We just got back from the most epic trip to Ireland and London, 2 weeks of no work, no thinking about work, and plenty of great laughs, experiences, Guiness and yorkies! (the chocolates, not the dogs). We started off by flying to Cork from London, where we hired a car and drove through Country Cork (via Blarney Castle where I kissed the Blarney Stone – rather nerve wracking I must admit) to the Beara Peninsula, one of the very scenic parts of south-west Ireland.
Castletownbere is the tiny town overlooking Bantry Bay, but that wasn’t our final destination. We then loaded our car onto the ferry and boated across the bay to Bere Island, a 4km by 10km knoll home to about 200 people, and the birthplace and childhood home of Ed’s dad, Steve.
Bere Island is a classic example of old-world, rural Ireland: plenty of intense green vegetation, much of it overgrown; many tiny slate & mortar houses, some of which have fallen into ruin, but which made for great contemplation and interesting photos; incredible coastal views, walks and bike tracks which allowed us beautiful hikes and excursions, and of course a very interesting heritage. The island was a place of great importance during the early 20th century, and was a naval base for the English during WW1.
Anyway, after a few days of lounging around, eating Irish stew and drinking Guinness, and of course – enjoying the very long summer evenings! – we then headed to Kilarney, drove around the Ring of Kerry, bought an authentic Kerry woollen jersey and hopped on a train to Dublin. Which was Something Else.
We arrived at Dublin train station and caught the Luas tram to O’Connell Street, the most famous street in Dublin and home to the original Post Office Building, where all the action during the Easter Rising took place. We finally worked out which bus to catch into Drumcondra where our BnB was located and then flopped dead tired for a sleep & shower. Not for long though – The Temple Bar was calling! This famous part of Dublin is home to about 900 pubs, bars & restaurants, and on a Saturday night is normally quite wild. With a beautiful evening ahead of us, pink lippy & leather jacket sorted, we headed into Dublin’s hotspot.
And what an evening! We had arrived in Dublin in the middle of the Pride Parade, so there were THOUSANDS of people crammed into the small cobbled streets. We eventually found an O’Sullivan pub, where we settled down for a Guinness and authentic Irish music – was amazing!
After a night of good fun & laughs, we were up early for a full Irish breakfast (including black pudding) and then headed into Dublin for a hop-on-hop off bus tour where we visited Trinity College and saw The Book of Kells, walked around St Stephens Green, did the Guinness Storehouse tour and saw how the black stuff is made, toured Colmainham Gaol (really interesting insight into some of the most tumultuous times of Irish history) and landed back at O’Connell for some last minute trinket shopping.
Then it was time to fly to London. And so the adventures continued! More photos coming soon x