Wanderings & Ramblings

Ireland Trip Pt. 1

This was on the kitchen wall of the Barnacles Hostel in Galway. Loved it!
This was on the kitchen wall of the Barnacles Hostel in Galway. Loved it!

 

 

Well, I have now planned a trip for 8 people (with help obviously), stayed in hostels for the first time, bused along the West of Ireland, and been to some of the most amazing places. All within 6 days.

I have a lot that I want to write – I’ve experienced so much, learned a lot, met some great people, and seen some amazing things. But, for the sake of your eyes and brains, I will attempt to condense as much as I can.

 

 

 

Day 1 – Cahir and Cashel

(We pronounced Cahir wrong for numerous days until someone corrected us – you say it like ‘care.’)

8 of us set out at the beginning – 5 guys and 3 girls.

We had wanted to go to Cahir to see a castle we had seen on the internet, but were super disappointed when we arrived to find it under construction. So, instead, we went for a walk along the river behind the castle. Honestly, it was a great decision! The natural scenery was beautiful, and we all got some great shots. Even though we had torrential rain and sideways winds for the walk back, our wet jeans and dripping jackets were definitely worth it for the views we found.

We had lunch at a little café before taking a bus to Cashel. Cashel is home to the ruins, the Rock of Cashel. My friend Hubert and I were the only ones who saw the ruins from the bus window, our excitement growing as we would finally see something really cool!

 
 
Our walk in Cahir afforded beautiful scenery. The river looked like glass at some points, and the sun held up for the walk there.
Our walk in Cahir afforded beautiful scenery. The river looked like glass at some points, and the sun held up for the walk there.
 
Despite it being under construction, the Rock of Cashel was still really cool to see! (We could actually go into this one!)
Despite it being under construction, the Rock of Cashel was still really cool to see! (We could actually go into this one!)
We walked all the way around the Rock of Cashel, and the other side afforded a view with less construction.
We walked all the way around the Rock of Cashel, and the other side afforded a view with less construction.

We found our hostel (pretty good for my first hostel actually), and headed off to explore the Rock of Cashel. We might have walked along an ‘out-of-bounds’ area (we aren’t sure), but the views were amazing and worth it. Green hills surrounded, and we could see even more ruins in the distance. The ruins were really cool to explore – although dodging stepping on tombs was a little interesting and morbid…

We found a little local pub for dinner that was edible, and had a quiet night in at the hostel.

Day 2 – Limerick

To get to Limerick, we had to pass back through Cahir. So, we stopped for brunch there. I got to have pancakes with maple syrup for Pancake Tuesday! I was so excited to find food from home on a menu!

Limerick was probably one of my favourite cities that we have been to so far these 2 months. The atmosphere is really relaxed, and sometimes it definitely doesn’t feel like you are in a city. We wandered until we found King John’s Castle. We had a ton of fun exploring and taking pictures all around the castle grounds!

 
 
St. John's Castle, Limerick.
St. John’s Castle, Limerick.
The view from the very top tower of St. John's Castle. You could see almost all of Limerick, and with the sun going down, it was gorgeous!
The view from the very top tower of St. John’s Castle. You could see almost all of Limerick, and with the sun going down, it was gorgeous!


 

And then we were 7, as we said goodbye to Kitty at the bus station – she was going back home to Waterford, and we were continuing on. That night, the guys wanted kebabs and pizza for dinner, but Brittany and I decided we wanted something better. So, we asked the lady at reception, and she recommended a restaurant called Marco Polo. It was quite fancy, but pretty average prices – so we were really excited that we got to have one night out with really good food!

We met up with the guys afterwards, and headed to a local pub for a pint and to listen to live music. The band was only two guys playing guitar and using back beats and music, but they were really good! It was a great night out. And our hotel that night was amazing! The beds were incredibly soft, like sleeping on clouds. We all got a great night’s sleep with no bunk beds.

Day 3 – Galway

One more thing that made our hotel awesome – free breakfast in the morning! So we got to have a mini Irish breakfast to start off our day. We hung out in our great room for a bit before wandering the city streets of Limerick and buying food at a grocery store.

We caught a bus to Galway in the afternoon, and checked into our hostel. I cannot stress how awesome this hostel actually was! The people were great, and it actually offered a lot while being in a central location. I was so happy with it! And there was a Canadian girl working there who checked us in and gave us recommendations of where to go in the city – thanks, Rebecca!

 
 
Despite it being blurry, this was us in Galway our first day! (Carlos joined us later)
Despite it being blurry, this was us in Galway our first day! (Carlos joined us later)
It's hard to see, but the musicians were sitting in a circle playing music together - all from memory, of course. They would switch off leading songs, singing, and one guy even did some Irish dancing. It was a great experience!
It’s hard to see, but the musicians were sitting in a circle playing music together – all from memory, of course. They would switch off leading songs, singing, and one guy even did some Irish dancing. It was a great experience!


 

And we became 8 again, as Carlos joined us after coming back from Spain.

We booked our tours for the next few days around Galway and the surrounding areas, and then headed to the Cellar Bar for dinner. The food was amazing, and the atmosphere was great!!! We had an awesome dinner there. After going back to the hostel and hanging out for a bit, we headed to The Crane Bar for a pint and some live, traditional Irish music. The bar was small and fun, and we all had an awesome time. It was a great way to end off the night!

So this post isn’t too long, I’m going to post part two of my travels in a day or two. That blog post will include the Cliffs of Moher, Inishmore, and a little more of Galway (and is longer). Honestly, I would recommend any of the places we went to or stayed at, as we had an amazing trip!

“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.”

From

JH

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