Last month my grandparents came all the way from Australia to visit me in Austria and I absolutely loved it. They didn’t just come all that way to visit me though- seeing as it was their first time in Europe, of course, we had to do some traveling as well.
Visiting Ireland was a first for us all actually! Both Max and I had never been before, so it was new and exciting. 10 days! Starting in Dublin, we drove all around the country, we didn’t have a plan and it was great. The only planning we did, was car hire research and we booked each accommodation the night before.
The weather was really cold! Considering it was Summer in the rest of Europe we were not really expecting it to be quite like it was. But alas, it was a nice change from the 30+ degree days that we were having in Vienna.
For the entirety of the trip; the average temperature was 18 degrees. Combined with the cold winds- well, let’s just say it felt a bit colder. It rained every single day too! So take that into consideration when visiting. It rains in bursts for a few minutes and then stops. After talking to a few Irishmen about the weather, we were told (according to the locals) that this summer was one of the best they had in years. We found that hard to believe considering how cold it was!
We spent a couple of days in Dublin first and then we headed south. We drove along the coast and often took the scenic route, *which I really recommend- The views are just breathtaking. It will take you a bit longer but it is really worth it.
The scenic routes we took ended up being one of our favorite things we experienced. All the way along the beautiful coastlines, driving next to the great Atlantic Ocean, past endless green fields with rock fences and through sweet little towns.
I absolutely loved getting to spend this time with my grandparents- it was so so important to me because I live on the other side of the world from my entire family. Any little time I get with family is very special and makes me unbelievably grateful and happy. We laughed so hard, played eye spy and had a blast. Love you guys so much!
This is an overview of the entire trip! We managed to cover quite a lot of ground. We did about 1700 km over 8 days (because we spent two nights in Dublin) and we also spent two nights in Belfast.
The border between The Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom was really just a line on google maps- otherwise, we would not have even noticed ~ until we were told to pay in pounds. Then it was time to convert some of our euros. We also stopped at many places for lunch or cake and coffee not shown on the map.
1. Hiring a car and traveling around is the best way to visit Ireland! There is just so much to see and you can choose when and where you want to stop. There are places you might come across along the way and you can easily stop and have a look. The scenery is stunning and it only takes a couple of hours to go from the east to the west for example.
2. Staying in little towns off the beaten track means fewer tourists and finding more unique/quirky accommodation. We stayed a night in a gorgeous thatch house called “White Stone Cottage” down along the Ring of Kerry and it was so sweet and really unique. A little out of the way but so worth it. Highly recommend!
3. A really fantastic place to learn about Irish immigration history is both the ‘Ulster American Folk Park’ -which might I add, had hardly any tourists! and ‘EPIC’ The Irish Immigration Museum in Dublin, both of which were interactive and very informative. We found it really interesting to learn about Irish history/and the history of many Australian ancestors.
4. Something else worth seeing is the Titanic museum in Belfast! This was absolutely incredible and truly the best museum I have ever been too. Very interactive, and just fantastic for anyone who is a fan of the Titanic (and not just of the movie haha)
5. Try ‘Soda bread’ its a traditional Irish bread, they served with soup and I loved it so much. Also, eat as many scones with butter and jam as you can because ughhhh that was heavenly! and something I can’t seem to find in Austria. (Why? Why?!)
Ireland was surprising in the best possible way! We had a fantastic time. The Irish people are friendly and welcoming and we loved it. This was my first time here and it won’t be my last time.
Have you been to Ireland before? If so, what did you like about it? Would love to hear from you!
Until next time,
– CC. xx