Thursday, July 13, 2017

Dark Hedges & Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge - July 8

We woke up in Belfast to a beautiful, sunny day! We were so happy to see the sun!

Our first stop was the dark hedges, a couple hours north of Belfast. A scene in Game of Thrones was filmed here, so it's a popular spot. It was a really beautiful!

Next we drove to the north most part of the island. Northern Ireland is so pretty!

There was a rope bridge - Carrick-a-rede - that went to a tiny island that we crossed. It was a bit scary for me to cross, but the boys had no problem!

Just down the road from the rope bridge was the Giant's Causeway. It was amazing! It's an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns from a volcanic eruption. It was pretty unbelievable!

More scenery on our drive:

One last stop before we went back to Belfast. We stopped at the Bushmills Distillery and went on a tour of their whiskey making facilities. It was actually very interesting and informative!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Connemera Loop & Trim Castle- July 6 & 7

July 6 - From Galway we headed north to the Connemera Loop. It was a beautiful drive around the north west side of the island, with lots of fancy castles. 

The roads were extra narrow and we might have got lost a time or two ;)
We planned on a few more castles, but we didn't find them.

Cliften Castle:
We walked about 20 minutes on a path through a farmers field to get to Cliften Castle.

Lots of sheep along the way:

I think this was one of the prettier ruins, with all the ivy surrounding the castle:

Next on the loop - Kylemore Abbey. A gorgeous fully restored castle that is now a hotel.

Towards the end of the loop was Ashford Castle. Also beautiful and now a fully restored hotel.

The gardens were the best part of this castle.

We stopped in Athlone for the night after a long day of driving :)

July 7 - We drove east back toward Dublin and then north, on our way to Belfast. 

Our only stop of the day. Trim Castle. Trim is the castle and area that the Braveheart movie was filmed at.

It was huge!

 From Trim castle we went north to Belfast in Northern Ireland.

Once we got to Belfast, we went to the Titanic Museum. The Titanic was built in Belfast, it was very interesting!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Cliffs of Moher & Galway - July 5

More exploring and castles ahead!

 Our first stop was the Bunratty Castle. It was pretty big with lots of gardens and area around it to explore.

This castle we were able to climb to the top.

Next was the Cliffs of Moher on the west side of Ireland. This was one of my favorite places that we visited. The cliffs and scenery were very beautiful!

Little bit of a scary path, right on the edge of the cliff!

Close to Galway was Dunguaire Castle.

We couldn't go into this castle, so we just admired it from the outside.

Across the street from the castle was this cute thatched roof house. It looked straight out of a fairytale to me. There was an 80 year old man climbing on the roof to repair it and I'm sure he knew what he was doing, but I was a little concerned for him.

After we checked into our hotel in Galway, we went for dinner and ice cream. We walked up and down the streets, watched street performers and window shopped for a bit. I really liked Galway, it was my favorite Irish city.