At 6:00AM M and I boarded a flight from Edinburgh to Dublin, Ireland, for the second part of our trip. It was our 4th day with a very early wake-up call and despite being exhausted and cranky when we landed in Dublin, we dropped off our bags and attempted to explore the city.
After stumbling around for a while we realized we should probably feed ourselves and try to wake up. We searched for a local Irish breakfast spot and found the perfect place to fill our bellies.
Whilst we had hoped Irish breakfast and coffee would wake us up, we felt more tired than ever. So we returned to the hotel and worked in the lobby until we were able to check into our room. OK…maybe we fell asleep on the couches.
Eventually, we were allowed into our room where we took a long nap before heading back out to Temple Bar for dinner. We first walked up and down the famous street checking out the quaint little pubs. We even walked around Temple Bar for a bit before heading out to find some dinner. We landed on a pretty big pub that we did not realize was touristy until it was too late.
We ordered a cider, beer, Shepard’s pie, and bangers & mash, before heading back to the Temple Bar for a few drinks and live music. M enjoyed a beer and I got my favorite, a shot of Baileys to sip.
The next day we slept in a bit before heading out to our first stop, Trinity college. There we took some photos and headed over for our Book of Kels tour. There was no one in line, and not very many in the museum. So we worked our way through pretty quickly. I am assuming this was due to us visiting in January.
Unfortunately, we were not able to take any photos but it was pretty cool to see the books and learn about the history.
After the book of Kels, you enter the Trinity library. Which is basically the dream library of everyone who loves dark colored wood, busts of philosophers, and old books.
Our stop at Trinity college was pretty quick, which meant we could still eat breakfast before noon! After some searching, we found a cute spot at Temple Bar. It turned out to be a gay bar that serves FANTASTIC breakfast! It was def in the top 5 of best avocado toast I have ever had.
It is important to note here that we did not pack for the weather properly. We checked the weather the day before we left and believe we had planned accordingly. However, as soon as we left home it was as if the winds shifted and a cold front began rolling in. We were FREEZING!
We huddled and waddled ourselves over to St. Patricks church. It was beautiful on the outside, but you had to pay to go inside. We will never pay to go inside a church.
It was getting super chilly and starting to snow. So we decided to head back but popped into a souvenir shop first. We bought a few trinkets, M got a beanie, and I bought some Bailey’s chocolate truffles.
We braved the elements and returned outside to get to our hotel. We warmed ourselves up until later in the evening when we had our Guinness tour scheduled.
These brewery tours can sometimes be hit or miss. We have seen some really cool ones that go all out, then there have been others that honestly look like they just guided us through their storage unit.
Fortunately, the Guinness one was pretty cool! Lots of interactive set-ups, we even got to learn the right way to pour a Guinness. Not as easy as you would think.
Then at the end of the tour, we went to their top floor bar, the Gravity Bar. We enjoyed some drinks and found a nice spot to sit for a while.
As we sat in the bar surrounded by windows, we got to watch this giant cloud puffed up with snow take over the city and leave a blanket of thick fresh powder. It would have been pretty cool if we didn’t have to go outside to get back to our hotel.
For dinner, we ended up finding a nice local pub near our hotel. I got some incredible shepherds pie, complete with a side of fries.
mmm, potatoes with a side of potatoes.
Overnight, the winter storm continued and left us with inches of snow. Every channel on tv was discussing the #stormemma or the #beastfromtheeast. Advising everyone to stay off the roads and prepare to not leave home for the next few days.
Good time to start a road trip.
We checked out of our hotel and picked up our rental car from the airport. I got a bit more nervous when the guy behind the rental counter kept stressing how careful we needed to be. Lovely.
We got on the road and prepared for the worst. On top of the snowy conditions, Ireland drives on the left side of the road. Lovely.
We got on the freeway, greeted by fairly clear roads. The only issue was a dirty windshield that just got worse the more the windshield wipers went. We attempted to follow the GPS but at some point, it told us to start taking side roads due to traffic, we did not see any traffic but followed the GPS hoping it would be best. It actually added a bunch of unnecessary time to our trip, followed by blocked slippery hills, getting stuck in the snow once and side road traffic for no real reason.
Along with our trip down the side roads, people driving the opposite way would stop numerous times to give us a heads up on slippery roads or better routes to take. One time, when we were stuck in traffic a man told us to turn around because ‘it is just terrible.’
M and I didn’t know if it was terrible due to traffic or weather conditions. We took our chances and turns out it was just traffic. This entire town in the suburbs of Dublin was freaking out over 45 min of traffic. Cute.
We eventually found our way back onto the freeway and the conditions were surprisingly smooth. A bit of rain, but we made it to our next destination, Waterford.
Yes, that Waterford. We scheduled a tour to see just how the famous Waterford crystal was made. We grabbed lunch at their cafe (a casual place with casual Waterford crystal chandeliers hanging from the ceiling). I had a particularly good chicken and stuffing wrap, then we began our tour.
Do you know what the difference is between crystal and glass? Lead.
We toured their facilities and saw the entire process of designing the crystal, forming the glass, to carving and polishing. It was pretty interesting.
At the end of our tour, we picked up a few souvenirs then got back on the road.
We had a short drive to a small town we were staying in. Once we arrived we couldn’t help but notice how adorable the country was.
