During our stay in Dublin, we decided it would be nice to get out of the city (as lovely as Dublin is, it’s not enormous and there’s only so much to do), so we rented a car and headed west for Galway. We had toyed with the idea of going to Northern Ireland, but didn’t want to test the fates with crossing into the UK, Covid tests, and all that fun stuff.
Anyways, we rented a car and it was absolutely bloody terrifying. It was my first time on the other side of the road. Combined with the narrow roads and never knowing if I can take a free left on red, there were certainly a few harrowing moments with me at the helm (I have a vivid memory of remembering, in mid-turn, to stay left as the driver in the right lane looked horrified and positive I was going to hit him head on……I did not). I could probably do an entire post just on driving there, but I won’t. Overall though, I picked it up fairly quickly and we had wheels to motor around!
We rented a little Airbnb on an inlet about 10km south of Galway proper. It was owned by an older couple who had converted a garage into a guesthouse. It was a beautiful place and a great location, and we learned one of their daughters, like us, was an international teacher (in Beijing).
Anyways, from Galway we made several trips, including to Galway proper to see their Christmas Market, see the old cute roads and bits of town, and of course….drink Guinness!
The Cliffs of Moher
I had considered making this a whole separate post. Not because there’s so much to write about, but because it’s one of the most stunningly beautiful places I’ve ever been and I feel I’ve been to some amazingly gorgeous places. As we were there in winter, there were far fewer tourists, which pretty much gave us the run of the place, though you do miss out on the nicer sunsets.
The cliffs are stunning. Huge, sheer drop offs into the rocky swells below with picturesque rolling fields of green behind. It was truly mesmerizing. I was caught in a mix of wanting to take as many photos as I could to remember the place while simultaneously trying to put my camera down and enjoy it as much as humanly possible. It rained a bit whilst we were there, but that was okay, we were prepared. I’ll probably stop talking about the cliffs and let them do the talking. Please enjoy! (Also a few photos of a castle we popped off to see on the way. It was closed so we couldn’t see much, but it was still pretty cool.)
Leaving the cliffs, we found a 13th Century Abbey on the way home. Its walls were mostly intact, and it had essentially become a graveyard throughout the centuries, though one very well maintained. It was absolutely empty and a fun little stop off on the way home.
We’d also hoped to head up to Connemara National Park on our way back to Dublin, but alas, it was pouring rain and we decided it was just better to head straight back than muck around in hard to see weather, narrow roads, and me on the wrong side. Anyways, we made it back to Dublin on Christmas Eve for a chance to spend the rest of our time relaxing, eating, and of course….drinking Guinness. Stay tuned for the next post all about….Alcohol! (Our Guinness and Jameson tours).