Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ireland Week!!! The "Must-Sees" of Ireland: Cliffs of Moher, Galway, Aran Islands

I know you've all been dying for this series to continue. ;) As I explained in an earlier post, I have all our pictures on my sister's laptop which I didn't have access to so I couldn't finish this series last week. But... now I can :)

Quick recap: Myself and two wonderful ladies (Katie and Jen) spent 10 days on the Emerald Isle. I thought it might be helpful if there are some who are thinking about going, and if you're not, hopefully it will be entertaining and/or amusing :)

Post Recap (and links to them if you wish to check them out):
1. Dublin
2. Glendalough, Rock of Cashel, Ring of Kerry
3. Dingle
4. Sea Kayaking in Dingle

The first stop on today's post is The Cliffs of Moher (pronounced 'More'). Katie came up with a 'great' story as to why they are called that. If you see her, you should ask her sometime... :)

The Cliffs of Moher are on the way from Dingle to Galway, and are one of the places to see, so we decided to make a stop. At first, we weren't all that impressed. After you park and walk across the street you can take a look at the visitor's center, which we didn't think was a much.

Then you can walk up to a lookout tower (which no one recommends that you pay to go up in). We didn't pay, but as we looked out at the view pictured above we were like, 'Eh, its nice but....'

Before we left we walked a ways up another path and ran into this sign

Naturally, seeing something that says 'Please don't go beyond this point' made us do just that.

And then the party started!

The views from this side of the cliffs were much better. See that little thing sticking out the top of the cliff? That's the tower we were at.

Once we were on this side, we just kept going, to places only those that owned these little beauties ever went:

The views were amazing, and the rebel feeling we got helped too. So if you go to The Cliffs of Moher, walk on by the sign that says 'don't walk by this sign'. Its much better there :)

After the Cliffs of Moher we went on to Galway, which is tied for our most favorite place on the trip. (Dingle shares the #1 spot with it).

There are parts in Galway that are pedestrian only and have the most amazing shops, food and live music we saw on our whole trip.

And just in case you don't believe me, take a look at this.

We just walked right into a bar (no cover), batted our eyes at a few gents so we could grab there extra seats, and sat in the front row with our Guinness. We went in four different pubs that were like this, all with slightly different kinds of music, but all amazing.

The next day we spent in the Aran Islands. It was a great day trip. We drove from Galway to Rooseveel (about 40min) and hoped on a ferry. We spent the whole day on Inishmore (one of the three islands). We recommend renting bikes if you want to see a lot, but DON'T take the 'high road'. It's probably the toughest bike ride we've ever been on, and there is nothing to see that you can't see on the 'low road'. If you ever go, you'll know what we mean. :)

This is an example of why you shouldn't take a picture of yourself while riding a bike:

Ha. Jen. (She's gonna hate me for posting that...)

Anywho... as you ride around on your bikes singing the 'witch's theme song' from the Wizard of Oz, you can get off at various marked spots to see old Iron Age forts. Lots of climbing, but the views are quite nice.

The biggest attraction, and of course the one that is farthest away from where the ferry's drop you off, is Dun Aengus. It is known as the 'most magnificent barbaric momument in Europe.'

We were impressed with the actual structure, but the view blew it out of the water. The fort literally ends at the cliff.

We had lugged our lunch with us, which consisted of two chocolate cakes, trail mix and soda. Where we ate was by far the most beautiful place I have ever eaten.

All three of these places are ones I would do again.

The last post for 'Ireland Week' is tomorrow! Join us as we climb up a mountain.

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