Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Sligo and N. Ireland, and then I'm done.

I swear.

After galway, we stayed for a night in Sligo, just south of Donegal.  Sligo is also the birth and resting place of W. B. Yeats, if thats your thing.  Also, don't pronouce Yeats "Yeets" because Irish people will not hesitate to correct you, (as Matt learned the hard way.)
Sligo was full of rainbows, and oysters!  Matt and I ended up sneaking away from my family one night to stuff our faces with oysters at Yeats Tavern.  Normally, i wash my oysters down with a dirty martini, but they had never heard of it, so i had to settle for wine instead.
Our B&B had a stunning view of Ben Bulben, a natural plateau which i totally intend to hike up next time we are there.  After leaving Sligo, we headed up to Northern Ireland.  My mom never got to visit before because of the conflict, so we wanted to take advantage.  We drove along the causeway passage, which is basically a beautiful coastal road.  We stopped at Mussenden temple so that i could chase some sheep, and Matt could take 3,000 more pictures.  (I didn't really chase the sheep.  It started raining, so i started running through the field and it startled all of them.)

Mussenden's temple was ok, but i liked the sea view better.

After the temple, i was starving as always.  We stopped in Bushmills, the most beautiful little town ever, and a nice lady at a cafe made me a cheese toastie.  (so much cooler to say than grilled cheese, which is a blatant lie if you think about it)  After lunch, we went to bushmills distillery for a tour and tasting.
If you are in Ireland, skip The Jameson tour - but the Bushmills tour is a MUST!  Its the oldest licensed distillery in the world - operating since 1608!  A huge fire destroyed most of the distillery about 100 years ago, but they rebuilt, and that is what stands today.  This tour actually takes you through the warehouse to see how whiskey is made, bottled, and distributed, as well as the aging warehouse, filled to the rafters with barrels of whiskey.  So awesome.  You also drink both before and after the tour, which is smart, because by the time i left, i was drunk enough to buy a very nice bottle of whiskey to bring home.
We left Bushmills and raced to see Giant's Causeway before the sun set.  It was quite the race, and Matt and i ended up running close to a mile, fairly drunk on whisky, in order to make it to the hexagonal volcanic rocks.  These geometric rocks formed naturally, and are staggered along the coast in one small area.  It was unlike anything i have seen before.  We got to watch the sun set, and then spent our last night in a little B&B before flying back in the morning!

Obviously, this is the extremely abridged version of our trip as i don't want to bore you, but i would highly recommend both the Dublin Marathon, or just about any part of Ireland to anyone - Its a great place to visit, and I am already plotting to return!


  1. That Bushmills tour sounds awesome. I wonder if you ordered a Coke to go along with it if they would be insulted? :-) Those hexagonal rocks are wild. I am booking my trip to Ireland soon!

  2. I still can't believe you were just in IRELAND...I mean that's not just a little trip to Mpls or something...IT's Freakin Ireland! Tooo cool!

  3. wow....what an AWESOME trip! I've wanted to go there I've really been enjoying your trip vicariously.

  4. I am never saying "grilled cheese" again. From this day forward it will always be a cheese toastie!
    You will have to save your fancy whiskey for a special occasion. When we were in Puerto Rico for our honeymoon we took the Bacardi tour. They give you free drinks, but our tour guide was awesome and had extra drink tickets so we got tanked. Like super duper drunk. I think I spent over $100 in the gift shop before we left on fancy rum and glassware. The rum I bought at the time hadn't been released yet so I felt super cool.

  5. Aaahhhhh thank you for this. Brings back so many memories. I need to go back.

  6. That rainbow pic is so beautiful. All the pics are so beautiful. Have you shared Matt's pics anywhere yet? I think we need more Ireland posts!!!!

  7. Those pics are stunning! you can keep the vacation recaps coming! I swear I wont complain as I live vicariously through you. Ive always wanted to see the Giants Causeway. :)

  8. Love it, love it, love it. The pictures are GORGEOUS! I am enthralled by those geometric rocks. Nature is an incredible thing. Between running the Dublin Marathon and all your sightseeing, you really experienced life like an Irish local! (which is the best way to visit any place, in my opinion!)