Traveling to Ireland was on the top of my bucket list, so when IU’s spring break aligned with St. Patrick’s Day I knew I had to go! I was able to talk three of my sorority sisters to make the trip with me and we had a blast getting to road trip through Ireland.
While planning our trip we realized that we wanted to fit a lot into the week and taking public transportation would take a lot of time and make it so we would not be able to do as much. So, we decided to rent a car and road trip through Ireland. Since I am under 25 years old the car was more than if I was, but split between four people it ended up only being $200 per person. The car was booked through Hertz and didn’t have any problems with the service. I even wrecked the car and didn’t have to pay more in the end because the insurance covered it. We chose a four door automatic and even had the option to get a GPS and wifi (lifesaver!) for the car.
Driving on the other side of the road was weird at first, but since everyone else was driving on that side also it makes it easier to just follow traffic. My wreck happened in a parking garage when I was trying to get out. They are much more narrow that what we have in the U.S.
The week started in Dublin for one night. We were pretty jet-lagged when we got there, so we kept it simple for the first day. One thing we did that I suggest doing is going to Christ Church Cathedral Dublin and taking the tour of the church. At one point in the tour you get to ring the church bells, which is surprisingly pretty heavy and fun!
The next morning we headed to Cork, which is about a three-hour drive from Dublin. During our stay in Cork we stayed in a hostel that we booked through Airbnb, Stay Cork. It was a one bedroom apartment that also had a small kitchen and a pull-out couch. I definitely recommend this hostel, it was in a great location and I liked having a private space.
A short drive out on the city center is the Blarney Castle where you can roam the gardens and even get to kiss the Blarney Stone. This was one of my favorite days! The weather was perfect and we got to explore a castle. I honestly didn’t have high expectations, but the gardens were beautiful and since we came during a low travel time the crowds were low.
It is said when you kiss the Blarney Stone you get the gift of eloquence. I would also not recommend wearing a dress to do this :). You can read more about the Blarney Stone here: Blarney Castle & Gardens.
Next on our road trip we headed to Doolin where the Cliffs of Moher are located. Our Airbnb that we stayed in, Nellie Dee’s B&B, was my favorite through the whole trip. You could see the Cliffs from the living room! The owners also made their own brown bread that was delicious. I wanted to ask for three baskets to take with me. We only stayed in Doolin for one night and wished we would have stayed at least one more. This town is what you think about when you think of Ireland, small pubs with live music and amazing food.
Watching the sun set over the Cliffs of Moher was an experience that is unexplainable! If you go to Ireland the Cliffs are a must see. [bctt tweet=”Watching the sun set over the Cliffs of Moher is an experience that is unexplainable! ” username=”Board4Chynna”]
The next morning we were back on the road to head back to Dublin. The drive between Doolin and Dublin was the longest drive during the trip so we did not arrive back in the city until later that day. On our drive back through the countryside, we had one of those crazy experiences that you only experience while traveling. While driving on a seriously narrow road a woman runs out with a wooden spoon in her hand. As we stop not really sure why someone would be running with a wooden spoon, we see a massive bull running down the road! I have never been close to a bull in my life especially one that has gotten loose!
St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland! I unfortunately did not get any good pictures of the parade, but it was a fun experience! On our last day we went to Trinity College to see the library and the Book of Kells. To get into the museum it was free because of the holiday which was a nice surprise. Most nights we spent in a pub meeting locals. Since it was a holiday week there was almost always live music being played.
During our trip we didn’t do the big tourist attractions: The Guinness Factory or the Jameson Factory or the Temple Bar. We were told to pass these places up because of the holiday and people were going to be targeting tourists to pit pocket them. We were also told not to take our passports out at night also and just take a picture of it to show so that it would not get stolen.
Have you been to Ireland and do anything fun while there to add to the list? Thanks for reading!
All thoughts are my own. All pictures are Copyrighted by Boarding for Chynna please do not use without permission.