After picking Courtney up Friday, we spent the weekend in Kenmare but traveled the Ring of Kerry on Saturday. For a few hours, we did a big loop around the coast of County Kerry. County Kerry is a beautiful drive and like the rest of the week, the weather was pretty much outstanding for it. Pictures will be soon to follow on facebook.
Sunday we left early afternoon for Dingle, a couple hours up the west coast. We arrived just before sunset and a few kilometers before reaching Dingle, we saw our first real beach. Although in some cool weather, the sun was enough for people to be out on the beach playing with their dogs or just walking near the water. Dingle itself, was just a few minutes up the road. Right on the water, Dingle is a very popular tourist destination in the summer but the rest of the year is a small port town marked with fishing boats and Fungie the Dolphin (who we did not see). Fungie is a dolphin that does not migrate to warmer waters during the winter and the town has marketed Fungie to be its sort of local mascot. Anyway, that night in Dingle we listened to some traditional Irish music at the Marina Inn. Got a nice dinner, and then went back and grabbed a few more pints. A couple local dogs, Rex and his little pup whose name I forgot at the moment, hung out with us and the locals in the pub. Dogs here I noticed, are rarely leashed and kind of wander on their own. These two were the greatest. We stayed at a hostel that night which like most of the week, worked out to be relatively cheap and comfortable sleeping arrangements. Out of the four nights we stayed out in Ireland, we spent less than 70 Euro a piece for lodging. The next day we walked around for a little bit, got the 'best' milkshake from this place for lunch (as we were all craving them) and headed out for the day.
Monday around noon, we left for Galway. Further up the west coast, Galway like most of Ireland's major cities, is somewhat on the water. I have heard good things about Galway from many and after a few laps around the city, we parked and found a hostel right in the the city centre near Eyre Square. The Galway City Hostel we stayed at for two nights, was probably the greatest place we stayed at. The people there were cool, there was a common room with people from all places, and the best part, bunk beds! I slept on the top bunk, of course, and our first night in we hung out in the community area and played cards. After a long weekend we needed a chill night however, we got up early the next day, toured the city for a while and started the day off with a crepe (Zatsuma.ie). Galway has a lot of walking streets with shops and well, food and more shops. After a day of shopping we went back to the hostel before going out for the night. Our Americaness tuned in because I had a craving for Papa John's Pizza, so it was good to have a delicious American pizza pie. That night we went to the pub underneath our hostel (yes literally underneath), and hit up a club later. It was a Tuesday night so many were out, but it wasn't a crazy night. However, we got back to the hostel and prepared to get up early and grab another crepe before leaving.
Wednesday was Cliffs of Moher day. Out of any other place of interest in Ireland, you ask any Irish person what you should see and almost always the Cliffs of Moher is mentioned first. The Cliffs are on the west coast of County Clare and are hundreds of feet high. No picture can really do them justice, however at the same time, only pictures can explain the site. It was a little windy, but a sunny day led for a couple hour drive to the coast and then back. After getting a little lost, we drove through Ennis and then Limerick on our quest for one meal of delicious Fish & Chips. We got that after doing a few loops in Limerick. After getting our fish we sort of last minute, found a B&B owned by this really nice lady and got a deal to stay the night. We didn't have much time to check out Limerick but had driven through there on the way up, so it was a little familiar.
Thursday morning we dropped Courtney off at Shannon Airport which is just a few minutes past Limerick. Then it was a direct shot to Cork for a little shopping but also yes, to get my laptop back. Finally the day has come. It isn't good as new, but it should get me by until I am back in the states. For instance, it doesn't run on battery power. The lady that worked on it was very cool and only wanted to replace what she absolutely had to. Soooo it's working right now and I have internet at the place, so skype and facebook chatting will be more frequent, I hope.
After driving home from Cork to Kenmare, we drove up to Killarney yesterday to drop the car off and Kathryn accompanied me. We took the bus back which pretty much leads to where I am at right now. It was a good week off but this weekend I am getting focused and getting ready to get back into the swing of things. Lots of work, laundry, and cleaning to do. I am sure there is more to say but this blog is taking me forever to write so I am done for now. The week off was good, but it's back to school soon...