Visit the photo set Ireland on Flickr.
Well, we’re back safely in Amsterdam after our two-week vacation in Ireland. The main focus of the trip was the Ireland Walking 8 Days tour developed by Randonnee Tours. Like other trips, we tacked on a few days at the beginning and end of the trip.
- Lots of great hiking. We did four formal hikes (one at the Cliffs of Moher, one at Ballyvaughn in the Burren, one on the west part of Inishmore Island and one along the only fjord in Ireland, Killary Bay) as well as a lot of walking in Dublin and Ennis.
- Lots of good food. We had a great dinner at the Temple Gate Hotel in Ennis as well as two great dinners at the Lough Inagh Lodge. Good bottles of wine for all three as well. Many of the B&B’s had great breakfasts as well: porridge with Irish whiskey!
- Lots of interesting history. The areas where we visited still have many old churches, forts and megalithic tombs to explore. We also came away with a much better appreciation of the history of Ireland and its many past challenges like the Great Famine and the Troubles. We also happened to be just ahead Queen Elizabeth’s visit to Ireland, so we found Dublin in particular in the midst of sprucing itself up for the visit.
- Good beer. Not just Guinness (although we had quite of a few of those, including one at the Gravity Bar in the Guinness Storehouse) but also a couple of Smithwick’s and ones from Dublin’s own local microbrewery, Porterhouse.
- Good music. We were able to catch traditional Celtic music performance a couple of nights, once in Doolin at Gus O’Connors and once in Galway at the Tig Cóilí.
- In general, good weather. We did experience a couple of “soft days” and overall we wore most of the clothing we brought when outside.
All in all, another great active outdoor vacation!