Ireland

The Ring of Kerry

Ireland Road Trip pt 1: The Ring of Kerry

The Ring of Kerry

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. 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 road trip! 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, 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 one of the things I think makes Ireland unique is it’s charming people. And during my Ring of Kerry experience, the Irish charm once again made 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!

You should 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…

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Temple Bar

The True Temple Bar

Temple Bar

Ah, Temple Bar.

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.

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Game of Thrones tour

Winter is Coming | Game of Thrones Tour

Game of Thrones tour

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!

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5 Walks for a Sunny Day in Dublin

5 Walks for a Sunny Day in Dublin

5 Walks for a Sunny Day in Dublin

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!

Here are 5 walks for a sunny day in Dublin!

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St. Patrick's Day 2016

St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin

St. Patrick's Day 2016

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!

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Hiking the Wicklow Way

Hiking the Wicklow Way: Glenmalure to Glendalough

Hiking the Wicklow Way

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Ireland has some of the most amazing natural landscape I’ve ever seen. With the rolling green hills, beautiful coastlines, and breathtaking cliffs that Ireland is famous for comes many, MANY amazing walking/hiking trails that offer people a taste of the natural beauty.

Being from the completely flat Louisiana, I try to take advantage of the landscape I’m surrounded with here. I already shared all about cliff walking in Howth (which was AMAZING). But during my time here in Ireland I’ve gotten a chance to do a few different hikes. It’s great for getting some fresh air, clearing your mind, and seeing some unbelievable sights.

…Weather permitting of course.

Well, one amazing hiking trail in Ireland, that’s easy to get to from Dublin city centre, is the Wicklow Way, in County Wicklow.

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Cliff Walking in Howth

Cliff Walking in Howth, Ireland

Cliff Walking in Howth

As much as I love city life, it’s sometimes nice to escape the busy streets, constant cars, and general hustle and bustle of Dublin.

When I first moved to Dublin I posted about the cute little village of Howth, just a 20-30 minute train ride North of Dublin’s city centre. Besides being a great and easily assessable getaway for anyone living in Dublin, it’s also great for visitors wanting to see a bit more of the renowned Irish landscape that may not have the time/money to travel far (a day return ticket on the DART train to Howth is only €6!!!)

The best part of this cliff walk, and the day in general, is that I hadn’t planned it at all. I had heard about the cliff walk, but I thought it was just a short trail. We ended up walking for hours (because we chose the longest trail of the 3 options).

If you want to see some breathtaking Irish nature and stunning views, this is something I DEFINITELY recommend.

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Fall in St. Stephen's Green

Fall in St. Stephen’s Green // Dublin

Fall in St. Stephen's Green

Louisiana is one of those places that only has 2 seasons – really hot summer, and then a little less hot “winter.” Some years the winter can be classified as “cold,” but most years you can get away with wearing a thin, long-sleeve, silk blouse on Christmas Day.

And obviously, such is not the case in Dublin.

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Irish Slang

THE Ultimate Guide to Irish Slang + Irish vs. American terms

Irish Slang

So one of the great things about moving to Ireland was that I didn’t have to worry about a language barrier. Sure, I was moving to a different country with no job lined up and no living arrangements made, but hey! At least I wouldn’t have to worry about everyone speaking in a different LANGUAGE too, right?!

WRONG.

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Sunny Day in Dublin

10 Things to do on a Sunny Day in Dublin!

Sunny Day in Dublin

Ah, Ireland. You sure do know how to make a gal lose her tan…

Ok, so obviously Ireland is not exactly known for having the best weather.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the cold and rainy. But it does definitely gets old. I mean….it hailed in June. That just ain’t right. So although I do love the chilly weather, after a while of that one can’t help but wonder when the sun will finally decide to grace us with its presence.

One thing I love about being somewhere with finicky weather is that when it’s sunny, people REALLY appreciate and take advantage of it. A sunny day is rare special here. The parks will be packed, the trains will be full with people heading to the coast, and there’s just a happy energy in the air.

Dublin comes alive on a sunny day. It’s just the absolute best. So when the sun creeps out from behind the grey clouds, demanding its presence to be known and enjoyed, there are so many things to do around Dublin to take full advantage of it. So basically, there’s nothing better than a sunny day in Dublin.

Here are my personal recommendations of the BEST things to do in Dublin on a beautiful, sunny day!

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