Short Trip to Ireland

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The Irish country side is as beautiful as many photos prove.  While there's plenty to do, see and eat, we chose to visit places based on a few days we were in Ireland.  On top of our list was the city of Dublin where we enjoyed much that it has to offer.  We ventured out to see the Cliffs of Moher, Kilkenny & Malahide Castles and their quaint towns plus Doolin and Galway.  We visited the Glendalough mountains, location of many movies filmed in Ireland.  We didn't have time to travel to Belfast or Cork but it''ll have to wait for a future trip. Hope you enjoy our recommendations.












Dublin:  The Guinness Storehouse is located in town near the main Heuston Train Station. Hops is only grown in five nations and Ireland has the market on some of the best.  At the end of this post I share the map of the city. The tour is excellent and very accommodating to tourist needs.  Here you'll see a wonderful store for purchasing gifts, great desserts, and of course a variety of their beers.  We discovered HOP HOUSE 13 beer which is scarce in the States.  But the piece de resistance is the seventh floor tasting room and overlook (all glass room) of the best views of the city.  



 


We chose to dine at The Bank Restaurant and Bar on College Green at least twice.  This converted bank is a great choice for fancy decor, nightlife, fine food, and cocktails.  While there's many great restaurants in Dublin, this had a 4+ rating on TripAdvisor.  Beware it's very lively and you must have reservations to eat on the mezzanine floor overlooking the bar area. The bar will feature typical bar foods compared to the dinner room menu upstairs which offers fresh seafood, meats, etc.  





By necessity we dropped in to the Hairy Lemon Pub where I personally enjoyed the Guinness Pie, yumm!








Very near the Guinness Storehouse, you can visit the Kilmainham Gaol.  These jails were built in the 1800's to house 100 prisoners; however, at one time, the population was over 9,00 men, women and children. The Irish 'Rising" rebels were incarcerated and subsequently executed here.  The guides are actors who give fine performances throughout the tour and sharing so much about their cherished history.  Worth the half day tour!



Just beyond the Jail Museum, this dog park is the perfect way to walk to the Guinness Storehouse.  







 

Another great destination in Dublin is the Jameson Distillery (again with the drinking).  Anyone will appreciate this tour learning about the traditional whiskey-making techniques and comparisons at the old whiskey making site.  This is also a multi floor operation and the staff couldn't be more helpful and accommodating making this a first class tour to take.  there are plenty of things to buy, eat or drink.





The Dublin Castle isn't really have your typical castle appeal because it was updated years ago but its in the city center and easy to see. 




 Galway Victoria Hotel

Travel outside the city on one of the Dublin tour busses to Galway, Cliffs of Moher and the little town of Doolin (where McGann's Pub is located).  The guided trip costs less than if you take the train to and from Dublin to Galway.  This is an all day trip and the weather can be brutal (rain) but its worth the trip.  Galway is a port town and offers lots of shopping and arts.





This was another day trip outside Dublin on a Red Rover Bus to the Glendalough and Kilkenny areas.  Both day tours offer an overview pf the particular location with a narrated history of Ireland.  The guides are very colorful and proud of their heritage.  They certainly make it fun and enjoyable.

Ireland is famous for its charming villages and countryside, one of these towns is Kilkenny outside Dublin.  Here you'l find several old churches and the Kilkenny Castle.  If you've got children or just want to get around the town quickly, take their little Train that takes you to the sites.



The view from the little train ride.  Very lovely tour and great guide!




Kilkenny Castle








St. Canice Cathedral and Round Tower, Kilkenny



     View from the Kilkenny Castle and the town of Kilkenny.












Malahide Castle

 

Dart up to the cozy seaside town of Malahide from Dublin.  The Dublin Dart (Train) is easy to catch from the city and only minutes away.  Step off the Dart and take the little train from the station around the town.  You're able to get off at any point and return on the train when ready. 

 

Near the train station is this beautiful church and home (below)








Malahide Park/Castle are beautiful locations...a must see!






   

 


Malahide town





Many charming shops and restaurants are located in Malahide near the main square in the town.  We chose to eat some appetizers (Calamari and Shrimp Nachos) at the Fish Shack that was recommended to us. The Shack has great service and yummy food!






Lastly, I have to praise our great Sheepherder, Mr. Crowe in the Glendalough area.  He showed off his talented dog, Jess, who rounded up this herd in about two minutes.  Its rare you get to see a show like this in its natural environment, his own farm.

Hope you get to see these areas in your week trip to Dublin.  However, Ireland should be interesting anywhere you go.  The people are so lively, passionate and fun to be around.  

Below is our little travel group, a Bailey's Irish Coffee and a Carrot Cake at the Guinness Storehouse. You can't go wrong drinking the beer and eating at the pubs!


 





Dublin Maps can be found on Google and TripAdvisor

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