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Ireland: Day 6

So when I last left you, I was dying in our hotel lobby waiting to board the bus to Galway.

Immediately following this photo I ran to the bathroom to puke up the croissant I ate at bfast

Immediately following this photo I ran to the bathroom to puke up the croissant I ate at breakfast

You know what’s really helpful to a raging hangover accompanied by extreme nausea? Traveling on a coach bus all day on twisty, windy roads. I managed to curl up across some bus seats and sleep a little bit before reaching our first stop of the day, the Connemara Marble Factory.

marbe

marble

Not going to lie, I don’t remember much of what was said, as I was mostly focused on not vomiting, but it was still pretty cool. Col and I got our mom a really pretty bracelet featuring the different colors of marble and the Claddagh sign. Much too soon it was time to get back on the bus to continue north, and I was not doing well. Luckily I had the foresight to grab a plastic laundry bag from the hotel before we left and let’s just say it came in handy. A few times. Despite the fact that I literally wanted to throw myself in front of our bus and put myself out of my misery, I wasn’t willing to miss out on Galway (and I didn’t want my sister to hate me). So I sucked it up and shuffled about for two hours once we made it there.

Cathedral in Galway

Galway Cathedral

contemplating praying for my soul

contemplating praying for my soul

shop street

Shop Street

Galway was really pretty and I wish I could have stomached the smell of food so we could have eaten at one of the great little places there. Col and I have already decided that when we go back (hopefully with husbands also of Irish heritage) that we want to stay in Galway some and definitely along the western coast.

We finally made it back to Dublin for our final night of the trip around 5:30, at which point I collapsed into a bed and took a delightful nap. Miraculously I woke up feeling almost normal and we were able to eat one final meal in Ireland before our balls ass early flight the next morning. If you’re keeping track, that means I kept nothing down until 8 pm when I ate about half a delicious cheeseburger. Col finally got some fish and chips, which she declared THE BEST EVER, and then it was time to pack up and get ready to leave. Our shuttle to the airport left at 5:30 am, and I shed a tear or two as I bid farewell to the best vacation ever.

Luckily we had our mom’s wedding to look forward to the next day, so there was no time to be sad!

Ireland: Day 5

Also known as, my favorite day of vacation. We woke up to clear sunny skies, and trek up the western coast ahead of us. On the agenda? The Cliffs of Moher and a medieval feast in an actual castle. We left Killarney at 8:30 am, and headed north eventually reaching the Shannon Estuary which we had to cross on a ferry.

Western Ireland coastline

Lighthouse we passed while on the ferry

just a little windy out there on the water

Once we cross the river, it was back on the bus for more driving through County Shannon. We FINALLY made it to the Cliffs of Moher around noon and I was immediately in awe. They are legitimately the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. I took nearly 100 photos of just these alone. I’m so happy that of all days to have perfect clear weather, it was this day.

panoramic view

panoramic view

I really don't think words can do them justice

I really don’t think words can do them justice

so pretty

so pretty

sister and I trying to ignore our apparent fear of heights and plunging to our deaths

sister and I trying to ignore our apparent fear of heights and plunging to our deaths

hiking the trail

hiking the trail

death grip

death grip

the prettiest

the prettiest

I could continue to post pictures, but I think you get the idea. It was gorgeous and terrifying, especially when the giant gusts of wind would nearly knock you off your feet. After leaving the cliffs, we continued on to a town called Bunratty. Which from what I could tell, consisted of our hotel, a castle, some shopping and Durty Nelly’s. It was the cutest. We checked in and had some time to kill before dinner, so we did some shopping and then took advantage of the awesome weather with some beers outside.

Durty Nelly's!

