Ireland: From Dublin to Galway Bay!

I am splitting up our trip recaps into four parts, one for each of the areas we visited! The first part is the time we spent in the Republic of Ireland, which was the first four days of our trip.

Our flight left Vancouver at 8 am on Saturday, May 10 and we arrived in Dublin at 5:30 am local time on Sunday, May 11. We immediately caught the air coach bus to our B&B, which was of course closed. However, there was a really nice lady there who was getting breakfast ready that let us come in and have some coffee and also some breakfast while we waited for reception to arrive.

Once reception arrived at 8 am we were pleasantly surprised to find out we could get checked into our room early! Yay! We had some much needed showers and while we were tempted to nap we knew the best thing to do would be to get out and about. This was really the only day we were spending in Dublin so we bought some hop on, hop off bus tickets and went to see the sights.

3 IMG 0692

Our first “hop off” stop was the Guinness Storehouse! Something Eric was very excited to visit. We wasted no time getting a tour and learning how to pour the perfect pint of Guinness!

8 IMG 0866

9 IMG 0867

The rest of the time in Dublin was spent riding the bus around and just kind of seeing the city. We saw the Temple Bar area, Jameson Distillery (had lunch there) and other ‘famous’ areas but didn’t really get off to visit them. Understandably, we were really really tired so by the afternoon we were both nodding off on the bus. We ended up going back to our room around 3pm, napping from 3pm – 6pm, going for dinner at a random pub and then calling it a night.

The next morning I was up insanely early (thanks jet lag) so went for a nice 20-minute run along the canal before we headed back to the airport to get our rental car.

10 IMG 0883

Then we hit the highway to drive across the country! Our next stop was Quin, which is a tiny village in County Clare. We were headed to Quin because we’d booked tickets for the Knappogue Castle Banquet that evening.

11 DSC 0031

We ended up having lunch in this really cute little village near Quin which was super fun. I can’t remember the name but we loved the little pub we ate at and had very delicious burgers and guinnesses! This was the only place that gave us shamrock guinesses the whole trip!

IMG 0897

12 DSC 0039 13 DSC 0042

We LOVED the Irish Countryside so much and it was definitely the highlight of our time there. We just wish we’d spent more time in quaint little villages like Quin. After freshening up at our hotel (which was called the Abbey Tavern and our rooms were actually above the tavern – so cool!) we headed to the castle!

19 DSC 0062

15 IMG 0908

It was a fun evening that included a really yummy dinner and ended with some Irish singing and dancing for entertainment. It was a bit touristy, and I swear we were the only people who drove ourselves there as the rest of the audience seemed to come in on a tour bus and were all over 50, but it was still fun, if a tad corny 🙂 We were also so glad to be staying only 2 miles away in Quin and not have to drive all the way back to a bigger town like everyone else.

We walked out of the castle to witness the most beautiful rainbow and sunset. It was a really nice way to end the night. We then sat up in the pub under our room and had a few drinks until about 11pm that night, trying to get ourselves adjusted to the time change.

IMG 0924

The next day after a full Irish breakfast at the Abbey Tavern we hit the road to the Cliffs of Moher. We were so so lucky as this was the most beautiful day of our entire trip! Eric and I decided to walk along the Cliff’s coastal trail and ended up doing a 10 km walk (5 km out and 5 km back) it was really nice to be out in the fresh air and moving. We took a million pictures during our two hour walk so I will just share a few of them below. It was a truly beautiful, beautiful place!

22 IMG 0944

23 DSC 0087

30 IMG 1004

DSC 0101

The photos really don’t do it justice. I was just amazed by the beauty of this area and kept feeling like I had to pinch myself because I was really there – I was really walking along the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland! After we were done at the Cliff’s we hit the road to Galway where we would spend the next two nights. We stopped in Doolin for the best seafood chowder we had the whole trip and a couple of dooliner beers. I sadly didn’t take a picture. On the way we legitimately did take a wrong turn which turned out to be the right turn because it took us along The Burren, more stunning natural landscape. We pulled over several times. I honestly had no idea Ireland was so beautiful!

32DSC 0117

We also discovered a beautiful sandy beach, which was completely empty! The sand was so warm I took my shoes off.

37DSC 0139

Eventually we did make our way to Galway and managed to find our B&B. Eric was a champ at driving in a big-ish city, on the left side of the road at rush hour! Our B&B was right along Galway Bay near Salthill and about a 15 minute walk into the heart of the city. It was actually a perfect location. After freshening up at the B&B we went into town to have dinner (fish n’ chips at the famous Mcdonagh’s which we just thought were ok) and then spent the night hanging out at a local pub chatting, drinking beer and listening to live music!

