Ireland is a place of in describable beauty. It quite shocked me, and took my breath away. It is a timeless place, it feels as though you could be visiting in the 1800’s, or the 1950’s, or 2017; it’s tranquil and charming, truly an escape from the modern hustle and bustle sometimes present in American cities. It’s covered in luscious green because of all the rain, a cool escape from the Virginia muggy summer. The hills are dotted with sheep and livestock, just as you would expect, and there are either stone walls or hedges dividing the fields. There are the most darling little stone and stucco cottages, and grandeur, very old, castle-like houses. I could just imagine myself living in either one of them. Roses and vines adorn the windows frames, and there are window boxes filled with colorful gardenias.

One of the best parts of Ireland though, are the people. Their accents are just the absolute most fun charming thing to listen to! It’s not just the emphasis they have on words, but also the way they say a thing. They use different words in a different order than we Americans do, and I could just chat the day a way with a quaint old Irish lady. The way an Irish person talks plays with your mind, because it’s not at all the way you expect a thing to be said, yet it comes out in the most lovely rhythm. All the Irish people we met were so kind, hospital, merry, and full of humor. We laughed a lot in Ireland!

Our plans were confused by our flight to Ireland from Boston being delayed 24 hours. The original plan was to travel up to Northern Ireland first, down around to Galway, and then back across Ireland to the airport on the other side. Since we didn’t have enough time, we instead took the long way to Galway’s seeing a few castles on the way and then staying in one that night. We were able to add a day onto the end of our trip, and since we were flying back out of Ireland to the U.S. we saw it on the tail end of our trip instead!

See some of our favorite adventures below! (my favs were the Cliffs of Moher & Menlo Castle!)

Malahide Castle: This was the first real castle I had ever seen! I couldn’t get over it! Doesn’t it look so perfectly castle-y? We wondered the grounds and had the absolutely most delicious picnic from the cafe there! all locally grown and raised.

Malahide beach: After our castle picnic we had a jet lag nap on the shore because of our red eye flight!

Trim Castle: are you kidding me? This place is crazzyyyy beautiful. You can totally picture the life that way lived here long ago. Random Trivia: part of Braveheart was shot here!

Kilronan Castle: Well, our first day was the day of castles! Our last castle was a castle hotel and was were we stayed for the night! We were tired from our journey and had some Guinness and a luxurious hot bath. The next morning we had breakfast, went to the spa, and a walk down to the lake before getting back on the road!

Cliffs of Moher: wow….I think the photos speak for themselves. A highlight of our whole trip!

Galway: We arrived late at night, had fish and chips for dinner (an Irish traditional meal!), and walked to a merry Irish pub! The pub was just what you’d want it to be, with live music and loud laughter! It almost reminded me of Lord of the rings. The next morning we had coffee and a roll from a shop and strolled along the beach walk. It was the most pleasant morning!

Funny story: we walked to this high dive and took in the view from the top. Down below, we could see a few jellyfish! Some Australian guys came along, groaning and growling, waded into the icy water. “Well my hangover is gone now!”, they said. We were bundled up outside the water, I know it had to be freezing. We pointed out the jellyfish and asked if they were poisonous. They said nah, not fatal, it’ll just sting you pretty good. Then three old Irish men, who looked like they’d lived a life full of hard work and good beer, waded out. Not showing any signs of the cold, on swam right over, scooped up the jelly fish, and hurled it though the air. Splat. Somehow, the way he was so nonchalantly got rid of it, as if it was an everyday practice for him, struck us so funny, we were doubled over laughing!

Menlo Castle: ok, so I scouted out this place before we went on google, and had the address. We followed the gps through Galway, through a quaint neighborhood, down a longgg gravel road, and stoped abruptly at a gate. We stood there, wondering if we should risk trespassing, or just go and risk Irish jail, when a older Irish man came walking along with his dog and waved us on, “Go ahead”! We climbed over the fence, rounded the corner, and low and behold, there it was!

Cheers!

Juliet

P.S. Linked the clothes in the photos plus a few similar looks below!