The romance of the rails. That’s how this part of the journey began. On a train with bistro-style seating and a mobile snack cart, we looked out upon the Irish countryside. Two and a half hours of serene, lush farmland for the eye to see. Cows, sheep, a team of black horses galloping the land… Talk about otherworldly, all right. Our two gents slept for most of the tranquil ride. 🙄
Arriving for our short stay in Galway, we walked one block to Budget to pick up our Lava Red Opel Corsa. Right? What the hell is that?! It’s a hatchback. Apparently, the cars we know have different names in Ireland. Who knew! My husband—a diehard Toyota Tacoma man—spotted his trusty pickup branded as a Toyota HILUX. It sounds a bit more luxe, no? I think so.
Our Airbnb was, in a word, baller (and so affordable for a group of four). A charming blend of old meets new, we quickly settled into the bright, two-bedroom, basement apartment of a three-story Victorian home. Our hosts—Rory and Ursula—were a pleasure. This spacious accomodation included a large foyer, two rooms, an eat-in kitchen, a splendid sitting area, a full bath, washer/dryer and a beautiful atrium-like view of the gardens outside. Going out on a limb here: it was my favorite Airbnb stay yet.
We tinkered toward town, a quick five-minute walk away. Of course, two traveling photographers adds on a bit of time. 😆 Naturally, we were astounded by the beautifully-maintained and colorful architecture once again, oh, and those ridiculous palm trees, too.
We ambled downtown to get our footing and found ourselves at Bierhaus, a hip craft beer and cocktail joint at the T-section of Henry Street, William Street West and Dominick Street Upper—a moody little joint, with medieval logo flair, and the perfume of delicious seafood from the quaint, subway-tiled, open kitchen corner.
Speaking of seafood, the Irish have got it goin’ onnn. And that’s coming from happily transplanted New Englander. 😱 With hunger abounding, our wandering crew sauntered over to Hooked, a family owned eatery with smorgasbord of seafood sustenance. We dined on Alis Seafood Chowder, Monkfish cheeks, Fish Tacos, the Crispy Fish Burger and fresh-baked Fish Pie.
And Irish bread and butter … to die for. Every dish was so fresh and beyond reproach. The waitstaff couldn’t be friendlier, too.
After our bellies were full, we made way to The Crane Bar, a “traditional watering hole” and the local evening music scene. For hours we chatted over pints of Guinness with our barkeep—Rory—about this magical place among various entertaining tidbits. We capped off the night at The Universal, a cozy, art-filled, modern space with damn good cocktails. 🍸 The evening unraveled into two rivalries, Team Pam + Team Karen. Office fans out there, you feel me. #teampam
Sunshine (and some sunshowers) filled our windows in the morn. After soaking up our adorable sitting room for as long as possible, we found breakfast at Urban Grind, a precious and energetic cafe with a courtyard. Opting for the daily special—a take on the traditional Irish breakfast—we savored our grub over fresh-brewed lattes. We befriended a little birdie as well.
These four wanderers hopped into our sweet ride because it was time to embark THE CLIFFS OF MOHER!!!! With mild trepidation, we embarked the reversed traffic lanes of Ireland. I’m not even joking; the city streets appear as one-ways and you’re not quite sure what waits beyond the winding bend. Is it vehicular death? Perhaps. I’m quite delighted we didn’t pick up that stick shift in Dublin. I drive a standard errryday, but this was some, hands down, crazy shit.
We’re talking narrow, curvy, uphill and Z-shaped, two-lane “highways” butting up against rock walls with a speed limit of 100 km (62 mph). Pretty awesome. Mildly terrifying. Seems to work great though. How curious.
An hour and forty-minutes later we arrived to Ireland’s natural wonder. Breathtaking is an understatement and photos don’t do this place any justice. Imagine it: colossal cliffs staggering in the far distance, crystal, turquoise blue ocean waters crashing up 214 metres (702 feet) in the air, sending rain-like droplets splattering upon sightseers, the neighboring farmland sprinkled with the cutest sheep you ever did see along the pedestrian walkway … This, quite possibly, could be heaven.
Leaving the park grounds, it is recommended to use extreme caution due to INSANE wind. Woo doggy! They’re something else. They’ll close off the cliffs to tourists on terribly windy days. Word on the street: there’s been some unexpected, windswept fatalities. With what we experienced, I can’t even imagine what that feels like. 😬
If you’re considering visiting the Cliffs of Moher, do it. There’s magic in the air. You will be astonished at what you come to find, in both body and soul. Worth every sleepless part of this ambitious adventure. 🤘🏻
Stay tuned for adventures in Kinsale, Part III!!
Central Victorian Apartment
2 Henry St, Galway, H91 E271, Ireland
+353 91 587 766
65 Henry Street, Galway, Ireland
+353 91 581752
The Crane Bar
2 Sea Road, Galway, Ireland
+353 91 587419
9 William St W, Galway, Ireland
+353 91 728 271
8 William Street W Galway, Ireland
+353 91 375 000
Bell Book and Candle
Small Crane, Sea Road, Galway, Ireland
+353 91 589 060
Dr. Clare Apothecary + Clinic
9 Sea Rd, Galway, Ireland
+353 91 583 260