In the end of July / beginning of August when the whole Europe was suffering in the heatwave, we flew to Ireland which was probably at that time the coolest area in Europe. We spent there a week and saw mainly Dublin, the coast of Northern Ireland and places in between.
Our agenda was following:
- Saturday: landed in Dublin and did some sightseeing. In the evening we went to see a comedy show at Vodafone Comedy Festival.
- Sunday: more sightseeing in Dublin, including the castle and Trinity College. In the evening we took a train to Drogheda where we spent a night.
- Monday: Unesco World Heritage site Bru Na Boinne. After that we took a train to Belfast from where we rented a car and drove directly to the coast.
- Tuesday to Thursday: coast of Northern Ireland. On Thursday evening we drove back to Belfast and returned our rental car.
- Friday: sightseeing in Belfast
- Saturday: more sightseeing in Belfast. In the evening we took a bus to Dublin.
- Sunday: Dublin, in the evening flying back home.
If you look at the map, then you see that we managed to cover about 25% of the island. If you really want to see all it has to offer you should go for much longer time than we did.
What was the highlight of the trip? Definitely hiking along the coast. You need to be ready for wind and occasional rain. During our stay it was raining almost every day but fortunately not all the time. There were breaks in the rain that allowed us to walk around and enjoy the scenery. Rain- and winterproof clothing is a must!
When you rent a car you need to be ready for driving on really narrow roads (in addition to driving on the left side). Smaller roads between the villages are often so narrow that you need to pull over to let the other car pass. People driving are usually very polite. We did manage to end up once at dead end with no space to turn around. Fortunately one of the houses around didn't have its gate locked, so we just took advantage of that and turned around.
Irish food is mainly meat, fish and potatoes. By the third or forth day of our trip I really started to miss vegetables. In the countryside most of the restaurants don't have them in their menus. As a side you can get potatoes in all kind of different ways, but vegetable and salad choices are quite limited. Once back in Belfast we started to choose restaurants that had vegetables in their menus :)
I will write more detailed posts about our trip. For now, just enjoy the magnificent coast: