLOWING THE LINK: https://photos.app.goo.gl/De78Z66t67T86oge9