WHUPS! We got a little caught up in life and forgot to update the blog with our Ireland trip adventures… WHUPS! XD About a month ago, we spent 5 days in Ireland with Tasha’s grandma, and here are those happenings!
The trip started in the early hours of the morning, right after Tasha’s mum picked us up at 4:30am to head to the airport, then from there, you guessed it! We took the plane to Ireland 😀 picked up our hire car and OFF WE WENT!

The first stop was super interesting, there is this old Manor House on the way to Kells where one of my ancestors died in. The house is called Headford Court, we waited outside for a while until we managed to pounce on one of the grounds keepers to ask permission to walk the grounds and take a look around. He was super cool about it, and we ended up accidentally taking his dog for a walk on our way around! Here I also discovered that IRISH PEOPLE ARE SUPER FRIENDLY AND SUPER HELPFUL

Afterwards we went straight to Kells, where the Book of Kells was kept for hundreds of years after completion. If you don’t know what that is, take a look at this link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Kells
Tasha and I wanted to head to Kells after seeing the animation “Secrets of Kells” which features the tower that is seen there. The history isn’t a pleasant one, as it’s about many of the Irish fleeing Viking invasions, a lot of people were sadly slaughtered, and you can see remnants of their past dotted around Ireland.
After stopping off at a cute little Cafe for some lunch, we continued on with our journey towards Castlebar! We decided to go there because that’s where a lot of Tasha and Jill’s ancestors came from, and we are hoping to find a lead to their past! One the way there, we came across a lot of old, abandoned houses that nature had reclaimed. I was shocked at the volume of them! But given the history of Ireland, where the population dropped from 8 million to only 3 million (LESS THAN NEW ZEALAND) It’s hardly surprising.
Once in Castlebar, we checked in at the bed and breakfast, before exploring the area for more food! We searched high and low for a good restaurant, or pub, but gave up and just got some food from Tesco XD we were all tired so didn’t want to wait around for food. Tasha and I grabbed some make-shift wraps while Jill had a prawn cocktail. We fell asleep soon afterwards after having a long day. Though the night was unsettled because of REASONS. It was a little too loud in the bedroom so Tasha and I decided to make camp on the bathroom floor…WHO KNEW COLD HARD TILES COULD BE SO COMFY? We actually got about 10 hours sleep!

The next day, we packed up, checked out, and made our way to the Irish Country Life Museum We tried to get there the day before, but we arrived just as it closed! Jill wanted to go there in hopes to find a link to their family tree, that perhaps someone might know the surname ‘Burke’ and where to find them. Turns out that there is a genealogy group that has a meeting there once a month at 11:30, and also turned out that we happened to be there at the exact day they held those meetings! Jill was super chuffed at that She got to have a small meeting with them while Tasha and I learnt more about the history of Ireland, specifically the Castlebar area. Tasha and I then decided to sneak into the meeting to see how Jill was doing, Tasha also asked a bunch of questions in hopes to find more information on my great grandmother, who came from Ireland. We managed to find out quite a few good sites we need to check out, and the Irish lady also recommended a few great tips to help us along the way! So fingers crossed, we might find some more information on my family and their life in Ireland.

Once we had finished, we decided to continue on our journey towards Clifden. Neither of us had family from there, but it looked pretty awesome, so we thought we’d do a stop off. The lady at the B&B we stayed at also recommended for us to check out Kylemore abbey, so that’s exactly what we did. Though unfortunately when we arrived, it wasn’t too far off closing time, so we decided to head to the next B&B and visit there the next day.

