(Here is Part 1 of our recent trip to Ireland, in case you missed it!)
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Day 4: Kilkenny, Rock of Cashel, Blarney Castle, Tralee
In the morning Tom and I went for a run along the River Nore (there was a nice little path) and enjoyed exploring the area on foot.
Shortly after breakfast we got on the road, with Tralee as our destination. We stopped at the Rock of Cashel, which is the site of some beautiful church ruins and it is definitely worth visiting.
We got back in the car and next stopped at Blarney Castle. This place gets so crowded but if you don’t mind not actually seeing/kissing the Blarney Stone (way up in a castle, as it turns out) then the crowds aren’t too bad. (We skipped it and kissed a random rock beside the castle, lol.) We mostly just took in the scenery and enjoyed the castle grounds.
We hopped back in the car and drove to Tralee and stayed in The Rose Hotel. There isn’t a whole lot around this hotel but it’s a huge travel hotel so good if you’re with a big group.
Day 5: Dingle Peninsula and Killarney
In the morning we drove to Killarney and hopped on the Wild Kerry Day Tours bus to visit the Dingle Peninsula. This was my favorite day of the trip and the Dingle Peninsula was so wild and breathtaking. DEFINITELY do this trip on a bus and don’t drive yourself. The roads were even narrower here than they were on the rest of the island, so for your own sake it’s 100% worth it to hop on a small tour bus. All of the tour buses stop in Dingle for lunch, which is a charming little town on the water. It’s a tourist town for sure though, so most of the shops are full of overpriced Irish sweaters, lace, and souvenirs (as one would expect). We had a great meal of fish and chips though! And I got a little rag doll for Caroline in one of the shops.
After the trip to the Dingle Peninsula we had a little time to walk around Killarney. It was a really charming town (very popular with tourists too) but we got stuck in a massive downpour so we didn’t get to see a whole lot, other than these beautiful hydrangeas! (It really does rain a lot in Ireland, so if you go make sure you bring a good rain jacket and shoes that won’t get ruined in the rain. I really loved wearing my Superga sneakers and then just washed them with Oxyclean when I got home and dried them in the sun. They look good as new despite being worn almost every day of this rainy trip.)
Day 6: Cliffs of Moher & Galway
We got back on the road the next morning and drove to a spot where lots of ferries depart from to view the Cliffs of Moher. I believe we booked a ride on the Doolin Ferry Company. Definitely make reservations and get there early if you want to do this tour. It was crowded and really tough to find a parking spot! I didn’t know a whole lot about the Cliffs of Moher but they were spectacular to view from the water. Supposedly there are cute little puffins (among the thousands or millions of other birds that live on the cliffs) but we didn’t see any.
After our boat tour we stopped in a little town for lunch (I can’t remember the name, sorry!). Then we kept driving and eventually made it to Galway. Galway was incredibly charming and we all really enjoyed our stay there! We stayed at the Harbour Hotel, which was in a really great spot. The city has a great pedestrian area full of shops and restaurants and the occasional street performer. There is a beautiful park too!
Day 7: Galway
We road another hop on hop off bus and stopped to view a couple of the churches in the city, followed by another round of fish and chips.
The skinny hair scarf I’m wearing in the photos was a gift from Daisy Faye Designs (owned by in insta friend Kim who is a fellow military spouse and momma of 2). She makes the cutest handmade products like scrunchies, ring sling clip pouches (genius!) and other things! The scarf I’m currently wearing is now 40% off if you want to snag it 🙂
Day 8: Galway to Shannon Airport to Boston
The final morning Tom and I woke up really early and went for a run around Galway. It was a great way to end our trip and move our legs a bit before getting on the plane.
We departed from Shannon, which wasn’t too far from Galway. We flew back to Boston, said our goodbyes to the family, then caught a flight back to Charleston, where my dad picked us up and we headed back to Fripp Island for another couple of days. It was a busy trip and we covered a lot of territory (we started on the east side or Ireland and ended up on the west!), but I can’t think of a better way to see the country. I’m so thankful for such an incredible experience with the Vail family!
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