Only 40 days left until the big birthday vacation! I’m not normally big on celebrating birthdays, but when there’s a trip to Scotland involved, I can make an exception (smile). I’ve decided that it would be fun to center the next few Travel Tuesdays leading up to the big trip around my previous adventures in the UK and Ireland. I figure it’s a good way to share my excitement and relive some great memories – win/win, right?
I’m kicking this little tour off in Ireland. I’m sad to admit that I’ve only been fortunate enough to visit Ireland once for an extended weekend. I was doing a study/work abroad program and that was all I could swing at the time. We flew into Dublin and took a few day trips from there. In all of the countries I’ve spent time in so far, I fully believe the people in Ireland are by far the friendliest. Sure there’s a brawl outside a pub now and again, but we didn’t meet one single person during our stay that didn’t make us practically feel like family! I often recommend Ireland based on that fact alone; however, add in the breath-taking scenery and who wouldn’t want to go?
We landed in Dublin pretty late, so we checked into our hotel and had a quick meal at a nearby pub before turning in for some much needed sleep. The next day we decided that the most efficient way to hit the city’s highlights would be via the big red bus tour. Yeah, I know…but I generally recommend and use these bus tours for any new city. They’re an easy and relaxed method of seeing the major sites while giving you a general sense of the city layout. Luckily for us it was an absolutely gorgeous June day in Dublin and so we made quite the day of it!
For our second day, we decided to just wander around the city and get lost. Being the absolute book/religious/oddities nerd that I am, we of course hit up Trinity College to check out the grounds and to see the library (huge smile), which also happens to contain the Book of Kells. Major tick on the literary bucket list!
As we were wandering around
drinking walking our way around the city, we did a quick survey of other tourists on the best day tours to join. After hearing Over the Top tours from several people, we decided to check them out. We booked their Celtic Experience tour, which featured plenty of crosses, abbeys, prehistoric tombs, and other fun places. The group was small (only 8, I think), so we had an opportunity to get to know one another and explore without the crowds. Our tour guide was fabulous – very knowledgeable and armed with plenty of Bono jokes (smile). (I’ll aim to just hit the highlights with these photos lest it they get totally out of hand!)
I can’t wait to go back to Ireland some day, rent a car, explore the countryside, and meet even more wonderful people!! Have you been to Ireland? If so, what was your experience like? I’d love to hear all about it!