I am home from 7 days in Ireland! We landed in Dublin and rented a car. Let me just say, driving on the “wrong side” of the road is hard. So is getting use to the complete absence of traffic lights — all you see are roundabouts! When in doubt, upgrade to the automatic. I can’t imagine trying to learn to stick shift with my left hand AND be watching for traffic coming in the opposite direction of what I’m used to seeing here in the states.
From the Dublin airport, we headed to Kilkenny. We stayed one night at the Pembroke Hotel. Kilkenny is a charming small town with lots of shops and restaurants downtown but the real attraction is Kilkenny Castle. It’s gorgeous!
From Kilkenny, we drove to Limerick and spent 2 days at the Absolute Hotel. We visited Bunratty Castle, did some shopping, and drove to the Cliffs of Moher. Unfortunately, it was foggy and misty and we couldn’t really get a good view of the cliffs. It was a total bummer but I didn’t have high expectations for cooperating weather traveling in January. We also went to King John’s Castle and St. Mary’s Cathedral dating from 1200!
From Limerick, we headed north east to visit some land we bought from BuyIreland.com. I actually purchased a plot of land for my husband as a gift several years ago. I made him dig out the papers and email me the directions once I realized we may be able to drive by it on our way north. It was difficult to find, but I found our one square foot of land!
After we took selfies with our property, we continued on to Sean’s Bar in Athlone — Guinness World record’s certified as the oldest in Ireland (circa 900AD). It even contains some of the original building material. The bartender was very friendly and gave us a lot of history of the building and the whiskey industry in Ireland.
After we enjoyed our drinks and grabbed some pizza at a local pub, we traveled all the way north to the coastal town of Enniscrone and spent the night at the Ocean Sands Hotel. Our vacation package had us scheduled for 2 nights here but we decided to make a last minute change and head to Northern Ireland and traveled to Belfast the next day.
Our last full day, we drove about 2.5 hours south for a full day in Dublin! We toured the Teeling Whiskey Distillery, did some shopping downtown, enjoyed some American food at TGI Friday’s and spent the night at the expansive CityWest Hotel.
I was pleasantly surprised at how comfortable our transatlantic flights were on Delta — even in basic economy class! We lucked out and had an open middle seat between us going and coming and had plenty of room. We were near the back of the plane making it easy to get up and move around. The free in flight entertainment had tons of newer movies too! I watched Bohemian Rhapsody, I Feel Pretty, Instant Family and RBG!