After visiting Belfast and Northern Ireland, it was time to regroup- 2 days in Dublin was needed.
On that Tuesday (July 8) we got up early for a trip to Kilmainham Gaol. This jail played a part in several Irish indepence battles from the 1780s to the 1920s.
It’s recommended to go early in the morning, before it gets backed up with tourists. We spent a good amount of time there, and it’s a great experience. In the US, we don’t learn a lot about the Irish fights for independence, and it’s hard to believe that it all happened so recently- compared to our fight against the British.
We went up to Howth for lunch, and it was a gloriously sunny day (for the most part!)
That night, we did a Literature Pub crawl. For some reason, it wasn’t as fun as mom and I remembered, but maybe it’s because it was the same characters and we had done the charades already. We DID manage to catch several of the German goals against Brazil, and took a selfie in the pub while watching the German victory! Michael was wearing his German jersey, so he got a lot of high fives.
On Wednesday, we did the morning run with Michael, and had a breakfast in a cafe down the street.
Dad needed to play some golf, and we explored the coast! Greystones was a great choice- no pictures from there, but we were able to go to a rocky beach and take some naps.
Then, we headed to Dun Laoghaire (pronounced done- leary) because we heard it was a great coastal town. It was definitely more posh than Greystones, probably due to the large harbor and all the yachts that were ready to set sail. We lucked out on the day- it was so beautiful!
Dad had a great time golfing and didn’t get back until late- he said that he had a hard time understanding the Irish accent, but many thanks to my co-worker Karl for volunteering to take him! We needed to rest up, because the next two days were going to be spent on the West of the country.
We ended up taking a guided tour bus to the Cliffs of Mohr, the Burren, and Connemara- and getting off of the tour after Galway and staying the night. The Burren is an interesting place to check out- it almost feels like the moon. You are surrounded by rock everywhere, and you have to think- who would choose to live here, in a place so uninhabitable?
Galway is a pretty big party town, as mom and I found out when we were here in February. It wasn’t so bad on a Thursday night, but we did catch people washing the streets with soap and water the next morning… Went to MacDonaughs for fish, as it’s one of the best in Galway:
Had some pints that night, and went right to bed.
Up early the next morning for a trip out to the Aran Islands- we went to Inishmore, the largest one. It’s pretty rustic, and was cold even in July. There were some kids taking swimming lessons in the water- without wetsuits! How can they manage?! Most of the language on the signs is still all Gaelic, and this island had almost a deserted feel to it. They are known for their wool and knitting (since it’s almost always breezy and chilly) so we picked up some Aran Island sweaters… Much needed. The last picture there is from a hike up to the Dun Aengus fort.. great views, similar to the Cliffs.
Jam packed day, and we had to rush from the bus station to catch the last train back from Galway to Dublin. The boys enjoyed the train ride again, and I enjoyed hanging out them them and not being on a cramped bus!
By this time, the Cheaney family adventure was winding down. One last day in Dublin, and we took it easy. Did a lot of walking, but also spending some together time- as Ben would head back to Chicago, Mom/Dad/Mac would go back to North Carolina.
Hopefully Michael will be somewhere in Europe in the spring, and we can have another vacation/Cheaney Adventure!