Family vacation time!
From July 31st to August 14th, my family (minus my brother, the traitor) and I went to Ireland, doing the first family road trip we’ve ever done (seriously, you missed something, brother).
In case you haven’t caught up on it yet, Frodo’s and my vacations are – although always fun! – not the kind of story to share around the campfire for the insanely fun times…
… I like organizing way too much for that.
Plus, it was a family trip, so even if I was the typ to get drunk and do spontaneous crazy fun things (this is not meant in a judgemental way in the least, I have a lot of respect for people who enjoy their life this spontaneously and get let go of control every once in a while. I envy that), this would not have been the place or time to do that.
…my family and I had lots and lots of fun, and I even snuck in a few “nerdy” things to see, because I’m sneaky like that. And that’s the price you pay for letting me organize the entire trip 😉
Disclaimer: I’m trying out this new feature wordpress offers, so I’m sorry for the weird formats and stuff, I’m still trying to figure all of it out. Please be patient with me. (And yes, I did write this post before this one, which is why it’s a bit weirder…)
First stop on the trip: Dublin. We left the airport at almost 40 °C and got to Dublin at 18 °C, which was quite the shock, but most welcome after the insanely dry and far too hot summer we’d had up until that point.
We stayed in an Appartment Hotel in Temple Bar, which was cool. We discovered the city from there, walking in one direction one day and another one the next. We spent 3 days in Dublin, walking our feet off, sightseeing like the tourist we are 😀
Things we did and saw:
- Temple Bar District
- Christ Church Cathedral
- Trinity College and the Book of Kells
- Guiness Storehouse (not worth the money, don’t do that if you ever go to Dublin)
- National Museum of Ireland
- The doors of Dublin
Rock of Cashel
The history of the Rock of Cashel dates back to the 4th century, if I remember correctly – but this is not a history blog, so if you want to know more about it, google it 😉
Here are a few pictures, though, and I promise they’re not from Google.
Another really old building complex, this time a monastery. There are a few nice walking tours to do around it that I can recommend – the monastery itself are some pretty ruins and a beautiful graveyard, but not all that big, so if you have to go out of your way to go visit, take some time to do one of the walks.
Killarney National Park
We stopped at 3 points in the beautiful Killarney National Park:
- Ross Castle
- Muckross Abbey
- Torc Waterfall
Burren National Park
The Burren is mostly dry rocks and land, which I found beautiful in a very different, less-green way. One day I’ll go back and take hauntingly beautiful photos (although I’m not that good a photographer, but dream big, right?) in a dystopian post-apocalyptic world setting or something.
Cliffs of Moher
And yes, this is where they filmed part of the cave scene in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince!
Connemara National Park
Another beautiful National Park, although we only spent less than a day there, driving through it to see as much as possible. We stopped at Kylemore Abbey, which I can only recommend, because it’s stunning!
Next stop: Donegal. This one I picked mostly because it was halfway from the Burren to Portstewart, which was our actual destination. But there is this really cool grave of the legendary Queen Medb (or Maeve for those of who sadly don’t know how to pronounce that) that we went up to. The view was spectacular! We even go not one, but two rainbows!
Portstewart was our departure point for the Giant’s Causeway and because it was fun, we stayed at the Game of Thrones Guesthouse. But before we went to the Causeway, we went to Slieve League. Those are big-*ss, steep cliffs with scary winds.
Now, the Giant’s Causeway:
We also went to the Carrick-A-Rede Bridge, but we figured it was too expensive and the waiting too long for what it was, in the end, so we simply walked around there a bit.
We also went to the Dark Hedges, a road with gigantic old trees which was used as the King’s Road in Game of Thrones. The header for this article is also from there, in case you were wondering 😀
The last place we drove to that day was Dunluce Castle, which was partly used for Game of Thrones although the information I found about it is contradictory and confusin, so I’m not certain whether that’s true and if it is, what it was used for. Either way, it’s a pretty ruin – they do have a lot of those in Ireland, it seems.
The last place we went to before going back home was Belfast, but – and I do apologize for everyone living there – it is one of the ugliest cities I’ve ever been to, and I’ve been to my fair share of cities… I didn’t take a single picture in Belfast, because there was nothing I wanted to photograph; at least nothing that felt appropriate photographing. There’s a wall there, full of murals and art about the story of Northern Ireland and Belfast in particular, but it didn’t feel right to take pictures of the horrors commemorated there.