This blog post is beyond long overdue! We headed over to Ireland with my family for a week, just after Christmas so it’s about time I did a quick recap of our adventure.
Our story starts back in Manchester. We were dreaming, wishing and hoping for a white Christmas this year. The forecast was looking positive but alas, we did not see a single flake of snow on Christmas day! We felt the chill that late December brings, but it was not accompanied by the glistening flakes and mounds of white piled up outside the door reminiscent of ‘Home Alone’, ‘Groundhog Day’ or the endless list of Christmas movies that I watched as a kid.
We thought that surely Ireland would deliver the goods. As we boarded our flight to Dublin, we were feeling optimistic as big, white flakes covered us as we boarded. Finally a glimpse of snow. If it was snowing in Manchester, Dublin would surely be covered in the stuff!
But you see, Southern Ireland was having a ‘heat wave’ while we were there. Yes, daily temperatures up to a WHOLE six degrees in December. Still freaking freezing for the Aussie traveller but not cold enough for bloody snow!
Of course, seeing as it was a road trip, the lack of snow was probably for the best, definitely for my Mum who kept worrying that our car would go sliding into a ditch or that we would break our backs walking on ‘black ice’!
So, a quick rundown of our journey goes something like this:
Our two days spent in the capital consisted of long wintery walks, even longer times spent in pubs, a trip to the Guinness factory, Kristian’s new found addiction to Guinness and a really great burger.
Bunsen- 36 Wexford Street, Dublin 2, Ireland
The most delicious burger! Really small, no frills place with the whole menu written on a business card. They do an awesome milkshake and are happy to split one into two if you think it’ll be too much. Really great gluten free buns on offer too, a win for all coeliacs!
Drove south towards this port city, stopping in Kilkenny for breakfast and The Rock of Cashel, a stunning castle where we spent quite some time, partly because of how awesome the castle was, partly because of how cute the long haired resident cows were (at least for me and Charlotte). We also met the cutest little fur ball called ‘Diana’ who Charlotte fell in love with. A magnificent afternoon tea was waiting for us at our kick arse b&b. Our night out in Cork consisted of live music and lots of Guinness at a great little local.
Gallagher’s Pub- 32 MacCurtain Street, Cork, Co. Cork, Ireland
A really quaint little pub with beautiful open fires, live music and delicious food. What more could you want?
Stopped to kiss the Blarney Stone, drove around the glorious Ring of Kerry with stunning cliff top views, walked along the cliffs, ate some awesome fish and chips on the main street and devoured ice cream because it’s never too cold for ice cream and because this ice cream was the bomb-diggity (as Amy would say).
Quinlan’s Seafood Bar- 77 High Street, Killarney, Co. Kerry, Ireland
Delicious fish and chip shop serving up locally caught seafood. Their menu changes daily depending on what has been caught that day. Really fresh, simple, classic fish and chips. The staff are really friendly and helpful and were very accommodating. The small restaurant was buzzing when we ate there, a sure sign of something good.
Murphy’s Ice cream- 37 Main Street, Killarney, Co. Kerry, Ireland
AMAZING ice cream made in Dingle, about an hour out of Killarney. All ingredients are locally sourced and delicious. The ‘Dingle Sea Salt’ flavour was insanely good, made using salt from Dingle sea water. Absolutely incredible. You have to go, even if you’re there in the middle of winter! And alas, no photos because who has time for photos when you're eating some of the best ice cream of your life!
We walked the Cliffs of Moher as Australia was ringing in the New Year. We welcomed the European New Year on Quay Street in Galway drinking even more Guinness with a ridiculously funny, old Irish man who loved my Mum, an American guy called Elliot and a few Hare Krishnas.
We headed back to Manchester on New Year’s Day after seeing countless castles, drinking countless glasses of Guinness, sitting by countless roaring fires and taking countless numbers of photos. No snow, but what an awesome Irish road trip it was!