We started our trip in Dublin, home of Ireland's most famous beer:
Me at the Guinness Storehouse!
One of the things you can do at the Guinness Storehouse is pull your own pint. Here I am pulling mine while the lady
It tasted really good too. I hadn't had Guinness before I went to Ireland and I wasn't sure whether I'd like it or not, but it turns out I'm a Guinness fan! Yay!
The other drink that Dublin is well known for, although it's not actually made there any more, is Jameson:
Here we have the rather impressive bar at the Jameson Whiskey Museum. I had a whiskey cocktail there. It was lovely.
Moving out of Dublin, we come to the Rock of Cashel:
So pretty. Shame about the scaffolding. (But it's necessary conservation work so I can't really complain.)
Speaking of pretty, here's Kilkenny Castle:
The inside is more 19th century manor house than 13th century castle, but it's still pretty cool.
Heading further down south found us in the pretty seaside town of Cobh, with its rather spectacular and completely out of place cathedral:
Yeah, I seriously did not expect to find something like that there!
Now, remember how I said that Jameson Whiskey isn't made in Dublin any more? It's now made in Midleton, which has its own distillery tour, so naturally we had to go there too:
Paul showing his appreciation for our whiskey drinks. His was a Jameson & lime. Mine was neat Jameson. Both were lovely.
Time for another Castle as we head to Blarney, home of the famous Blarney Stone (which, as I said, I did not kiss. Oh well, I've lived this long without being particularly eloquent. I'm sure I can go on that way.)
All this time we've been travelling steadily west, and here I am in Waterville, on the Ring of Kerry, with the Atlantic Ocean behind me:
It's ever so slightly windy.
I had my hair in a plait to try and keep it from flying everywhere but quite a lot managed to escape anyway. And if you ever wondered what I might look like with short hair, I have an answer for you:
Not too bad, actually.
Also, I took some photos of a field of cows and one of them gave me a look of such disdain I feel I have to include it:
"What on earth do you think you are doing? Foolish human."
Bunratty Castle was next. Here I am making important decisions and leading my people:
Bunratty was also the location for the Medieval Banquet, which was undoubtedly one of the highlights of the whole trip for me:
So much fun! =D
And next to Bunratty Castle was Bunratty Folk Park, home to these adorable deer:
That fawn was one of the cutest things I've ever seen and I must have taken about a billion photos of it! Possibly too many, because...
I think mama deer is telling me to go away and leave her baby alone.
Further up the west coast we came to the Cliffs of Moher, home to some of the most spectacular views in Ireland:
Me at the Cliffs of Moher. Not pictured: views, spectacular or otherwise.
After that we decided to go underground and have a look at the longest stalactite in Europe:
It's pretty damn big!
Doolin Cave was also attached to a small farm and as we were walking round I saw a calf with its head through a fence. I went forward to see if it was all right, it panicked and struggled for a bit, but was fortunately able to pull its head out after a few seconds, and ran behind what I assume to be its mother to hide from me:
Also, goats on a roof:
We then left the west coast to head further inland and stayed at Kinnitty Castle:
Yes, this was our hotel. We stayed in the O'Ryan room complete with four poster bed and coat of arms on the mirror in the shower.
And, finally, you saw me on the west coast of Ireland with the Atlantic Ocean behind me. Now I give you me on the east coast of Ireland with the Irish Sea behind me:
Look how quickly my hair grew back!
So, yeah, that was my trip to Ireland. Full of castles, beer, whiskey, and more rain than these pictures might lead you to believe! But good fun overall.