I’m taking another break from writing nutrition to relive that time all my dreams came true and I got to take an Ireland road trip.
In case you haven’t been following along with my travels, in April my husband and I went on a 2 week European vacation with my brother and sister-in-law. We started in Switzerland, where we got to spend time in Zurich and Interlaken. After hiking the Alps, we were ready for city life for a few days and took a beautiful train ride from Switzerland to France (spending time in both Paris and Giverny.) From France we took another short train to the Netherlands where we spent an evening in Amsterdam and a day in the tulip fields at Keukenhoff. Finally, we took a short plane ride from Amsterdam to Cork, Ireland where we began our 5 Day Ireland road trip.
Ireland Road Trip Guide:
Day 1 and Day 2:
We reserved a car to pick up at the Cork airport to begin our Ireland road trip. Thanks to Casey and Joseph (my brother) for driving us all around Ireland for 5 days. The roads were incredibly narrow and driving on the wrong side of the road wasn’t easy. Serena and I got to sit in the back and take it ALL in. Side note: Make sure you have really good rental car insurance.
Our first real stop was Killarney, where we stayed at the beautiful Old Weir Lodge. After checking in to the lodge we walked to lunch at a pub just down the road, and Serena and I both ordered this savory chicken and mushroom pie. Definitely going to try to create a healthy version of this at home sometime.
After resting and lunch, we spent most of the first day at Killarney National Park. It was beautiful! We toured Ross Castle and spent some time walking around the beautiful lake. When we finished at the park and got back into Killarney around 8pm, the restaurants were mostly already done serving dinner. We found a pub (I can’t remember the name) that was still serving food. While we were eating dinner some men broke into loud Irish song, which was really entertaining.
Ring of Kerry
Tuesday morning we woke up to have our first Irish breakfast at Old Weir Lodge, which was amazing. Why can’t I have an Irish breakfast every day? Oh, that’s right, I don’t get up early enough to fix myself breakfast. (That’s why I keep this egg bake already made in the fridge.) Afterwards, we headed out to enjoy the picturesque Ring of Kerry (ROK) and more extremely narrow roads. The ROK gives a perfect taste of the Ireland coastal countryside: meandering sheep and rolling green hills all beside a beautiful blue ocean.
It took us all day to explore the ROK. We stopped at our leisure to enjoy the sights, shops, and bathrooms along the way. Yes, bathrooms. Thankfully, unlike some other European countries, the Irish have no problems with travelers using their bathrooms free of charge. Perfect road trip destination. Oh, and… I can’t believe I almost left this part out: There was even a chocolate shop along of the Ring of Kerry, Skelligs Chocolate. Even better, they were extremely generous with samples. Of course, we didn’t leave without buying our share. Seriously, don’t miss the chocolate shop.
The next morning we enjoyed Irish breakfast #2 at Old Weir Lodge and were off to explore the Dingle Peninsula. We drove the first half of the Peninsula via scenic route and making stops along the way. Once we arrived in Dingle we had a delicious lunch at Sheehy’s Anchor Down Restaurant, where I had an Irish seafood pie. There were also several shops we went into in Dingle. If I ever head back to Ireland, Dingle will definitely be on my list as it was my favorite town on our Ireland road trip. The town boasted many little shops, delicious restaurants, and not to mention this adorable donkey and dog duo.
Later that evening, we enjoyed dinner at Lord Baker’s. The food was incredible and our server was actually the owner. I ordered an amazing stuffed mushroom dish (another recipe to try to recreate at home). While in Dingle, we stayed at another B&B, Bambury’s Guesthouse. I would absolutely recommend this to anyone going to Dingle. Not only was our room beautiful but the breakfast served was the best we had our entire Ireland road trip. Additionally, the host was gracious to give us information on Dingle and dining recommendations. All in all, a top notch B&B.
On Thursday, after our incredible breakfast at Bambury’s (food pictured below), we finished driving the 2nd half of the Dingle peninsula. We stopped in a tiny beach town along the way and enjoyed lunch at a local cafe. By evening, we made our way into Limerick.
In Limerick, we saw St. Mary’s Cathedral and explored King John’s castle, which included a museum and walking tour depicting the history of the town and castle. For dinner, we went to The Locke Bar & Restaurant, which featured live music in a laid back atmosphere. Seeing live Irish music was one of the last things on my Ireland bucket list.
Friday morning we woke up and headed towards the incredible Cliffs of Moher. The weather started out very stormy and foggy, but quickly changed to a beautiful sunny and nearly warm day in almost a moment. And, just as we were just about to leave, it suddenly became stormy again with hail pouring down. We waited out the hale storm in the welcome center that has a cafeteria with mediocre food, but delicious cupcakes. The trail along the cliffs was one of the most beautiful trails we have been on. Finally, before leaving the cliffs we spent a little time looking through the museum they have, which included a short film about the cliffs.
Finally, after seeing the cliffs it was time to wrap up our trip by driving to Dublin for our flight home the next day. We had a quick dinner and got ready for bed. Unfortunately, we didn’t really get to explore Dublin this time, so looks like we will have to take another trip to Ireland one day.
An Ireland road trip was my favorite kind of vacation — just the right amount of adventure mixed with the beautiful scenery and the quaintness of the B&B’s.