It’s middle of summer of 2014 and it’s hot as hell in small island of Malta. I’m enjoying it here and I have one more month of my stay. I have no idea what I will do when I return home, where to go next, I know nothing, I simply am. Ireland has been my fixation for numerous years. I have always been thinking about going there more than in any other country, yet my time to visit it has come after many years and few other countries. Credit for this visit goes to my better half. While I was in Malta, she found cheap flight from Zadar airport directly to Dublin for ridiculously small amount of money. It was to be or not to be. Decision had to be made immediately. You can probably guess the outcome since you are reading this text about Ireland.
Our flight was from Zadar airport, early in the morning, just to see sunrise in Zadar from few kilometers of height. Hitchcock said that Zadar has the most beautiful sunset he has ever seen in his life. He spoke nothing about sunrises. They are magical as well. Dawning of a new day, how symbolic. And so I was flying above Europe, thinking about the Ireland all the time. It’s funny how nowadays you can be anywhere in matter of hours. The fact that it is not that expensive at all is even more fun. We paid for our return flight ticket almost less than we would pay our bus that would bring us on south of Croatia. Ryanair is cool company, I admit that. It originates from Eire so it’s even cooler.
So we touched the Ireland soil with the wheels of our plane 2 hours after we departed from Zadar. From the moment plane started to descend I started to look through my window as crazy like I was searching for something particular. And there it was beneath me, green and lovely, bathed in the rain. Short rolling on the runaway and we were already standing in the middle of the crowded Dublin airport. The plan was simple, we rented a car for five days what showed to be best idea ever. If you ever plan to visit Ireland, rent a car and roam around. Renting a car is pretty cheap if you book if few months in advance.
So we sat in our little red beast and headed west. Plan was to reach the western shore by the beginning of the other day. We didn’t use highways, only country roads. It was a little bit hard for me to get used to drive in opposite way than in Croatia but I managed somehow. Our great friend GPS device did a lot of work and we thank her (it was a woman) for that. We miss her lovely voice.“ In 50 meters enter the roundabout and take the third exit to the right.““You took the wrong turn idiot, please drive straight for2 kilometers then turn right and hopefully you will be on the road you need to be.“ Nice lady, I tell you.
We almost reached the Connemara (western part of Ireland) by the night and we choose to spend our first night in the car. We parked somewhere along the main road, it was dark as hell and a little bit cold but adventure is adventure. And so we woke up some 7 hours later and we finally saw where we are. Country road in the middle of the forest. We decided to take a walk to the end of the road and we came to some place that looks like Shire from Lord of the rings trilogy. What a beauty. Plan for today was exploration of Connemara. It’s the western part of Emerald Isle, place where they still speak Irish and all radio stations use Irish language and you drive with the sound of authentic Irish traditional songs.
And so we explored Connemara and stood there astonished by it’s beauty. I can talk about it whole day and write a text only about it but we have to move on. At the end of the day we were walking through Galway, old and nice city on the western shore. We tried to find a hostel to sleep through a night but all the hostels were full. And so we said goodbye to Galway and headed further to the south and spend a night at first available Bed&Breakfast in area. We needed to get as much energy as we could because tomorrow is a big day. We are going to visit Cliffs of Moher. Yes, the Cliffs of Moher.
Let’s skip all the driving and go to the Cliffs immediately. I skipped a description of lot of places so far. It would simply take too much space and this text would be huge, some of these places you can see in photos. Cliffs of Moher are monumental cliffs on the west of Ireland. Possibly one of the most famous natural beauties of Ireland. Few hundred meters high with only ocean as far as your sight reaches it is pretty memorable scene. You walk only few meters from the edge of the cliffs and there is nothing to stop you if you decide to fly. No fence, nothing. Maybe it is better like that. To walk from through whole trail one need approximately hour and half. Of course that we walked all the way to the end. And what did we do at the end. Nothing, took a few pictures and then witnessed how sun kissed the ocean. That was a sign that we need to hurry up and reach our car before the night catch us in the middle of the nowhere. We spend that night sleeping in the car once more. It was by some lake also in the middle of the nowhere. It was a good sleep, I can tell you that.
Tomorrow we started returning toward Dublin where we are going to spend our 2 last days in Ireland. Most of this day we spent in driving, stopping whenever we saw something beautiful (read: every 10 minutes). We visited few smaller towns, inns and and experienced true Ireland. We ended our day in Kilkenny. We parked our little red beast, left our things in hostel and went to Kyteler’s Inn. Raglan rogues had their live performance that night and we were sitting by them drinking one beer after another. When in Ireland…I don’t know if it is a beer or the whole ambient that gives a beer such a good taste. Terrific night.
And that was it regarding the Kilkenny. Time to go forward. We are close to the eastern shore of Ireland, county Wicklow and others. I remember now the times when I was going through Google maps searching for places in Ireland, Wicklow always stayed in my mind as most Irish and I was imagining myself standing on the docs of the Wicklow city. And I did. I was standing in a place I zoomed as close as I could in Google maps some few years ago. Strange and funny feeling. It was a little bit different than I imagined it but the feeling was incredible. And we meet friendly fella Sammy in the harbor. Except the Wicklow we visited on more place that definitely has to be in this text. Glendalough national park. Perfect place, real touch of Ireland. We spend there few hours before we really had to continue with the trip because we need to return our red beast before 8 pm.
And so we were once more on the roads of the Ireland, enjoying the last views from our car and driving toward the Dublin. We spent our last days there. Couchsurfing and roaming through Dublin streets. It’s a nice city, not the best I have been in so far but nice city. To be honest, best memories from the Ireland are reserved for it’s western shore. At the end I will just suggest that you don’t stay just in Dublin or surrounding area during your visit to Ireland. Take your time and visit as many places as you can. Smaller towns are much more beautiful and they will give you the real experience. Try Guinness at least once. Rent a car. Definitely rent a car. Drive through the country roads and keep your eyes opened. If you want to save money, sleep in the car. In that way you will save around 25 euros per day. But rent a car. In that way you will be able to visit any place you want to. And don’t go alone. Adventure is much better when shared. Have that in mind. Enjoy in Ireland and see more photos at our Facebook page.