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Guinness Storehouse

I’ve saved the best for last. My last day in beautiful Ireland was reserved for beer.

I’m kind a girl that really likes beer, and I really love Stout and Ale’s.

In my country we don’t have that kind of beer and I absolutely love it.

I like Guinness very much and I also found my other favorite beer in Ireland and that is Murphy’s.

Guinness Storehouse was something we must visit so we bought our tickets online from home.

(It’s cheaper online and we got a discount for the Guinness stew)

We went there in the morning around 10 AM.

Guinness factory

Guinness factory

With the ticket you get one free beer that you can pour yourself or you can get one on the last floor of the building that has a glass atrium and a beautiful view on Dublin.

The Storehouse has seven floors and is in the shape of a pint of Guinness.

You can see there the ingredients of beer, Guinness advertising  through years,

transportation that was used for carrying the beer across the world.

On the ground floor there is also a gift shop where you can buy souvenirs and beer.

There was also a presentation of food you can make with Guinness so we had the chance to taste a few dishes.

Guinness bottles through years

Guinness bottles through years

There are few restaurants inside the Storehouse, we had lunch in Brewers’ Dining Hall.

We had Beef & Guinness Stew and Guinness brown bread and it was very good.

guinness_stew

guinness_stew

After we had lunch we went to Gravity bar on the seventh  floor to get our „free“ Guinness.

We drinked it and enjoyed  a beautiful 360° view from the glass walls. 🙂

guinness_beer

guinness_beer

 

Kilmainham Gaol

One of the “must see” things in Dublin is definitely Kilmainham Gaol.

The Gaol is about 3,5 km from the city centre, Inchicore Road, Kilmainham, Dublin 8.

It takes about 40 minutes from the Temple bar to there. So if this isn’t to far  for you, you can walk there like we did.

If you like you can take a taxi or public bus.

Kilmainham Gaol is one of the largest unoccupied gaols in Europe.

Some of the most famous political and military leaders in Irish history were held prisoner there.

Main hall

Main hall

It gives you a realistic insight into what is was like to have been confined in one of these  bastions  of correction

between 1796 when it opened and 1924 when it closed.

Many Irish revolutionaries, including the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising, were imprisoned and executed in the prison by the British.

There was no segregation of prisoners; men, women and children were incarcerated up to 5 in each cell.

The tour is guided , they have a good guide who explained everything and tell you all about this prison.

Hallway in Kilmainham

Hallway in Kilmainham

The tour last around 45 minutes and the entrance fee is 7€.

There are many movies that have been filmed in Kilmainham Gaol like: The Italian Job, In the name of the father, Michael Collins.

U2  recorded  a music video there for the song  „a celebration“.

 

Howth

If you are in Dublin and have time to spare I would recommend you to visit Howth.

Howth is a little village near Dublin, a fishing port where you have lot to see and also get a fresh fish for lunch.

Great place for a half day or whole day trip.

You can get to Howth from Dublin with bus or DART. We took DART. DART is fast train service, station is in city center and return ticket to Howth costs around 5 euro.

Trains are going every 15 minutes. Howth is about 15 km from Dublin.

When you get to the station in Howth you go out of the station and go left to the harbour.

There is much to see here.

Fisher's Cross

Fisher’s Cross

You can walk to the harbour, see the old town, visit the national transport museum, at the end of the West Pier, you can see the footprints of king George IV.

There are cliffs in Howth also, so you can climb up and have a great view.

There is a walking trail starting east of the town that follows the cliffs all over to the southern part of the peninsula. Take the leftmost road from the harbour.

The view is breathtaking and it’s really worth the walk.

Along the way, you’ll come across Dublin’s most visible lighthouse, the Bailey Lighthouse.

Bailey Lighthouse

Bailey Lighthouse

We were there in august and the wind was blowing so hard and it was very cold there so be prepared. In Dublin wasn’t so. Take a warm jacket and comfortable shoes.

After a long walk we were a little hungry so we went to Beshoff’s for some fish and chips.

I would definitely recommend you to get some fish and chips there because it’s fantastic.

I wanted to sit outside so we took it to go and we sat on a bench by the coast.

As we were sitting there and eating, there were some cute little birds coming close to us and wanted some food from us. I gave them a little and there were more and more of them just „talking“ to us and begging for food. After a while some seagulls came and it wasn’t so cute anymore. We finished our meal and went to the harbour.

One of the main reasons I wanted to visit Howth is because  you can see Seals there.

And we were lucky to see them.

They were just swimming around and didn’t get very close but it was fun seeing them there.

I was very happy and my day was filled. 🙂

 

 

Back to Dublin

I woke up a little sad. Sad to leave this beautiful place, where everybody says hello to you, where I finally got close to the sheeps and where the nature is so beautiful that is breathtaking.

But we had to go. Our bus was going at 8 AM. We had to change the bus first in Killarney and then again in Limerick.

We had some time in Limerick so we take a little walk and got us some sandwiches for breakfast. In Limerick we catch a bus for Dublin.  It was little crowded on the streets so we arrive a little later then expected. It was late afternoon.

This time we booked a double room in  Barnacles hostel in Temple bar. http://www.barnacles.ie/

We had great experience with Barnacles in Galway and so it was in Dublin.

Room was nice and clean, staff very helpful  and they have a very big kitchen for use with lot of sitting places.

And it’s in the Temple bar. What more do you need?

I can only recommend this hostel.

We checked in, left our luggage and went to the city to get something for dinner and for a beer .

We are staying 2 days in Dublin. Our next stations are  Howth, Guinness Storehouse and Kilmainham Gaol.

Ha'Penny Bridge

Ha’Penny Bridge

 

Skellig Islands

In the morning we got up, got some breakfast and waited for Mr. Casey to come and get us.

He arrived on time and we were on our way to Portmagee.

Mr. Casey is from Casey’s boat trip – http://www.skelligislands.com/ and with them we were going to Skellig’s.

First he took us for a ride to Valentia Island so we could see the Skellig Islands  from the land.

The Island is linked to the mainland by the Maurice O’Neill Memorial Bridge at Portmagee.

Valentia Island is approximately  11 kilometers long by almost 3 kilometers  wide.

After little sightseeing we drove to Portmagee. The village serves as a departure point for tourists travelling to visit ‘Skellig Michael’.

Portmagee port

Portmagee port

We settled on a boat with another 10 people. There were some Russian guys drinking beers and a serious French couple sitting next to us.

They gave us  rain coats to put on, but I had mine on. It didn’t look like we are gonna need it but they told us to put them on.

The weather was nice and sunny.

When we got on the open See, that’s when it started to get interesting.

The waves rising on the boat getting us wet and we were like on the roller coaster. For me it was great and exciting, just a little bit scary.

The Russian guys were having fun, trying to keep they beers from spilling and the French couple was even more serious.

When we finally got to our destination and the boat stopped, the French guy stood up,

leaned against the ship’s railing and  threw out  the entire contents of his stomach. Poor fellow.

We waited for our ship to get closer to the Island and then we got off  to the Skellig Michael.

Skellig steps

Skellig steps

At the beginning of the climb was a guide waiting for us to give us instructions for the climb.

For safety reasons, because the steps up to the monastery are rocky, steep, and old, climbs are not permitted during very wet or windy weather.

Also if you are afraid of the heights or if you have dizziness is not advised to go up.

There is no fence, the climb is pretty long – there are 618 steps, handmade of rocks.

On the summit  you will find a remarkably well-preserved sixth century monastic settlement.

These monks of St. Fionan’s monastery led simple lives and lived in stone, beehive shaped huts wich you can see on Skellig Michael.

These huts, which were round on the outside and rectangular on the inside, were carefully built so that no drop of rain ever entered between the stones.

The monks left the island in the thirteenth century.

Beehive

Beehive

There is a fantastic wealth of bird life on and around the Skelligs,

especially puffins in late spring and gannets on the small Skellig where 23,000 pairs nest on every available ledge

making it the second largest gannet colony in the world.

We were there in the summer so we haven’t seen Puffins . Unfortunately.

The Gaelic monastery became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.

We stayed on the Island about 2,5 hours and then we went back to our boat.

Sea was little calmer and we had a nice ride back. We stopped for a while by the little Skellig to watch the birds and we saw some seals too.

Little Skellig

Little Skellig

It was the perfect trip. The Island is magical and I would love to come back when the Puffins are there.

I found the time spend in Cahersiveen and Portmagee was great. I just love those Irish little places.

If someone would offer me a job there I would pack my things and go this second 🙂

If you like calmer places this are the ones you should visit.

 

 

Cahersiveen

When I made plans for Ireland there was one place that caught my eye and that was Skellig’s Island.

I really wanted to visit that Island so I had to make plans how to get there.

All ships that are  going  to the Island are going from the Portmagee.

If you don’t travel with a car through Ireland than you have to make plans because is not very easy to get there.

There are only few bus lines and they are not running every day.

So I find a little hostel in the Cahersiveen that gives you free transport to the Portmagee

if you staying at they hostel and book a trip to Skellig through them. So we did that.

We took a bus in the morning from Cork to Cahersiveen.  We got there around 13h.

Bus station was opposite the hostel. The hostel  was Sive hostel http://www.sivehostel.ie/index.php

cahersiveen

cahersiveen

Very nice little hostel with great host Mary. We stayed in a private room in  old stone cottage which was lovely. 🙂

We left our stuff and went for a walk. Cahersiveen is a beautiful, little town.

Worth of staying a little longer there. We had a great time exploring the surroundings.

There you can see Royal Irish Constabulary barracks, now a heritage center and Daniel O’Connell Memorial Church.

Old Barracks Cahersiveen

Old Barracks Cahersiveen

There is also a beautiful Ballycarbery Castle. The Castle is not in good state but still looking incredibly.

ballycarbery castle

ballycarbery castle

I liked it very much. There is no entrance fee for visiting the Castle.

Near the Castle you can find two Forts – Cahergall Stone  Fort and Leacanabuaile Stone Fort.

Ring fort

Ring fort

Cahergall with walls approx 6 m high and some 3 m thick.

This dry stone wall fort is one of the best examples of an early medieval stone forts to be found on the Ring of Kerry.

There are also some nice beaches near and you can swim if you like,

but we were there in August and the water was sooooo cold i would never swim there.

There were a couple of brave Irish people who were swimming. Brrrrr. We just soaked our feet in the Atlantic ocean.

The nature surrounding us was incredible beautiful.

cahersiveen beach

cahersiveen beach

That was quite a walk, so if you don’t like long walks you should rent a bike or go with a car.

From Cahersiveen to the Castle, Forts and beach back to the hostel took us 4 hours.

With stops at every Fort, about 30 minutes at the beach and about 20 minutes at the Castle.

It was really worth it because you walk near  the fields with lots of sheep’s and every single resident says hello to you.

sheep

sheep

In these four hours it rained about 5 times and we changed from raincoat to t-shirt every 20 minutes.

When we got back we went to the supermarket and got something to eat, prepare it in our hostels kitchen and then went for some more sightseeing  in the town center.

We drank a beer and went back to hostel to sleep.

In the morning we are going to the Skellig’s Island.

 

 

Blarney

Blarney is a little town near Cork. There is  Blarney Castle and the famous Blarney Stone.

The famous stone is also known as the Stone of Eloquence.

Line for the Blarney stone

Line for the Blarney stone

You need to kiss it to gain the gift of eloquence. To kiss it, one has to lean backwards holding on to an iron railing .

I said to myself – I’m going to kiss that stone!

I have to say right away that it doesn’t work 😦

But  definitely is worth visiting the Blarney Castle.

Blarney_castle

Blarney_castle

We bought our tickets online on www.blarneycastle.ie.

We took  the no. 215 bus from Parnell Place Bus Station in Cork in the morning and went to Blarney.

You have buses all day long going from Cork to Blarney and back.

There is not just the Castle and the Stone, it’s the beautiful  nature that surrounds the Castle, the Lake,

trees from all over the World and also the Poison garden – with all kind of poisonous plants.

blarney_flower

blarney_flower

You can visit the Badgers cave .

When Cromwell’s general, Lord Broghill, besieged the castle and broke the tower walls he found only two trusty old retainers.

The main garrison had fled through this cave.

Then you should kiss the stone, maybe it would work for you 🙂 . There was quite a line for it.

Against the east wall of the Castle, you can see the ruins of a late eighteenth century Gothic mansion, known as ‘the Court’.

I really liked Rock Close, there you can find the Wishing Steps.

wishing_steps_blarney

wishing_steps_blarney

If you can walk down and back up these steps with your eyes closed  walking backwards – and without stopping for one moment to think of anything other than a wish,

then that wish will come true within a year. It’s not that easy , but it was fun.

Rock Close has the enchantment of a fairy glade and they say that in prehistoric times may well have been a place of Druidic worship.

Here you can find an ancient sacrificial altar, a Druid’s Circle, a hermit’s cave and a witch’s kitchen.

Around the Castle you can find different gardens.  One of them is Poison garden.

In this garden, the plants are so dangerous  that some are kept in cages.

It contains a collection of poisonous plants from all over the world including  Mandrake, Ricin and Opium.

Many of these are labelled with information about their toxicity and traditional and modern uses.

Except the Castle there is also a Blarney House.

Blarney house

Blarney house

Blarney House is a Scottish Baronial mansion. Very beautiful castle like house.

Our day in Blarney was perfect. There is really much to see there. I would recommend it to everybody.

 

 

 

 

Dingle Peninsula

Our second day in Cork we decided to take u Tour to Dingle Peninsula.Again we went with Paddywagon tours.

Our first stop was by the Lough Leane, a lake near Killarney. It is a part of Killarney National Park.

Then we went to Killarney. We done some sightseeing.

There you can see the St. Mary’s Cathedral, Ross Castle and Muckross House and Abbey.

Killarney is very popular destination.

There is also a bronze statue of two deer, representing the saving of Killarney red deer,the oldest species in the country.

They were brought back from near extinction about 40 years ago.

After Killarney we went to visit the Gallarus Oratory.

It is believed to be an early Christian church.The oratory is built of large cut stones.

Then we went to Dingle, the only town on the Dingle Peninsula.

There we had some lunch and after that we went for a walk.

Dingle is famous about Fungie – the dolphin.

He is the major attraction in Dingle because he’s coming to Dingle harbor since 1984.

There is a bronze statue of him in the city. Unfortunately we didn’t see him. Just the statue.

Then we were supposed to go back to Cork, but something happened on the way to Dingle that provide us another destination.

We stopped  in Peninsula to make some pictures.

When we got back to the bus and left our driver got a phone call about 5 minutes later that we have left 2 girls there.

We got back to get them and our driver was feeling very bad about it.

So before getting back to Cork, we went to Inch Beach. This beach is 5 kilometers long, 5 kilometers of sand.

It’s great for walking and there were lot of surfers.

The wind was blowing pretty hard but there were people swimming and surfing

while we were almost freezing.

 

 

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