The World Tour of Ireland [1]

giant's causeway

Ahh, the Giant’s Causeway. One of Northern Ireland’s great icons and one of the many wet and windy places to feature on our World Tour of Ireland. When Charles Darwin landed in New Zealand he exclaimed how deary and damp it was. Did he ever visit Ireland? For being the guy who came up with the Theory of Evolution, he sure knew nothing about rain.

In fact it rained almost the entire time my parents were in Ireland; though that did not stop us from taking our ‘world tour’!

paddywagon ireland

Photo by: J Farndon

We left Dublin on Sunday morning, two nights after the Big Irish Wedding, in Tiernan’s Paddywagon. Here we all are! Six of us in a 16 seater. That’s more than to seats each! That bus would be our home for 8 days.

Although they are mostly known for their standard day and multi-day tours, Paddywagon can arrange a driver, coach and customise an itinerary with you. Β I invented an 8 day, 7 night cross-section of the Irish countryside that I’m going to share with you over the next couple of blogging days.

Let’s do it!

rock of dunamase

Day One

It normally takes about three hours to drive from Dublin to Cork on the motorway. Our cross section took most of the day with stops in some of Tiernan’s and my favourite places.

The Rock of Dunamase was grey, damp and thoroughly abandoned – the perfect spot for some morning clambering!

rock of dunamase

castle climb

rock of dunamase

We love abandoned castles. Fortunately, Ireland has hordes! Many stand, like Dunamase, as complete ruins and are completely unconsidered by most tourists.

Other abandoned castles, however, attract the attention of millions. Blarney was our lunch stop (Irish Stew!) followed by a very long stroll around the grounds. Jack and I made a complete cross-section of the Woollen Mill store, as well.

Blarney Castle Winter

From Blarney we drove in mostly darkness for Killarney. I won’t wax lyrical about how cool Killarney is again. I’ll just link you to every post I’ve done on it. Here. Here. Here. Here. Here. Here.

Genting Thai for dinner. This little restaurant, hidden away in Inisfallen Mall, was one of the first meals out Tiernan and I had as a dating couple. Still good after all this time. Still has golden flatware.

Day Two

killarney national park

Killarney National Park was completely flooded. This twarted our plan for a morning stroll to Ross Castle. Even with boots the water was too deep to bother wading and Tiernan drove us up to the sodden castle in the coach.

After such a busy couple of weeks we all appreciated the sleep in and the mugs of hot chocolate from New Street cafes.

slea head

But we could not stay in town all day. Dingle seemed a good lunch destination and the Slea Head drive could still be enjoyed from the comfort of the coach!

Kerry is a unique county. It’s the only place I know of with an underwater bridge, where the river flows over the road…

slea head

dingle blasket ferry

slea head

slea head donkey

I think this saturated donkey really sums up our second day on tour. It wasn’t even heavy rain, just a constant misty drizzle. As many people have said, there’s no such thing as a bad weather, only inappropriate clothing. The best thing you can do in Ireland is rug up and persist – particularly if you’re on holiday and only have one attempt!

I think it’s time for an abrupt ending.



8 thoughts on “The World Tour of Ireland [1]

  1. When we visited Killarney in 2009, it was flooded as well and we couldn’t even get to Ross Castle. They were using inflatable rafts to go looking for people. It’s definitely on my list of places to return to in the summer.


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