Ireland Trip

Hover over a photo for a description. Click to enlarge.
Click to see the video of funny highlights at the bottom of the page.

(What we planned… and almost made it all)
Click HERE for the map

The trip just got better every day… as you can tell by the photos towards the bottom.

The things that we were most impressed with in general, other than the specific sites, was the fact that the weather changes constantly. If it’s rainy, it will be sunny in a bit. Also the varied terrain. It changes every few miles. It’s as if you squished the entire USA into Indiana (the exact size of Ireland). Also the cleanness – no litter, no graffiti, no homeless.

And finally, the people – they are the most gently, caring, and kind people I’ve ever met. They love to talk and meet you, and it’s as if they live back 50 years ago – simple clothes, attitudes… no worries, no safety concerns, no uptight attitudes, always singing, touching, hugging. Warm people. Except they all drive insanely fast.

Drive to Seattle

So we wouldn’t lose a bunch of time on either end, we hopped in the car and drove to Seattle for the flight. What’s an extra 5 hours each way in the right lane after 4 days of driving in the left lane in Ireland?

Friday Afternoon – Evening: Dublin

Started at about 3AM our time…. Grabbed the rental car, drove to the cell phone store for a SIM card, then straight to the Temple Bar area of Dublin to see all the sights. Christ Church, St. Patrick’s, Trinity College, Jameson Distillery and lots and lots of pubs. We booked a hotel 30 minutes south of Dublin – out of town so we could get a quick start out in the morning.

Saturday: The Royal Marine Hotel to Powerscourt Waterfall, Glendalough and St. Kevin’s Monastery

Woke up to sunshine. South to Powerscourt Waterfall, Glendalough lake, St. Kevin’s Monastery, Kilkenny, The Rock of Cashel, and the cruise ship port town of Cobh on the Southeast coast.

Saturday Afternoon: Kilkenny

Kilkenny is an amazing town. A perfect mix of historical sites and lively streets, straight out of centuries ago. Beautiful sunshine, streetside lunch and street musicians playing.

Saturday Evening: The Rock of Cashel – 600AD Castle

We just barely missed getting to tour the inside, but the outside was worth it. The Rock of Cashel was the seat of the kings of Munster for several hundred years prior to the Norman invasion. This is the site where St. Patrick showed the king the shamrock and explained the Trinity. The king asked to be baptized on the spot.

Saturday Evening: Cobh “Cove”

This is an amazing town. We pulled in and parked and hear church bells in the distance. St. Coleman’s Cathedral rising up through the fog, with the Atlantic ocean at its feet. We walked past the colorful “Deck of Cards” houses down to the waterfront where the Titanic took off for it’s last voyage, and the Lusitania took off before it was torpedoed by German U-Boats. Up to the B&B to change, then back down to the waterfront where we found Ryan’s Pub. Everyone in the place were locals, singing along with the musicians. We were invited to join some locals in the corner by the band and laughed so hard all night at their antics. Irish people are so generous and kind and fun-loving. We went the 1 mile back up the hill to the B&B after midnight, laughing so hard at the crazy night.

Sunday Morning: Cobh to Cork for Mass

We woke up to a huge Celebrity cruise ship in port. A quick daytime walk around town, then 45 minutes to Cork for Mass at the SSPX chapel. Met a family that knew a few friends here in Post Falls.

Sunday Afternoon: Cork through Killarney to the Dingle Peninsula

On from Cork, we headed towards Kilarney, and on the way we stopped at a small town market and had food at the picnic table. Ambulances started going by, several filming crews, race officials… There was a rally car race going on and right where we had just left was an accident, so they had to quickly re-route the race. The drivers don’t know the route ahead of time – called The Rally of the Lakes. Had a fun time talking to them and figuring it all out. Beautiful day (summer for them in May) and a great drive through Killarney to Inch Beach at the beginning of the Dingle Peninsula.

Sunday Afternoon: Coomenole Beach and Dunquin Pier on the Dingle Peninsula

These are just about the two most amazing spots in Ireland, especially on a sunny day. We’re now heading to the fingers that reach out to the Southwest into the Atlantic, and is the westernmost spot in Europe.

Sunday Evening: Drive back to Dingle, then a sunset drive up the west coast to Ballyvaugan

Time for a 3:45 drive from Dingle to our inn up in Ballyvaughan. We stayed at a beautiful inn over a pub in a tiny town. We got in at 11:30 PM and the bar was lively with a local group of kids that play on Sundays at open mic night. Two guys side by side on an upright piano, guitar, a girl singing, and everyone joining in. Our room was just upstairs, and we had to get the front desk guy from the bar to get us the key. But we stayed for a quick pint and two songs then crashed. A big day ahead.

Monday: Ferry to the Inisheer on the Aran Islands for biking

Up to grab the ferry to Inisheer “Innis Moir”, the smallest (and closest) of the Aran Islands. There we rented bikes and met several locals. These islanders are amazing. We missed our ferry back, so got our bikes back again and stayed an extra 2 hours on the island. The sun came out and we ended the day there on a pub patio chatting with some Americans with a local playing guitar.

Monday Evening: Ferry back and the Cliffs of Moher for sunset

Ferry ride back (made it this time), then off to the Cliffs of Moher for the sunset. Most beautiful place in Ireland. We just stared for a long time.

Monday Evening: Drive up to Galway for the nightlife

We headed the 1 hour drive up to Galway for a night out in the Spanish Quarter. We luckily were staying right above the main street with the best pub in Galway (the Quays) right across the cobblestone street from our room. We explored 4-5 different pubs before settling into the one across the street for the late night. The Irish/rock bands that night were amazing and the whole place was dancing. 2AM – headed across the street to bed.

Tuesday: Drive from Galway to Dublin to fly home

A little shopping in Galway in the morning, then the 2hr 30min drive straight across from the West Coast to Dublin on the East Coast. 3:30PM flight. Landed in Seattle at 5:30PM the same day to a 85 degree sunny evening. 4hr 30min drive home. In our own beds by 11PM which is 7AM Dublin time 🙂


Our quirky video of funny moments – roadtrip banter, insane near-death driving, tour bus on a one lane road, watching a creperie master, a crazy way to launch a boat, getting scared by crows, meeting Gaelic locals on an island and laughing really hard in pubs.

(at least skip to the middle for the Inisheer Island locals experience)