Hello lads and lassies! Cheesy intro…I know. I wanted to share our recent vacation to Europe. Although I had been to Europe previously, this trip was anything but a repeat of the first and I wouldn’t change a thing about either trip! Our first stop was Dublin, Ireland.
Overview Our Adventure
Somehow, we managed to get away for 14 days and had been planning this trip since February. Our flight departed around noon and after a brief stop at Newark from Denver, we were on our way to Ireland. Our overnight flight dropped us in Dublin promptly at 7:00am.
After staying 3 nights in Dublin, we took a Ryanair flight to Edinburgh, Scotland where we stayed for 3 nights. In order to save some travel time (and a “free” night lodging), we decided to take an overnight train from Edinburgh to London. We stayed in London for 3 nights, then hopped on the train for a ride through the Chunnel to Paris where we stayed for our last 4 nights.
With the exception of Dublin, we stayed at Airbnbs. All of the apartments were fantastic and allowed us get a feel like a local while hitting all the main tourist sites. It was definitely a great way to see parts of the city that were off the beaten path. We would highly recommend using Airbnb and plan on using them again in the future.
We stayed at a cute hotel right near the Temple Bar area in central Dublin called The Arlington Hotel.
We had a great room the looked out over the River Liffey and the O’Connell Bridge. It is fairly centrally located and allowed us to explore the city on foot.
Highlights of Ireland
The Guinness Storehouse
The Guinness Storehouse is a definite must if you visit Dublin! Even if you are not a fan of beer, it’s still worth going. The tour is self guided and well done. The storehouse has 7 floors starting with the process of how Guinness is made and continues through each floor housing a different topic. One of our favorite parts was the Guinness Academy. Here we learned how to properly pour the perfect pint (say that 10 times fast!). We plan on adding “Guinness Academy Graduate” to our resumes.
With our perfectly poured beverage in hand, we spent some time at the 7th floor Gravity Bar. With its stunning 360 degree views of the city, this bar is one of our favorites from our entire trip.
After the Gravity Bar, we enjoyed a small bite to eat down one floor at the 1837 Bar & Brassiere. Marc sampled a few different Guinness beers (who knew there were more than one!). I tried a specialty cocktail there called a Black Velvet which is Guinness Extra Stout with champagne. It sounds strange, but I loved it!
The Blind Pig
In hopes of finding some unique places to visit, we turned to Pinterest for inspiration. It lead us to a speakeasy called The Blind Pig. We made reservations and we received an e-mail explaining the general directions, but no address. We walked by the entrance several times before locating it. I won’t give up the secret on how to get in…you’ll just have to visit yourself!
The food at The Blind Pig is fantastic and the craft cocktails are very tasty. We received great service and loved the atmosphere. It’s a fun and unique place to visit! It is fairly small inside and doesn’t have many tables, so I would recommend calling for a reservation.
Day Trip to the cliffs of Moher
We enjoyed the city but wanted to see the famous green countryside Ireland is known for. We found a day trip that went to the Cliffs of Moher located on the west coast if Ireland. The name might not sound familiar but you would probably recognize the cliffs from the movie The Princess Bride where they called them “The Cliffs of Insanity”. The cliffs are beautiful and we could have spent more time there.
Our tour was fantastic. We chose to go with Wild Rover Tours which also stopped off at several other places after visiting the cliffs. We stopped in the small harbor town of Galway to have lunch. This city is packed with history, notably, Lynch’s Castle. If we ever have the chance to spend time in Ireland again, we would certainly stay in Galway.
Although we visited many other fascinating places while in Ireland, these few stood out as highlights of our trip. We checked off some must do’s and added a few to our bucket list. After leaving Ireland, we were continued on to our next destination, Edinburgh, Scotland.