Continuing from last post, Ireland: Days 1 – 3, the following three days were busy and filled with even more adventures. Although we were constantly on the go, it was fun and the only way to explore Ireland with the time we had. To see all of Ireland, you would have to spend months and have endless free time to do so. Despite so, we had planned our time well and didn’t deviate much on our trip. Every moment was enjoyable from the beginning to the end.
Here are the highlights of days 4 to 6 of the trip…
Day 4: Leaving Kinsale for Cahersiveen
As I had mentioned in my last post, we stayed at a boat house in Kinsale on our third night of the trip. The place was so peaceful and scenic we really wished we would have stayed another night. Despite so, we made the best out of it. In the morning after check-out we walked on the trail nearby to see Charles Fort. Calming and serene, we took it all in before heading into downtown Kinsale, then took off for Cahersiveen.
Ring of Kerry Drive to Cahersiveen
Cahersiveen is a less-touristy little town on the Ring of Kerry. This drive is one of the most popular drives as it boasts beautiful landscape when you drive through it.
Ballycarbery Castle and Forts
Once in Cahersiveen, we explored the small town and its surrounding scenery after dinner. Our first stop was to Ballycarberry Castle, a ruined castle not too many tourists know about. We had the castle all to ourselves and it was quite amazing. The sun was out and the way it hit the castle was just spectacular. We had a great time enjoying the picturesque beauty of it.
Following the castle, we visited a couple of forts nearby. We walked on a rural residential road, coming face to face with grazing goats and cows. All over Ireland, you can witness animals grazing on bright green grass. The shades of green in this country is just astonishing!
Day 5: Leaving Cahersiveen for Shannon
Boat ride to Blasket Islands
We left Cahersiveen at 7:30 AM to catch the 10 AM boat ride from Ventry Harbor to Blasket Islands. This 3-hour boat ride was quite rocky as the water was rough, but it was so scenic that I was distracted from the views.
When we arrived to the island we spotted some local gray seals. These guys eyed us, bobbing in and out of the water. They looked quite different from the seals we’re used to seeing in North America, but still with a lot of character to them.
Lunch at Dingle
After the boat ride we were ready for lunch so we visited Dingle, which happened to be close by. This little town was our favorite town on our visit. It’s quite touristy, but the vibe is great. We were lucky to have found a bric-a-brac shop and art gallery, Adh Danlann Gallery Cafe, that exclusively serves vegetarian and vegan food upstairs. A unique small joint, we relished in the fact that they serve organic whole food, cooked with vegetables grown and picked straight from their garden out back. And we could taste the quality of the vegetables from our food, especially the salad. It was so flavorful and fresh! This was such a nice meal, and a great way to end our time in County Kerry.
As we headed to our next stay in Shannon, we quickly stopped in the nearby city, Limerick. We visited King John’s Castle and discovered a cool mural next to it.
Day 6: Leaving Shannon for Galway
Cliffs of Moher
Shannon was just a resting point for us. We were pretty wasted by the time we arrived that night so we stayed in for dinner and hit the sack afterwards. With some rest, we headed out next morning to Cliffs of Moher.
Cliffs of Moher was formed about 350 million years ago, and it was the favorite cliff we visited and hiked. It was breathtaking, and the fresh air up there was superb. I had no idea about the trails, so it was a nice surprise when we arrived. We took advantage of it and hiked right towards Burren Way. At the end of the walk, we had the best view of Cliffs of Moher. We sat down and enjoyed the scenery for a while before heading back.
On our way to Galway, we visited our last castle of the trip. Dungaire Castle was built in 1520, and its name was taken from the ancient fort of Guaire, King of Connaught, who died in 662 A.D. The first occupants of the castle were Guaire’s descendants, the O’Hynes.
The final stop of the day was at Galway, where we stayed for two nights. This first day it was raining when we arrived. After some lunch in the city, we checked into the townhouse we were staying at near city center, then did some sightseeing and finally — to enjoy our first pint of Guinness on the trip! We went to a lively pub with traditional Irish music, where we spent the evening talking to some locals and meeting a nice couple from Chicago.
For our last three days in this beautiful place, come back on Friday!