Tuesday, July 14, 2009

European Adventure, Part 1: Limerick, Ireland

As most of you know, I recently spent 2 weeks traveling with a friend of mine (we'll call him B since I have no idea if he minds me posting about him) through Ireland and England. I had never been to Ireland, so I was excited that our first week would be spent there.

I'm going to try to break up my posts about the trips into several days. I'll include some highlights, but I have a feeling you'll be more interested in the pictures. I'll also be getting all of the pictures up on Facebook soon. I might put them up on Flickr as well, so if I do I'll share the link.

We left on a Tuesday and had a quick flight up to New York where we caught our next flight over to Shannon, Ireland. Don't worry, I had never heard of it before either!

I wasn't able to sleep on the flight, which totally stunk since we got to Ireland around 10am local time. We wanted to stay up all day so that it'd be easier to adjust to the local time zone.

We took a short bus ride into Limerick and got checked into our hotel. These first two nights were spent in the nicest hotel we stayed in for the whole trip, and I think in the end that's the best way to do it. When you've crossed time zones and have to stay up for like 36 hours at the beginning, you kind of want a nice room and bed to crash in. It wasn't the Ritz Carlton by any means, but it was clean and simple and nice.

We spent that first Wednesday exploring Limerick. I have to be honest - there's not much there. Limerick isn't quite a tourist destination, but it's a great jumping point to see the western coast of Ireland. We found a cathedral and a castle to spend the afternoon visiting. The castle wasn't really impressive once inside. In fact, all that was really left were a few of the walls. Nonetheless, it gave us some great views of the town.

We had a quiet dinner (we were both exhausted and just ready to sleep) before crashing at like 9pm.

On Thursday, we were up at 8am feeling much more rested and refreshed. We headed out for our first run of the trip. After a quick 5 miles around the town, we got ready and headed out on a tour bus to go to the Cliffs of Moher.

This ended up being the best day of the trip. We were on a small tour bus with only 8 other people, and it was definitely well worth the ticket price. As we drove along the countryside, we stopped at an old castle, a really old fort and a tomb. This part of the country is called The Burren because that means "rocky place" in Gaelic (all signs over there are in both Gaelic and English). The whole countryside is just covered with rocks. We hardly saw any houses or towns.

We drove along Galway Bay and stopped in a little town called Doolin to have lunch at a pub. I had this fried brie and salad, one of the best meals I had on the whole trip. I also found my first souvenir at this tiny little glass making store. I picked up a celtic knot made of glass to hang in a window at home.

After all of this, it was finally time to go to the Cliffs of Moher. I seriously cannot explain in words how beautiful they are! My pictures don't do it justice! They're these really steep cliffs along the coast of Ireland that are just magnificent and sooooo pretty. I just wandered around and took pictures and stared in amazement.

I'll let the pictures do some talking here.

Pretty view from a graveyard in Limerick

I hadn't slept in 24 hours at this point, but I couldn't resist a photo at this beautiful spot in Limerick.

The first beverage of the trip: A Bulmer's apple cider at this cool little pub in Limerick.

While out on our 5-mile run in Limerick... you can see the castle to the left behind us.

Ruins of a castle we stopped at on our way to the Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher!

Me at the Cliffs of Moher

My favorite picture of me at the Cliffs of Moher


Leah said...

Awesome pics! It is making me a bit sad that I wasn't able to get in a run when I was there (although it was February and really cold - that is my excuse at least). Can't wait to see more pictures!

B.o.B. said...

gorgeous photos. can't wait to see more. i really want to go there!

aron said...

LOVE the pics!!! looks like a great trip so far :)

Niki said...

Great pics!! Can't wait to see more!!

Nicole said...

AMAZING! Its hard to believe the pictures are actually real its so beautiful! :) can't wait to see more!

Rachel H. said...

Beautiful! I knew it would be a great trip! Can't wait to hear more!

Amy said...

Awesome pics! I love the cow in the castle pic. So random and funny. Can't wait to see and hear more!