39IMG 1011

45 IMG 1014

Our second day in Galway was very low key. We were tired after three solid days of go, go, go so we slept in, had breakfast at our B&B, I went for a run on ‘The Prom’ (yes I kicked The Prom!) we wandered into town for lunch at a little cafe and a bit of shopping, more resting at the B&B and finally we went out for a seafood feast at Oscar’s Seafood Bistro. An awesome little restaurant that I highly recommend!

46 IMG 1022 47 IMG 1023

47 IMG 1039

49 IMG 0769

Then we finished the night off at another pub with Guinnesses and live music!

Initially when planning the trip I thought we might use this day to drive up to the Connemara area but honestly we were both tired so our quiet day in Galway was just what we needed to refresh us! The next day we were up bright and early to drive back to Dublin, drop off our rental car and catch the bus up to Belfast. I will recap our 3.5 days in Northern Ireland in the next post 🙂

Overall, we loved Ireland but wish we hadn’t spent so much time in Dublin and Galway. Our favourite days and nights were the ones spent in the countryside and the small villages. When we go back (not if) we will focus more on the Southern part of the country as I know we missed a lot of places most people go to on their first trip to Ireland and that’s just because we were really focused on fitting Northern Ireland in too, which was completely worth it as you’ll see in the next post!

23 Responses

  1. Love this first recap post! I am glad that the weather worked out for you as I know it can be quite rainy over there. I have wanted to see the Cliffs of Moher since my high school boyfriend went there when we were juniors in high school. It look amazing in photos so I can’t imagine how beautiful it is in person. I am glad that you guys had so much fun that you know you will go back – and your next trip will be better than ever as you’ll know exactly what ares to spend time in!

  2. LG says:

    Oh wow. Absolutely stunning!!! Thank you for sharing!!!

  3. Nora says:

    Gorgeous photos! Thanks for sharing 🙂 Makes me want to hop a plan immediately!

  4. Lisa says:

    Looks so beautiful!!

  5. Alli says:

    Love love love! This just makes me so excited for our trip to Ireland and Scotland.

  6. Leigh says:

    Pictures really do not do justice to the Cliffs of Moher…they are so incredible! Sounds like you guys had a first part of your trip

  7. Stephany says:

    Your pictures are so beautiful! I love that you guys connected to Ireland so much. That’s so great!

  8. Everything looks beautiful and wonderful!

  9. […] Read about the first four days of our trip here.  […]

  10. That’s the trouble with traveling to new places. You feel compelled to visit the popular places (they’re popular for a reason, right?), but wind up discovering all these other places that you wish you’d spent more time. But, if you did it the other way around … spending time discovering little known places and skipping all the big name stuff, then you might be sad you hadn’t at least tried to fit in some of it. Long story short, you’ll just have to go back again!

    (BTW, love all the photos – Ireland really is a beautiful country!)

  11. Looks like an amazing time.
    Did you see Puffins at the Cliffs? I think that was my favourite thing. Such adorable little birds.

  12. […] up? Read about our time in Ireland here and […]

  13. By the looks of how you guys travel, you two would get along with Christopher and I VERY well 🙂 Mmmmm, Guinness!!

  14. Becky says:

    Oh my gosh I’m so excited you’re doing recap posts! Love love love these photos!

  15. My MIL was just in Ireland as well, and went to several of those places. It was fun seeing your pictures and perspectives as my MIL didn’t take many pictures and I haven’t seen them yet.

  16. […] is the last recap of our two-week trip to Ireland and Scotland! You can read the first three recaps here, here and […]

  17. […] case you missed it ALL my vacation recaps are up! You can find them at the following links: Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland Highlands, Scotland – Edinburgh & St. […]

  18. Google says:

    This is because this device assures to either
    benefit or cure the autistic people in more ways than one.
    Based on their experience, they could know how much is required before going into details.

    Reputation Defense Online an around the world Cyber Investigation along with Litigation Assistance Agency for Net Defamation, often receives inquiries from attorneys along with law enforcement agencies on the way to subpoena
    Google‘s Legal Division.

  19. Google says:

    Using Ancient Rome 3D in Google Earth, you can explore Rome as it appeared in 320 A.

    In addition, the observing surgeons could transmit their comments to the operating surgeon,
    who could read them on the Google Glass monitor.
    The only tab of your concern is Public Templates, and no
    actions are necessary as it is already on the screen.

  20. […] email myself travel deals I find online and then stash it in my folder. There used to be an Ireland/Scotland folder too but that’s been checked off the list […]

  21. […] feel incredibly grateful for every new place I’ve ever visited! However, I would have to say our trip to Ireland and our recent trip to Maui rival each other as the best vacations ever and I hope to get back to […]

  22. […] twice before (once in 2010 for our big 3 week backpacking trip and again in 2014 when we went to Ireland & Scotland) we had never been to London so we were very excited to check it […]

Leave a Reply