Our first trip outside of Dublin was to the West Coast of Ireland, where we explored Galway, the Cliffs of Moher, and Burren National Park.
We had been in London for the work week- Neal making his first of many work trips there, Shelby sightseeing, going to plays, taking walking tours, and becoming an expert at navigating the London tube system. We landed back in Dublin Friday night, packed our bags, and took a taxi to pick up our rental car first thing Saturday morning. We were both nervous about driving on the left side of the road, but it wasn’t as bad as we thought it would be, and we got comfortable with it quickly. We hit the road and drove straight to Galway.
Galway is a beautiful city surrounded by water with a sweet Old Town area packed full with restaurants, cafes, street performers, and quirky shops. We were only there for a few hours, but plan on going back for a weekend to explore.
After Galway we drove to the city of Quin, where we stayed at the only Airbnb around that would accept our pup. Quin is a tiny town with a single pub, a single restaurant, and an ancient destroyed abbey. Our host made us a traditional Irish breakfast in the morning, then we drove to the cliffs.
It’s hard to describe the Cliffs of Moher, but a few words that come to mind are gorgeous, stunning, vast, and breath-taking. We walked along the cliffs, soaking in the views and waiting while people pet and took pictures of Luna (she was a hit). It can be stressful traveling with a dog, but having total strangers surround you and talk to you about your dog is a unique experience to connect with people.
After the Cliffs, we drove through Burren National Park, a 10 square mile limestone plateau with hundreds of historic and early Christian sites. We started with lunch and Guinness at a pub in Kilfenora and ended in the town of Kinvarra . We stopped at Caherconnell ring fort, one of many ring or “fairy” forts around Ireland that were used to protect livestock and houses of noble families during the Bronze Age, and at the Poulnabrone Dolmen, also known as a “druids’ atar”, built 5,000 years ago to serve as a grave chamber.
After this, it was back to Dublin!