Recently, I had the opportunity to travel to Ireland with my family and best friend. The entire trip felt like a dream. We went on a tour that traveled through Dublin, Waterford, Killarney, Limerick, Galway, and back to Dublin.
The first day we got to Dublin, we immediately went to the Jameson tour, which I highly recommend at 10:30am! One part of that is a taste test to note the differences in Johnnie Walker, Jameson, and Jack Daniels (was not a fan of any!) and then a complimentary drink was offered at the end (I highly recommend Jameson, ginger ale, and lime! Yum!)
That night we slept for a solid 12 hours and woke up nice and refreshed! With our tour group we had a bus tour of Dublin. If you have the chance, which we did not, go to the Trinity College Library (at least all of the book nerds out there!).
Other highlights of the trip include the Cliffs of Moher (more), a medieval style dinner in a castle, the Blarney Stone, and the walking tour of Waterford. The Cliffs are spectacular and a must see!
The medieval dinner was so much fun! We had mead, which is a honeyed wine and traditional dishes from that time period. There was also Irish dancing and entertainment. Kissing the Blarney stone will give you the gift of gab, but to get to the stone it is a tight squeeze (the steps are extremely narrow and built for leprechauns!). But the experience is definitely worth it. The grounds of the Blarney castle are also beautiful (I don’t think there is an ugly part of Ireland). The walking tour of Waterford is amazing, the guide is hilarious and everything seen has some amazing history. We also toured the Waterford crystal factory, which was cool to see how the crystal is made and the work put into creating it is extraordinary.
While in Killarney, we toured the Ring of Kerry, this was a disappointment, because the weather was extremely foggy and we were on a bus for the entire ring. Some people we met suggested going to Dingle instead.
Those same people were recently at Galway and had a blast at the pubs. They even gave us a list to go to, which one of their friends who studied there told them to go to. So, if you are staying in Galway make sure to stop at Taafes, the Tig Coli, King’s Head, Quays, and The Front Door (in that order). Unfortunately, our tour was only in Galway during the day, but King’s Head had amazing fish ‘n chips.
Overall, it was an amazing time, which I highly recommend! If you do go, make sure to see the Cliffs of Moher (which some of Harry Potter was filmed at!), tour Jameson, kiss the Blarney stone, try the lamb, drink lots of Irish beer (Guiness, Smithwick’s, Bulmer’s, Cread’s, Hop House 13), and have some fish ‘n chips! Also, if you want to do some shopping while there, the Aran fishermen sweaters are extremely warm, the Belleek pottery is amazing (I bought some Belleek coffee mugs), and Waterford crystal is another big Irish product. If you are traveling with your sweetheart, you should sweet talk him into a Claddagh ring!
If you travel to Ireland, you are sure to have craic (pronounced crack, meaning a fun time!) anywhere on the beautiful island!