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Fits on the Road: A Visit to Ireland Leave a comment

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Planning a trip to Ireland? Maybe planning to run the Dublin marathon? This post is for you!

As detailed in this post, I was recently in Ireland to run the Dublin marathon. I loved the marathon and highly recommend it! It was a really fun one (and I’ve run quite a few of them so I have some experience!)

I thought it would be helpful to share a summary of the rest of our visit to Ireland, in case you are planning a trip there.

Leading up to the marathon in Dublin, we visited Trinity College and the Book of Kells.

Of course, the primary reason for our trip to Ireland was to run the Dublin marathon, which was incredible!

Post-marathon, we took the Guinness Brewery Tour with the STOUTie experience (for the personalized pint pictured below.) Both Trinity College and Guinness were definitely worthwhile.

The day after the marathon, we took the train from Dublin to Galway. The trip was about 2.5 hours; we pre-booked our tickets to ensure we had seats (some people did have to stand.) There was Wi-Fi on the trains and the seats were comfortable. I never saw a café or food cart, but I could have just missed it.

Upon arrival in Galway, we walked from the train station to our air bnb in the Latin Quarter, which was about a 10 minute walk. I won’t share a link to our air bnb as it was not that great; not at all what was pictured in the the online posting! However, the location in the Latin Quarter was convenient and walkable to most everything.

We grabbed lunch on the high street at Quay Street Kitchen, which served Irish food with a mix of hearty soups and vegetarian options. Then we wandered through the shops in this area, exploring the medieval Kirwan’s lane and the Spanish Arches, as well as Charlie Byrne’s bookstore.

We walked along the seashore on the Salthill Promenade.

We walked all the way to Blackrock Diving pier; I really wanted to jump off into the sea, but the water did seem pretty wild at that time, so I was convinced to wait until the next day…

On Tuesday morning, we ubered to a rental car company to get our hired car for the day.

Dustin fortunately did all the driving; our primary destination was the Cliffs of Moher.

Unfortunately, when we arrived at the cliffs, it was much too cloudy to see anything . We hung out at the visitor’s center, hiked around the cliffs a bit, with the hope that the skies would clear, but they did not.

We talked to an employee at the visitor’s centre who recommended a scenic drive back to Galway, which was nice. The Irish countryside is very charming.

The drive included a stop for lunch in Kinvarra (a cute town, worth a visit!) and a visit to the Dunguaire Castle.

Before returning the rental car, we tried again at the Blackrock Diving Pier, but this time it was low tide and the water was much too shallow to jump. What a disappointment! Both the Cliffs of Moher and the diving pier were a bit of a bust, but those things happen. Can’t control the weather!

We spent the evening enjoying trad music and pints of Guinness in a couple different Galway pubs:

Then we had dinner at Dough Bros (delicious pizzas!)

Wednesday morning we headed back to Dublin on the train.

We arrived around noon and walked the mile from the train station to our hotel (dragging our luggage, but it felt good to walk). We stayed this time at the Morrison Hotel (which is part of the Hilton chain.) It was conveniently located right by the Ha’Penny pedestrian bridge, which took you right to the Temple bar area. We had lunch in that area at Elephant & Castle before ubering to Kilmaingaol Museum.

Kilmaingaol Museum held prisoners for 100 years, thousands of men, women and children for crimes that ranged from minor offences to being involved in some of the most momentous events in Irish history.

(There was a prisoner there once who was only 3 years old!)

A visit to Kilmainham Gaol will take you on a journey through Irish history. You will discover the stories of people held here as ordinary criminals alongside those who fought for Irish independence. From the 1798 rebellion, to the 1916 Easter Rising, the Anglo-Irish War (1919-21), to the devastation of the Irish Civil War (1922-23) all these important events have a chapter in the story of Kilmainham Gaol.

I recommend the tour of the jail as it was really interesting and educational regarding Ireland’s history.

After the tour, we stopped by Temple bar for a pint:

Then back to the hotel to relax a bit at our hotel before heading to the Jameson Distillery for the tour there.

The Jameson tour was grand- I recommend it. You learn about Jameson’s history, the process of making whiskey, and you taste 3 different types of Jameson. Overall a really neat tour.

Post-tour, it was on to dinner with a cousin of mine who has lived in Dublin for 20+ years. We met him at the Cedar Tree for Lebanese food.

Thursday morning, we were meant to fly back to London, but there was a big wind/rain storm in London, so our flight was cancelled!

We suddenly had a bonus day in Dublin, so I figured out how to take the Dart train to the Forty Foot for some wild swimming. I knew of the Forty Foot from the apple+ show “Bad Sisters,” which I loved.

I got to live out my own Bad Sisters experience, with a brisk dip in the Irish Sea!

The suburb where the Forty Foot is located was very cute as well; we grabbed coffee and a scone there, but would have loved to have spent a bit more time exploring.

Instead, we took the Dart back to Dublin city center for lunch at Cafe en Seine and then booked a visit to the Little Museum of Dublin. As a museum, this is pretty underwhelming, but as an experience, I really enjoyed it. It was more of a performance, as the guide was very theatrical, a comedian, a singer, all the things! She did an amazing job and made the tour very entertaining. Its only about 45 minutes long, but if you can fit it into your schedule, I recommend a visit.

By the time we finished there, we were ready to pack up our bags and head to the airport with the hope that our evening flight wouldn’t be delayed or cancelled. We made it back to London around 10 pm.

A fun and full visit to Ireland; I know there is so much more to see in this beautiful and friendly country and I hope to come back again to experience more!

(Visited 29 time, 8 visit today)

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