It has been four months since our trip to Ireland. It took me all summer to muster up the motivation to sort through all of my photos and condense them down to a handful. The trip was, hands down, the best experience of my life. I don’t travel the world often and I really hate flying so it took me a while to gain the courage to fly across the ocean, but I’m so glad I did. Ireland was a dream. It was everything I imagined it would be and more. The pictures just don’t do it justice! I think of those special memories often, this romantic week tucked in the back of my mind.
We were able to take this trip through my husband’s work and they took VERY good care of us. Usually when we travel, we are pinching pennies and being as frugal as possible. We were completely out of our element staying in five star hotels and eating at the finest restaurants. I could totally get used to that style of traveling 😉
We started in Dublin. The city was beautiful and full of history. Truman’s favorite part was the Guinness brewery tour. I’m not much of a beer drinker so I didn’t appreciate the real Guinness as much as he did, but apparently the stuff in Ireland is much better than what we have in the U.S. After a few days in the city, we took a train to Killarney to experience the beautiful countryside of Ireland. I enjoy cities, but I was mostly looking forward to this part. We took a three hour train ride and I was SO excited for it because I had always wanted to ride on a train. However, it was the worst. I don’t really get motion sickness, but something about riding backwards and the cart shaking back and forth made for a pretty miserable ride. The scenery was still breathtaking as we passed many pastures and cute, little cottages along the way.
We stayed at The Europe hotel and it was STUNNING. When I think of Ireland, I don’t think “mountains” so I was pleasantly surprised when this was our view from the hotel. The first thing we did when we arrived was walk down to the dock to take it all in. After a long morning of travel, I snuggled up on one of the chairs by the pool to read a book.
We took a few tours on the trip and my favorite was the Dingle Peninsula tour. We rode a bus all along the peninsula and stopped in Dingle to experience small-town living. Unfortunately, we caught a really gloomy and rainy day so we couldn’t see most of the views off the coast. Our tour guide told us it was a true shame because it’s one of the most beautiful things to see in Ireland. Through the fog and rain we could barely make out the site where they filmed the last scene from the most recent Star Wars.
On our final day, we set out early in the morning to take a tour through the Gap of Dunloe. It felt a lot like Colorado, but getting to listen to the tour guide’s rich Irish accent as he led us via horse and carriage was extra special.
Once we got back from our tour, Truman treated me to an afternoon at the beautiful spa in the hotel. I spent time in the steam room, I floated in the salt water tub, and relaxed in the sun with a good book before my massage. After my massage, they led me to a special room with heated lounge chairs overlooking the mountains. A small heated pool was attached and I lay over the side, listening to the water and the birds. It had been mostly chilly and rainy while we were there, but on that day the sun was trying to peek through the clouds. That moment was the most restful moment of my life. I listened to the birds chirp and just praised God for this amazing opportunity. I never grow tired of experiencing His beauty and it felt like a big kiss on the cheek to have an entire afternoon of quiet and rest. I think back to that scene often when I need to escape my mind for a moment. I hope that I’m fortunate enough to return someday.
I want to go back to Ireland so badly. There was so much of the country that we didn’t have time to see and there are many things that I want to see again. I’m so thankful for the experience. Ireland captured a piece of my heart and we hope to return again! (Maybe next time in the summer when it’s *slightly* warmer.)