Shireland: Day 1 – Aer Lingus Business Class, the Burren, and Moher
Shireland: Day 2 – Driving Dingle
Shireland: Day 3 – From West to East
Shireland: Day 4 – Exploring Dublin
Our third day in Ireland was a pretty long travel day – it takes about four and a half hours to drive from the west coast of Ireland, where we were staying, to Dublin on the east coast. We took a couple of detours along the way, but mostly we just enjoyed the greenery as we drove from coast to coast.
A little detour
One of the downsides of taking a redeye is being exhausted when you land. So, when we landed two days earlier, we left our e-reader in our luggage cart when we loaded our rental car. Woops. So, we took a little detour back to Shannon Airport and drove through the town of Limerick. I only mention this because Limerick didn’t look like a very interesting place to stay – mental note. Luckily, I had used Skype to call the airport the night before and they had found our lost item, so I just had to drop by the lost and found to pick it up. Not bad customer service!
A slightly longer detour – the scenic route
We decided if we were driving from west to east, we really wanted to stop at the Rock of Cashel, even though it wasn’t totally on the way. It’s one of the best preserved castles in Ireland. One thing interesting about Ireland is there are all these towers – hundreds of them – dotting the countryside. We saw like 5 within 2 miles of the Rock of Cashel, which is a full blown castle. I guess back in the day, people would build these huge towers to defend themselves from bandits and the like. They don’t really look like comfortable places to live in, but they really have stood the test of time, and I found it really cool just to see them basically intact.
The Rock of Cashel is in the town of Cashel, where there was an arts and food fair that day, I guess because it was a Sunday? Sweet! We ended up eating lunch at the fair – a brownie, a gigantic hot dog that was more like a sausage, and potato soup – in that order. I guess we kind of went backwards. The food was great, and we got to listen to some live music, something Ireland is known for. I snickered as four teenagers were having trouble getting their sound working on their guitars – pickup issues. I can relate.
The castle itself was pretty cool, although all castles are kind of the same to me. I was more impressed by the views of the countryside from the castle. If you haven’t picked up on it yet, my favorite part of Ireland is the scenery. It’s simply amazing.
After Cashel, we drove a couple more hours, dropped our car off the airport, and took a taxi to our hotel, Buswell’s, which is right by Trinity College in Dublin. I definitely liked the vibe I was feeling from Dublin as soon as we got there. After a little siesta, we hit the streets and went to Farm Restaurant for dinner. It was an organic place, but it was also an organic place that serves fried chicken wings, so my wife and I were both pleased. After dinner we took a nice nighttime stroll on Grafton Street, then we got back to the hotel and planned for our next day. All in all, Day 3 was just one of those travel days you inevitably have on a trip, but it turned out to be a pleasant one, and that’s all you can ask for. Day 4 was the cherry on our Shireland sundae – the Guinness factory. Coming up next!