The drive to Clifden was breath-taking, we honestly didn’t expect to see much diversity in the landscape, but all it took was a turn in the road to be exposed to a vista of mountains, much like what you’d expect to see in the Scottish highlands! Streams and rivers snaked their way through the landscapes, mottled clouds drifted through the sky and the rain-soaked fields clung to low-hanging mists. We stopped off at a spot where an abandoned home sat, it’s worn walls draped with climbers among exposed bricks and grass. A small waterfall ran down the hill it was beside, feeding into a stream and in turn, fed into a river. We decided to take a break and climb our way down alongside the bridge we just crossed, the river flowed underneath, its sound could be heard as it stroked over smooth river-bed rocks, wrapping us in a blissful moment of serenity.
Spending only about 15 minutes there to soak in the atmosphere, we continued on our way.
We got to Clifden and checked into our B&B. Then we headed straight back out again in search for more food. We found a really neat restaurant by the quayside that had AMAZING food, in HUGE portions. The day ended with rain and a quick trip to the supermarket to buy a picnic for the next day, the evening was also filled with Irish music that swept into the streets from open doors and windows of the local pubs which was nice. Afterwards we headed straight to bed where Tasha and I slept like very tired rocks!
When we woke the next day, we decided to have breakfast at Kylemore Abbey to save time, though we arrived there a little too early and had to wait around in the rain for a bit before they opened their restaurant doors. There were a couple of other tourists who clearly had the same idea as us, because as soon as the doors opened we all poured inside, the welcoming smell of breakfast washed over us, making us even more eager to sit down and eat. We all settled for scones, which were literally the size of a child’s head…The Irish certainly know how to make baked goods. Everything there was homemade and looked delicious, I’d recommend visiting the abbey just for the food.
Now very well fed, we made our way up to the gardens and Abbey, which is situated at the foot of a mountain, neighbouring a lake. The setting was very tranquil, just being there, you can understand why they chose that spot to build a home. Other that the sound of passing tourists, trickling streams and birds singing, there was complete silence. No cars or planes, just peacefulness. It would have been amazing to have seen Kylemore in it’s prime time!
We spent about 4 hours wandering the grounds before heading to our next destination, Galway!
Galway was by far my (Shane! :D) highlight of the whole trip. The town itself was just so kooky, beautiful and it had so much character! Have a looksie at the photos to see what I’m on about.

But really, it’s one of those things you have to see to really appreciate. We had a good walk around the city center (getting a little wet from the storm cloud that were looming over us when we first arrived but soon disappeared as the day went on). We also stopped off to have lunch at a truly awesome little cafe called Fat Freddy’s which had wallpaper and posters and stuff up of of the comic Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, mainly featuring the cat of Fat Freddy. I had admittedly never heard of this comic (let alone read it) but I just loved the feel of the place, being the big comic nerd I am. AND the food was super nummy too, so WIN WIN! 😀

While there, we also went to the church there which was one of the most amazing churches I have ever seen (and considering I am in England, I have seen a few now). Again, it is one of those things that you need to see to appreciate as the camera simply does not catch the atmosphere of it all…

Soon after, we did the full round circle and went all the way back to Dublin! I do have to admit that I don’t really have amazing memories of Dublin for a few reasons…
The first being within an hour being there, someone tried to steal my hat directly off my head, which I actually made a comic about! As it shows in the comic, Tasha got rid of the guy fairly swiftly and all was well afterwards. The second reason I didn’t particularly like it there as it was quite a dirty place and, like London, it has far too many people packed into one tiny place. I swear that 90% of people in Ireland are within Dublin itself. I’m sure if there weren’t so many people there I would of liked it more but how we saw it I wouldn’t want to go back there in a great hurry. The other reason I didn’t enjoy it there was because I was feeling sick during the whole time we were there but you can hardly blame Dublin for that.

The first thing we did was scoff down some MASSIVE pancakes (trust me, they taste a lot nicer going down than coming back up DX) but still yummy none the less! After building up our energy, when headed directly into the heart of Dublin to find the Trinity College where they were holding The Book Of Kells which was housed in the tower at the town Kells we visited on day one, funnily enough. Sadly, we couldn’t get any photos of the book itself for preservation reasons, but we were able to look at the library afterwards.

Soon after that, we had a good walk around in the rain while trying to figure out how to get to Saint Patrick’s Cathedral because I’m petty sure it’s illegal to go to Dublin and not see it. Again, another AMAZING cathedral and again, you have to really be there to fully appreciate it all fully, atmosphere and all. There were lots of signs warning us of pickpockets in the cathedral, which was odd considering you do have to pay a bit to actually get in there. I can only presume that the pickpockets are the statues who silent rummage around in your pockets while you are mesmerised by looking at the stain glass windows or something.

After finding another cute little cafe to have a rest at (and for me to get rid of some yuck stuff in my tummy) we decided that we were all getting a little tired and decided walk along River Liffey to head back to the car and drive back to the airport. While we were there, the shooting at the Orlando gay bar just happened, and it was awesome to see that they had rainbow flags along the river at half mast to show respect to the victims and their families.

A few hours later of getting stuck in some quiet unpredicted Dublin traffic and dropping the car off, we were back on the plane back to Dorest! there’s no place like home… X3