I know, I know. To say I’ve been AWOL from this blog is a total understatement. NEVER have I gone this long without posting! That just goes to show how insanely busy my summer has been, and how much I have to share! Since getting my visa situation sorted in April, it’s been non-stop! From road trips and rural hikes to markets and music festivals, this summer has been a whirlwind of fun and great weather and I’m only been able to squeeze in a few posts. But the chilly weather is creeping up, which means fall is approaching and the long summer days will be coming to an end soon enough. SO. Back to business then, shall we?
One of my favorite summer activities was actually one that could be done at any time of the year. A ROADTRIP! THE RING OF KERRY to be specific. Ever heard of it? If you’ve been to Ireland or done any research on things to do there, you probably have. Along with The Giant’s Causeway and The Dingle Peninsula, it’s one of the best and most well-known scenic routes in the country – a 179km circular route through the Iveragh Penninsula in County Kerry. And what I believe to be one of the most beautiful roads in the world.
Sure, I may be a bit biased with my love for Ireland. It’s a beautiful place with amazing scenery and stunning natural landscape, but there are many other countries that this can be said about as well. But I find that one of the things that makes Ireland unique is it’s charming people. And during my Ring of Kerry experience, the Irish charm once again shown through to make the experience truly memorable.
…OH, but so did the fact that in one day we drove past mountains, beaches, loughs (lakes), medieval ruins, and overall STUNNING views!
So rent a car (and get over your fear of driving on the opposite side of the road – it’s not that bad!), pull over at as many photo-op spots as your heart desires, drive off the beaten path when you can, breathe in the fresh air, make pit stops at any chocolate factory you find, and enjoy the ride…
Tourists know it as “the” place to go out and have a wild night. Locals know it as the area over-saturated with tourists and overpriced drinks. Everyone knows it as the messy headquarters of drunkenness come nightfall.
But, Temple Bar is actually much more than what both locals and tourists give it credit for. Locals tend to stay away most of the time because of the bad rep the tourists have given it. And tourists mainly go at night and dirty up the streets with trash and bodily fluids during their drunken escapades. But, it’s so much more than what it becomes come nightfall.
Since no trip to Dublin is complete without a look into Temple Bar, 99.9% of all tourists in Dublin WILL end up in there, and WILL want to see what the hype is about and why all the guidebooks always say to visit. Some may find that it’s overcrowded, overhyped, and overpriced. And it is. But there’s a also a certain magic to Temple Bar. You just have to know when and where to look for it.
Has it really been a month since my last post? Geez, I actually suck. Sorry.
But I felt it was topical, being that the season finale of Game of Thrones aired here yesterday (I’m STILL in shock), to talk about the recent Game of Thrones tour I did here in Dublin!
There are TONS, and I mean TONS, of options for day tours from Dublin. Whether you want a quick tour of the local area or a 10-hour day tour going across the country, there’s something for everybody.
And there’s even something for Game of Thrones fans, with this great Game of Thrones tour leaving from and returning to central Dublin in the same day, bringing you on a long journey of different Game of Thrones sites in Northern Ireland.
Whether you’re a die-hard fan of the show or not, you’ll definitely enjoy the scenic views and sites on this tour!
Sometimes, you just need a little weekend getaway. Especially for those of us who have to be working adults, a quick little trip is a great way for us to still keep our wanderlust in check and see new places, but also not get fired from our jobs for taking too much time off.
I for one am always browsing airline sites to see about cheap flights and deals. From Ireland the quickest and cheapest flights, and the most frequent flights, are to the UK. So, after some browsing and researching, I decided to make a little “hit it and quit it” trip to Bath, England. It seemed small enough to explore in a few days, it was cheap and easy to get to, and it looked beautiful.
Well, turns out you can see the best of Bath in just 1 day, and here’s a guide to help you make sure you don’t miss anything!
HAPPY ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY TO ME AND MY DEAREST DUBLIN!
I’ve officially hit the year mark since moving to the great place, and what an amazing year it’s been! However, this latest month of Irish life here has been a heck of a stressful one, both in good and bad ways.
Recently, we’ve been #blessed with fantastic, sunny weather in Dublin. Although Ireland isn’t known for having a warm, pleasant climate (because let’s be honest, IT DOESN’T), that doesn’t mean that it’s raining and miserable all of the time…only most of the time.
But really, although the cold and rain are not ideal and definitely gets old after a while, what I love about Dublin is how alive the city becomes on a beautiful, warm day. Especially on the weekends. Nothing is more miserable than being stuck inside at work on a gorgeous day, only for it to be raining all weekend. So if it’s a sunny Saturday or Sunday, you’re guaranteed to see the city buzzing. People flooded to the parks, the zoo, the canals, and of course the pubs with outside seating (it is Ireland, after all).
But you’ll also find that people will enjoy the sun, and get their exercise in, by enjoying one of Dublin’s many walking routes. There are some amazing landscapes just outside of Dublin’s city limits that provide great views on sunny days. But, there are also some amazing views to be seen right in the heart of the city itself!
From a light hike on a rugged coastal landscape, to a sunset walk along the canal, to a light morning stroll admiring 4-story Georgian houses….Dublin has amazing walks and walking paths to choose from that vary in every sense of the word…level of difficulty, length, type of views, etc. But one thing they have in common is that they are all PERFECT for a sunny, pleasant day!
It’s been a while since I’ve thrown together one of these little lists, but I’ve got Portugal so much on the brain lately so I figured now’s the time!
Lisbon was one of my favorite stops on my last Europe trip. It was the last stop, so after a month traveling through Europe I was exhausted. But, when I got to Lisbon I was immediately revitalized by the city’s vibrant culture and bright, sunny landscape.
After visiting Lisbon, I’ve come to realize that Portugal may just be one of Europe’s most underrated countries. It’s cheap, there’s so much to do, and it’s obviously beautiful.
Although I wasn’t in Lisbon for long, I managed to do some amazing things! So if you’re ever in Lisbon and have absolutely no idea where to begin, or if you only have a short time there and want to make the most of it, here are my recommendations of the Top 5 things to do in Lisbon!
My March could definitely be considered the month of concerts.
Between seeing ADELE, Grimes, and The 1975 in concert, there were a few pretttty big events in Ireland. A little something known as St. Patrick’s Day, and the 100th Anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising.
Right after the craziness of St. Patrick’s Day, Dublin went right into full on 1916 mode – something that had been building up all year.
Easter Sunday 2016 marked the 100 year anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising. In 1916, Irish republicans wanted to end British rule in Ireland and establish an independent Irish Republic, and strategically planned the Rising while England was really distracted by being involved in WWI. Although it didn’t “work” in the sense that it wasn’t successful in completely throwing off English rule, it was the most significant uprising in Ireland since the rebellion of 1798and kicked off the struggle for Irish independence.
So there’s a history lesson, and a little glimpse just as to why the 1916 Easter Rising centenary was such a huge deal not only around Dublin, but around the whole of Ireland!
The day of all days to be in Dublin….the day I’ve been waiting to experience since moving here almost a year ago…
ST. PATRICK’S DAY!
Or, Paddy’s Day, as the Irish call it.
(And just a PSA for all fellow Americans…it’s not St. Pat or St. Patty’s Day. It’s PADDY, wit D’s. And saying/spelling it otherwise is a bit of a pet peeve for many Irish people. It’s OK, I was guilty once too.)
Although it involved a lot of crowds and a lot of chaos, it was something that every avid traveler should try to experience at least once in their life. Ya know, just for the craic!