Ireland - Day 2
Day 2 - August 17, 2018
The alarm goes off at 6:00 am. All I want to do is hit snooze but then I remember…WE’RE GOING TO CLIFFS OF MOHER TODAY! I hop right out of bed to get ready while Katlynn is still snoozing trying to get as much sleep as possible.
To preface, I booked 3 tours for the trip. I’m the kind of vacationer where if I’m not at a beach, I don’t want to relax and lounge. I want to see as many sights and experience all the food and culture before I leave. I figured this is the best possible way to see all of Ireland in the 5 days I’m there. I highly recommend Wild Rover Tours. Their tour guides were informative, interactive, friendly, and accommodating.
Once we’re ready to go for the day, we head to the Luas and head to the city center where we then walk to the pick up spot for the tour. As expected, the bus is full and we arrived right on time. Sadly, we didn’t get to sit next to each other, but sat in close proximity. This kind of sucked because we would be on the bus for a good chunk of the day which meant sleeping which meant using each other as pillows….but that obviously couldn’t happen since we weren’t next to each other :(. ANYWAY….
We start our drive toward West Ireland. We get out of the city and into the beautiful countryside. About halfway through the drive, we make a pitstop for everyone to get up, stretch, get food, use the restroom, whatever….but as we pull in, the guide comes on the intercom and welcomes us to the Barack Obama Plaza. A gas station stop fully dedicated to Barack and Michelle Obama. We walk in to be greeted with an Obama body cutout, then continue walking to see another cutout with Michelle at the other entrance. In the gas station portion of the plaza are Obama souvenirs. It was wild.
Back on the bus, we have about 1.5 hours left. Katlynn and I spend most of the bus ride sleeping. It really sucked for me because I had lost one of my bluetooth headphones on the plane ride to Ireland, so the entire trip I was an earbud short. So these long bus rides really dragged. Finally pulling up to the Cliffs, I could hardly wait to get out there.
It was very chilly, windy, and misty right as we got off the bus. I learned quickly that you don’t go anywhere in Ireland without a rain jacket because it can start raining at any second of any day. But I was fully expecting this kind of weather at the time of the year we went and it is right on the coast…common sense people. We start making our way up the hill and there they were. The second we were in seeing distance, Katlynn literally goes, “woah….” It was absolutely incredible to see. And it doesn’t look like it’d span a lot of the coast but once you start actually walking it, you realize that they go pretty far. We only made it as far as the first Cliff (partially because we stopped to take a thousand photos.) We first headed toward the castle on the hill just to get a good frontal view of all the Cliffs.
After that, we walked toward the Cliffs on the walkway that ended up turning into a trail. A very muddy trail thanks to the rain. NOTE: don’t wear white tennis shoes to the Cliffs and always wear water proof shoes. My feet were dry because of the material on the toe of my shoe, but Katlynn’s were soaked the rest of the day which was super uncomfortable for her.
We get to the first Cliff and see that it’s open for people to actually walk on the Cliff instead of behind the fence where the trail is. So OF COURSE, we get on the Cliff, where there is NO fence or boundary. It was kind of terrifying but so freaking cool. We were very, very cautious. The wind was soooo strong and could really push you over at any point, I know, safe right? As I was snapping away and taking the views in, I turn around and Katlynn is right on the edge of the Cliff standing in a little dirt divet. I go full mom mode and yell at her like, “KATLYNN, OMG, BE CAREFUL, STOP!” I was completely terrified she would blow over and fall to her death. But after a few minutes of panicking and then getting over it, we both were sitting on the edge with our feet hanging off the edge. Sitting and kneeling felt pretty stable with the wind conditions but I was not confident in standing up. We got some pretty great photos of the Cliffs and of each other.
After spending about an 1.5 or so admiring the Cliffs and all its beauty, we made out way back to the main center to grab a bite. Buffet style, we ordered some clam chowder and chicken fingers and chips to share. Eating with the Cliffs as our view was pretty awesome too. Our stop at the Cliffs had come to an end and we made our way back to the bus to head to our next stop.
On our way to Galway, we got to see the Wild Atlantic Edge driving along the coast. We stopped to see these rock formations in the ground, still not exactly sure what these were but it was still very cool. We get to Galway, this cute town that has become more popular I’m sure, thanks to Ed Sheeran. I love little quaint towns, although Galway isn’t that small with a population of 80,000ish. The downtown area that we walked around was super cute and full of locals and tourists.
I wish we had more time here, I feel like I didn’t get to see the local side of it. But what we did get to explore was fun. A lot of cute restaurants, shops, boutiques, and buskers. Although we had eaten at the Cliffs, we still wanted to try at least some of the food in Galway. We stopped at an ice cream shop called Murphy’s, per our tour guides suggestion. They offered interesting and different flavors. Whatever we got was delicious! We walked around to some shops and both bought some Ireland gear. Then we headed to a restaurant that Katlynn had told me about that I wanted to try, it’s called Xi’an Street Food. I love asian food and this place didn’t disappoint. We shared a rice noodle bowl since we had already ate a meal a few hours beforehand. After we ate, we walked around the town a little more before heading back to the bus.
We depart for our 3 hour bus ride back to Dublin, sleeping most of the way. We hop off the bus around 8pm and walk back to the Luas to go to Katlynn’s work where we are getting picked up to go to County Donegal. Katlynn’s co-worker was kind enough to pick us up and invite us to his home for the weekend. We get off the Luas and walk to the building and wait for Niall and Teddi, our friend from high school (who also works with this company), to pick us up.
Back on the road we go for another 3 hour drive to Northwest Ireland. We’re chatting and having a lovely drive to Co. Donegal. We, at one point, talk about food during the car ride so on our way we make a pitstop at McDonald’s (I’m very hangry at this point so thank god we stopped.) The McDonald’s had such a large menu compared to the States. They had way more sandwich options. However, I stuck with my McChicken and fries and it was great.
After dozing off in the backseat, we wake up at Niall’s house and go straight to bed completely exhausted from being on the go all day. On the next blog is our day in Country Donegal!