Our last stop! We cannot believe it! As we sit here in Ireland, it is hard to reflect on the past 5 months - how fast they have gone by, how fun they have been and how lucky we are. We will keep this post to Ireland and our last 5 days there but it is hard not to begin reflection.
There is something about the Guinness in Ireland that is so much better than anywhere else! Maybe it is the water in the beer or maybe it is the pub atmosphere. Either way, we had to make our first stop in a pub. We met our friend Rory, who lives in Belfast, at The Palace Pub. Rory drove to Dublin to meet us for the weekend, which was so nice of him. We loved catching up with him, getting a local's advice, and just listening to him tell stories in his Irish accent. We had great fun after dinner at Temple Bar!
Another must-do for us was to play a round of golf. We found a public 9-hole course that would be perfect for the self-proclaimed “worst golfers in Ireland." In typical Irish fashion, we had a few downpours during our 9 holes, but nothing could stop us from enjoying it. Marykate had the only birdie of the day and we all declared her the winner. Afterwards, we explored the fishing town of Howth for lunch and made our way back to Dublin.
For the afternoon, we toured the Guinness factory. The tour was more of an experience and definitely worthwhile! We made our way to “The Academy” where they teach you how to pour a perfect pint of Guinness and ended at the Gravity Bar which looks out over Dublin. This was our top highlight in the city of Dublin!
The following day we took a trip to the west coast to see the Cliffs of Moher and the town of Galway. The west coast landscape is very different from Dublin and we loved the scenic drive! Once we arrived at the Cliffs of Moher, we were blown away! Hiking along the cliffs is breathtaking! We spent an hour walking along and taking a million photos. At one point, there is no longer a fence - we even saw a few girls sitting with their feet dangling off! It is one of those place that is so naturally beautiful you cannot take your eyes off of it. Afterwards, we headed to Galway for lunch and to find Ed Sheeran. Just kidding! Galway was a busy town, very similar to Dublin, and we found a great cafe for lunch. We hopped back in our car and made the 3 hour trip to Dublin.
We also spent two days across the country in Kenmare, a small town near Kilarney in the Ring of Kerry. It was the perfect taste of the Irish countryside. Kenmare is exactly the town you think of when you picture rural Ireland: two street blocks full of cute shops, pubs with live music and the friendliest people. The Ring of Kerry is a popular route for driving and cycling. We have to say that we cannot imagine renting a car and driving these roads. The streets are narrow (as in no shoulder), the buses and trucks fly, and the left side of the road adds an even more difficult element. We were happy to take Irish Rail and a taxi to Kenmare as opposed to driving. The national park between Kilarney and Kenmare is beyond beautiful! Tons of hiking trails and pull-over spots to look out over the landscape. There is even a 140km cycling race around the ring of Kerry that starts and end in Kenmare. For two days, we hung out in Kenmare. It was a great place to slow down, relax and get ready to travel home!