Durty Nelly’s!

drinking a Kilkenny

drinking a Kilkenny

oh ya know, just hanging out next to a castle

oh ya know, just hanging out next to a castle

Bunratty Castle Hotel

Bunratty Castle Hotel

After our drinks it was time for our medieval feast! It was tons of fun and the food was really delicious, the wine was not, but I still drank a gallon of it. We weren’t allowed to use any utensils, so there was a lot of soup drinking and finger licking. It was interesting.

drinking our soups

drinking our soups

After dinner a bunch of people in our group ventured back over to Durty Nelly’s where I proceeded to get the drunkest I had been the entire trip. It was delightful, at the time. I met the man of my dreams and was completely embarrassing and inappropriate, but I was on vacation and tequila makes me nuttso. Oh yeah, the man of my dreams and I did tequila shots together, after I had already taken Jameson shots.

ya know what I didn't need. Jameson and tequila shots

ya know what I didn’t need. Jameson and tequila shots

Anyway, after I was finally done falling in love and repeatedly telling this guy how much he looked like Tom Hardy and how much I liked his tattoos, I drug myself to bed (we’ll say it was 2 am) and proceeded to die. When my alarm went off at 7 am the next morning I was most definitely still drunk, and would have appreciated death. Unfortunately we had to head back to Dublin, so I had to pull it together.

FYI this is what pulling it together looked like. In the hotel lobby.

FYI this is what pulling it together looked like. In the hotel lobby.

Up next, our final day in Ireland. Or as I like to call it; “The Day I Wandered Around Galway Wondering if I Could Vomit in the Street if Necessary.”

Ireland: Day 4

On the 4th day of Christmas my true love gave to… oh wait, is that not what we’re doing? Sorry I got confused for a minute. On our 4th day in Ireland, we set out from Killarney on a trip around the famous Ring of Kerry. This day can also be known as “the day it was sunny in the morning!” I’ll captions specific photos that are places I can remember, but we stopped at SO MANY places it’s hard to keep it straight :(.

The Ring of Kerry (IrishMórchuaird Chiarraí) is a tourist trail in County Kerry, south-western Ireland. The route covers the 179 km circular road (N70N71, and R562 road), starting from Killarney, heading around the Iveragh Peninsula and passing through Kenmare,SneemWatervilleCahersiveen and Killorglin. Popular points include Muckross House (near Killarney), Staigue stone fort and Derrynane House, home of Daniel O’Connell. Just south of Killarney, Ross CastleLough Leane, and Ladies View (a panoramic viewpoint), all located within Killarney National Park, are major attractions located along the Ring. A more complete list of major attractions along the Ring of Kerry includes: Gap of Dunloe, Bog Village, Rossbeigh Beach, Cahersiveen Heritage Centre, Derrynane House, Skellig Experience, Staigue Fort, Kenmare Lace, Moll’s GapLadies ViewTorc Waterfall, Muckross House, The Blue Pool, Ross Castle,Ogham Stones, St Mary’s Cathedral, Muckross Abbey, Franciscan Friary, Kellegy Church, O’Connell Memorial Church, Sneem Church and Cemetery, Skellig Michael, Beehive Cells and the Stone Pillars marking an important grave.

Dingle Bay

On this day, we also got to experience a Sheep Dog Herding demonstration. It was so cool. I mean I have never seen more well-trained dogs, so excited to do what they were naturally bred to do. They listened to both personalized vocal and whistle cues.

These sheep started pretty much out of sight at the top of a mountain, and the two dogs went up to get them and bring them down

Town of Cahersiveen as seen from Valencia Island where we checked out the Skellig Experience

Sneem River

Ladies View

At this point it was pouring freezing cold rain, I’d already fallen asleep on our bus once, and we were ready to be back at the hotel for some drinks and dinner. With an early departure for Bunratty the next morning we opted out of pub hopping again in Killarney and instead took some glasses of wine up to our room.

Once we got up there and turned on the TV, the news about Boston was just breaking (Ireland is 5 hours ahead) and we sat shocked and appalled in front of CNN for hours. It was a weird thing, being in a foreign country when something terrible is happening at home, I can’t describe it, but for some reason you just feel even more helpless. European news is also a lot more blunt and less sensitive with their coverage (at least I thought so), so I’m sure we saw and heard some things people at home did not. There were two couples from Boston in our tour group, who could do nothing but watch and wait from 3000 miles away. Day 4 was a great day, that ended on a horribly sad note.