Recently, we left Austin for a 2 week vacation/work trip in Ireland. Adam’s company needed him to be in Dublin the first week of November and I decided to tag along. We spent the first week driving the Southwest and West coasts of the country before our week stay in Dublin.
We planned to arrive in Ireland early in the morning and power through the day before hitting the sack for the night.
In theory this sounded like a flawless plan. In practice? Not so much. What we failed to factor into this plan was that our longest driving day would be taking place right off the bat. Also, our plane arrived about an hour early thanks to a 150 mph tailwind and we had to sit around the airport for an hour before our rental car was ready.
Once our car was ready and loaded down with luggage we took off on the left side of the road. Adam was the designated driver for our trip and I was happy to play navigator. We only had one wrong turn getting out of the airport, but all it took was a u-turn and we were back on our Irish adventure.
Before leaving the US, we decided that our plan was to not really have a plan, other than knowing where we were ending up each day. This allowed us to turn off whenever we wanted if something struck our fancy. It also allowed us to see quaint drives in the countryside like this:
Our first official stop was the Rock of Cashel at the top of a hill in little village of Cashel surrounded by farmland. It was our first true introduction to Ireland and what a greeting it gave us. This was the view at the car park:
We made the short walk to the entrance of the site and I loved the view to the village below.
One perk of going to Ireland during the time of year we chose was that the busy tourist season was wrapping up, so we never had lines or huge amounts of tourists at the stops; although, some places were already closed for the winter.
After touring the Rock of Cashel we got back in the car and headed to Cork for a tour of the Jameson Irish Whiskey Distillery. This was highly recommended to us by one of Adam’s co-workers and it was a wonderful experience.
Even if Adam was starting to fight some serious jet-lag in the few minutes we had to wait before the tour.
After touring the distillery, we were given complimentary whiskey tastings. Adam chose a hot whiskey tasting while I went for the Jameson ginger & lime cocktail that was available – and thus began my love for Irish Whiskey.
Something neither Adam nor I saw coming, because I never stray from an Apple-tini or Sangria.
It’s also possible that this was the first time in history someone drove better after drinking whiskey, as the hot whiskey tasting did a good job of jolting Adam out of his jet lagged state 🙂
Once we were done tasting and touring and back on the road, we made the final push to our first Bed & Breakfast, Sika Lodge, in Killarney.
It was adorable and ran by Serena and her husband, along with their adorable little baby girl. We loved our stay there and only wish we were able to do more than sleep, eat (exceptional french toast with chocolate chips) and leave for Dingle the next morning, as Killarney seemed like a fun town to explore.