Thursday, November 12, 2015

Ireland Travel Highlights

If you missed my last travel highlights post, I have been recounting some highlights from our Paris and Ireland trip in May. It is a bit embarrassing that it took me so long to go through photos but I finally set aside some time dedicated to organizing our travel photos!

We were blessed to share the Ireland leg of our trip with my brother, sister-in-law and my sister. My sister was staying in Northern Ireland with our relatives while she was between her study abroad classes. Part of the motivation of our trip was to get to spend some time with her and our relatives. It was so fun to see them all and to be back in Ireland!

Northern Ireland

Our relatives kindly took us in for the perfect Irish visit. We had some amazing home cooked meals! I can't wait to try my hand at their recipe for Guiness Stew this winter. They also taught us all about their garden, coached us on what crystal to use during dinner parties and shared the history of their local church and graveyard.

A couple days after our arrival, we went up to Giant's Causeway, Bushmills Distillery and Dunluce Castle on the coast. It was so exciting to experience these sites again with my husband.

Cool facts about Dunluce Castle: it is thought to be the inspiration for C.S. Lewi's Cair Paravel in the Chronicles of Narnia and it was also featured in the filming of Game of Thrones! The kiddos called it a castle with no roof because if you look out into the sea, you can see the very top of the castle.

Dublin, Ireland

Guinness Factory:
This is a must see, even if you aren't a huge beer drinker. The factory grounds are incredible and they do a great job of explaining their beer-making process. They share crazy statistics like the following: Of the millions of kegs produced every year, one third is consumed by the little country of Ireland. Another interesting fact: If you walk into any Irish bar and ask for a pint, they will always pour you a Guinness.

I also totally geeked out in the marketing area of the factory. They show different Guinness ads, characters, slogans and marketing materials from over the years. I loved learning about their marketing strategies and seeing how they chose to position the beer to different countries and cultures. Super interesting stuff!

Kilkenny, Ireland

Kilkenny Castle:
This castle is picture perfect in the cutest little Irish town! We lunched along the river where we had the perfect view of the castle. Definitely one to add to the list!

Galway, Ireland

Murphy's Bar:
I am pretty sure that my husband died and went to heaven when we entered Murphy's Bar in Galway. We had been walking around Galway and were on our way back from the sea. It is such a beautiful town. While walking past the shops, we spied Murphy's Bar and obviously, needed to grab a drink inside the darling pub. This was the only place that we were able to find a pint of Murphy's Stout, which is brewed in southern Ireland. The kind bartender let us keep a Murphy's Stout glass as a keepsake.

Cliffs of Moher

This is a must-see for anyone going to Ireland. Pictures cannot capture the vast glory of these cliffs! They were breathtaking. Definitely make time to walk around and see the cliffs from many sides. If you can get away from the crowds, it's even better! Thankfully, we were able to go on a day when it wasn't too cloudy, windy or rainy. Irish weather is so temperamental and you really can't plan for it. But we were grateful to be able to enjoy the views on a clear(ish) day!

Other Highlights

Classic Temple Bar in Dublin

Tea and treats for breakfast in Dublin

Sheepies in the Wicklow Mountains

The most photographed castle in Ireland, Dunguaire Castle

My souvenirs: Belvoir! My husband's souvenirs: Whiskey!

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