When Irish Eyes Are Smiling

On my last trip of the semester I fulfilled a life-long dream of visiting Ireland. I stayed with friends in a hotel in Dublin, but we also booked a day tour to Galway and the Cliffs of Moher.

Dublin is a smaller city but there are so many things to see. You can visit the Trinity College Library or take a free tour of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral (and see where politician and author Jonathan Swift is buried). There are plenty of pubs for lunch and dinner with specialities such as Guinness beef stew or a classic burger and fries.

Since we only had one day in the city, we had to miss some attractions with longer waiting times. I guess I’ll just have to make it back someday (what a shame…)

Around Trinity College there are many pubs to visit, as well as souvenir shops and hidden gems.
Look for the signs near the gift shop to meet a tour guide and learn about Saint Patrick’s Cathedral.

On the second day our bus tour across Ireland left at 7:00 a.m. The tour was only 40 euro (booked through Finn McCool’s) and took us to Galway, the Burren, and the Cliffs of Moher with smaller stops along the way for food and coffee. Galway is a beautiful town. The Claddagh ring, symbolizing love, loyalty and friendship, is believed to have originated here. The Burren is a region famous for limestone formations. The Cliffs of Moher are one of the most famous sights associated with Ireland and are featured in films such as The Princess Bride and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. 

Fall in love with a Galway girl, as the song says, or just fall in love with the city.
Sitting (and freezing) on a beach in the Burren.

Visiting the Cliffs of Moher is one way to get over your fear of heights…

If you even slightly enjoy great food, kind people, and a breathtaking countryside, plan to visit Ireland!

Dublin, We love you!

Hey everyone! These past two weeks have been quite crazy, filled with finals and traveling. After getting the finals out the way I prepared for my first trip. I wanted to go somewhere that wasn’t like anywhere I’ve ever been before. As I checked Ryanair for some cheap flights Dublin caught my eye! Shortly after the ticket was booked. So here are some highlights from my weekend in Dublin, Ireland.

IMG_8871
In front of the Dublin Castle 🙂

Rush, Ireland

Long story short, my friends and I booked an Airbnb out in Rush, Ireland. Rush is a little village about a half an hour drive outside of Dublin. Whenever we asked for directions to get to our house in Rush everyone would look at us with a confused face and say “Rush? Really?” It was actually pretty funny. It was the most affordable and I was looking forward to see a real Irish village away from all the tourism of Dublin. After getting lost on the bus twice and a 40 minute bus ride we finally arrived in Rush. Our host was so friendly and helpful and the village was quite cute! The night we arrived was one of my friends birthdays so we went out to an Irish pub in the village. We had a hearty meal of roast, potatoes and veggies and had an overall great time. Everyone was so welcoming and we got an authentic experience. Overall I’m glad we stayed in Rush, it’s always nice to truly be with locals and see a part of the city tourist do not usually see!

IMG_8821
Low quality picture with our new friend smiling in the back.

IMG_8824

The Friendly Irish

Wow, the Irish have to be the friendliest people I’ve encountered in my travels! From the custom officer at the airport to the random man on the street everyone was so friendly. Our taxi driver took it upon himself to give us a whole history lesson and make endless jokes at 6am. We stopped for a moment and a man came up and asked us sincerely if we were lost and needed help. I have plenty more examples and, now I know why Ireland is in the top 10 of friendliest countries.

IMG_8832

Downtown Dublin

Downtown Dublin is amazing; it’s like a little London. There’s so many people out, so many cool restaurants, museums, parks, you name it. We got to visit Trinity College; where Oscar Wild attended and home of the Book of Kells. We saw the Guinness factory, St Peters greens and the castle of Dublin. A very interesting place was the Kilmainham Gaol, where many Irish revolutionaries were executed by the British. The remains of St Valentine also reside in downtown Dublin. You can spend all day wandering around and finding hidden gems.

IMG_8836
The book of Kells
IMG_8873
St. Stephan’s Green; a beautiful park in the middle of the city.
IMG_8844
Trinity College

IMG_8881

Cliffs of Mohr

On Valentine’s Day my friends and I decided to take a day trip to the Irish country side. It was great to be able to learn so much of the history of Ireland as well as see so much of the country which is truly beautiful. We rode up the side of a mountain (terrifying), saw plenty of sheep and visited various sites. The main attraction were the cliffs of Mohr which are one of the natural wonders of the world. We were blessed to have a beautiful sunny day to climb the side of the cliffs. Fun fact: 15 people die a year at this site, so I was extra cautious. After the muddy journey we made it to the top and I was very proud! It was truly a beautiful site and a great way to end the trip.

IMG_8930
I made it!
IMG_8936
Our muddy journey.

IMG_8935

Sleeping in the Airport

Okay, this wasn’t a highlight but it was memorable. Our flight was so early there were no taxis at that time so we ended up sleeping in the airport. It was an experience to say the least. I arrived back to Berlin right in time for classes, of course exhausted, but it was worth it. 🙂

That’s a little bit about my trip to Ireland! Dublin is truly great. I would encourage you to look up the country’s history and of course visit if you ever get the chance! Look out for my next post about my time in Venice. 🙂

Tschüs!