At first, we thought we booked a cute B&B above a restaurant. Turns out it was a completely empty bar with some rooms available in a hotel-like attic. We believe we were the only people to be staying at the hotel (and possibly the whole town), potentially the only visitors in the entire town. Part of this may have been due to the “terrible storm”.
We got a drink at the attached bar and asked where we could get some dinner. Our bartender/concierge suggested a restaurant just down the street. We stepped out into the freezing cold and found one place. Now get ready for this and keep in mind this is a Wednesday night around 8:00PM – typically when Europeans eat dinner.
The first place’s restaurant was closed so they suggested another spot. Which was closed. So we ran – carefully over the ice – to a third bar, which did not have a restaurant. But there was a nice lady that pointed us to another place. We headed over to restaurant number 4, as soon as we walked in some man shouted, ‘what do you want?’ We thought the answer was obvious, food. But he said the restaurant was closed and suggested an Irish place.
It was not until stop number 5 we found food. After running block after block through the cold we did it!
And not only was it great food, but the place was filled with Irish accents and left us with a few funny stories.
We sat at a cozy table near the bar, where an elderly man sat finishing up his Guinness. After a few moments he paid his tab and the waitress helped him put on his jacket.
“Don’t come back tomorrow if it is too icy!” She told the old man, he was clearly a regular in this small town.
“Well Jeez, I won’t then!” He grumbled.
As he closed the door behind him, she shouted, “Guinness isn’t worth it!”
It was adorable.
After dinner, we rushed back to our bar/hotel room for the night.
An early start began our day due to the threat of the worst snowstorm in Ireland in the past 30 years. Originally, we had a few stops for our road trip like the Blarney Castle and the Killarney National Park. Both of which were closed due to the snow. So we headed to our next B&B.
Our last destination in Ireland was Shanon, where we would fly to the UK. The only issue is we probably would have hit icy snow covered roads if we wait until after the storm to drive there.
Our B&B host was gracious enough to let us cancel the reservation and even find another place closer to the airport. We found a nice B&B by the airport and dove there immediately. Beating the snow by a couple hours.
It wasn’t a completely wasted day, we saw some cool castles and pretty scenery. Not very green, nor completely white, but it was fun to see some of the countryside.
We arrived at a sweet B&B run by an older Irish couple. There were beautiful rooms available and a full Irish breakfast every morning. As we settled in M checked our flight status for the next day and it turns out our flight was canceled. Guess we would be staying at the B&B for an additional night.
The storm was due to stop by in a few hours so we stepped out to grab a quick lunch. Then headed back to our room and waited.
The storm was all over the news. Anchors were warning people to stay inside and stock up on food. While we were huddled up, there was a knock on our bedroom door. Our host told us the Irish Times had called and were wondering if the B&B had any stranded travelers. They asked us a few questions about our travels and being stranded. It was a pretty basic interview…I don’t suspect they will be calling to follow up.
It was time for dinner and there appeared to be no storm. So we took our chances and grabbed food at a nearby hotel. A couple of ciders, Guinness, and good pub food held us over. We left with no snow in sight.
The next morning was a nice break, we got to sleep in a bit but not before our B&B stopped serving breakfast. A couple pieces of toast, fried eggs, sausage, and grilled tomatoes. So so good.
We check the damage from the storm and there was snow…but as a girl from California, even I have to say, I have seen much worse. It was probably a few inches of snow and there was nothing but blue skies. Confused if this was indeed the ‘best from the east’ we hung out in our room a bit before heading out.
We had the entire day to explore the somewhat small town of Shannon. There was not much in the town but we did see tons of snowmen. Families and tourists decided to spend the day building snowmen, the more we drove the more impressive the ice sculptures became.
We continued to drive around, stopping by a castle in Limrock then grabbing lunch at another nearby hotel.
It was then tea time. Yes. TEA TIME!
Our host made the most delicious scones, tea, and coffee for us as we worked in the downstairs living room. It was lovely!
The rest of our evening was pretty relaxed. We enjoyed some dinner and a quiet evening in, hoping for more snow. But not so much that our flight would be canceled the next morning.
We woke up to our host’s delicious Irish breakfast, checked out, and headed to the cliffs of Mohr. It was a bit of a drive but not too bad, until we were about a mile away from the cliffs. The road was covered in snow and there was no driving through it.
So we parked the car and began walking, in the snow, in clothes that showed – we were not prepared for the snow. We made our way through and eventually made it to the cliffs. The view was pretty great, very snowy, and very bare. No really, we were the only people there.
Except for this other American couple who also got snowed in and were looking for things to do.
We took some quick photos then began walking back to our car to make our flight. On the walk back we saw many other tourists asking about the view and the hike. We even saw some tourists from New York, in shorts, and drinking beer as they made their walk. We all laughed at the hysteria that was surrounding this snow storm.
We drove to the airport and hung out in the lobby enjoying a few drinks before the anticipated flight to London. Now, I am scarred of flying so M snuck a few Cider cans into our bag to bring on the plane with us. Completely innocent. Or so we thought.
Halfway through the flight we started to toss them back and ended up getting scolded by the flight attendent. Apparently, you are not allowed to bring your own alcohol. So we downed them and then crossed our legs for the rest of the flight.
We landed then headed to the hotel. M went back out for Chipotle, a tradition whenever we are reasonably close to one in Europe.