Exploring & Escapades

bits & pieces of my travels

Category: Ireland

Dublin

One day in Dublin, better than no days in Dublin for sure.

Ireland is so close to England that it’s often very easy to find insanely cheap flights back and forth between the islands – sometimes within the same day. That was how I found myself at the Cliffs of Moher on a random mid-week afternoon last year and also how I found myself wandering the streets of Temple Bar  last Wednesday. The flight cost $16, which for anyone keeping track, is less than half of what it would cost me to go to London from Cambridge for the day.

Of course, one should spend more time in Dublin if he/she can, but if  not, it is actually possible to accomplish quite a lot in ten hours. After we landed just after 11:00 am, we took a bus into town, visited Trinity College Library and the Book of Kells, walked around Temple Bar district, had a delicious lunch as a hipster cafe across the river, and managed to squeeze in even more wandering past the castle and famous cathedrals before the sunset. Then, it was on to the Guinness Storehouse, because “when in Rome/Dublin.” I admit, I was initially turned off by the idea of giving my money to something that was so obviously a tourist trap, but actually Guinness ended up being my favorite part of the day. Beer can make anything great. The panoramic views of the city at dusk also helped.

By 10:30 pm that evening, we were back on the ground at London Stansted, exhausted, but happy to have made the trip. A wonderful Wednesday adventure, something I would definitely do again. 

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Cliffs of Moher

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Twelve hours in… Ireland! Yes! Just twelve, and every second of it was incredible. Here’s how it all went down:

We took the 6:30 am train from Cambridge Station to the airport, took off at 9:00 am, and touched down in Shannon at 10:20 am. An hour later, we had rented a car and were on the road, north-west-bound for the cliffs. The roads were SO narrow and windy; I expected highways, but this route had so much more. Grassy fields, old ruins, small villages, cows, breathtaking beach views. We stopped at a cafe nearby for lunch, and by 1:00, we were at the Cliffs of Moher, dangling our feet over the edge of the world and pinching ourselves to make sure it was all real. We had no plan from that point onward. We walked through the fields, ate an early dinner in a seaside Irish pub. The Irish coffee was amazzzzzing. The people were so nice. On the way home, we took one wrong turn and ended up on even narrower roads through even grassier fields. We had to stop at one point so a man could load his cows in the back of his truck (the road was too narrow to pass). We took the long way back, so we could drive by a castle. And then, at 8:00 pm, we were at the airport. At 10:00 pm, we were in the sky. Home by midnight.

I love these spontaneous adventures so much. Some people say to me, “Well, I would need more than twelve hours in Ireland.” Of course, you need more than twelve hours in Ireland. I could spend weeks or months or a lifetime there. And I will go back someday soon. But given the choice of twelve hours in Ireland or zero hours in Ireland, I will always choose the twelve.

Living in Europe has many perks; these types of trips, they are my favorite. 

 

 

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