After leaving Ireland, I headed to Birmingham, England to meet a family friend who has known my mom since before I was even born. When I arrived, we had planned to go to a pub, but I was pretty sick so we headed back to his house to call it a night. I had a cough throughout Ireland, but it seemed that as soon as I landed in Birmingham it got 10 times worse. I wasn’t going to let that slow me down at all, and the next day Adrian took me to Stratford. Stratford is the home of Shakespeare, where he was born, grew up, and eventually came back to settle down with his family. He is even buried in a church in Stratford.
After Killarney, we headed to Galway, and visited the Cliffs of Moher along the way. The Cliffs were breathtaking, and very windy. We had about two hours at the cliffs, which was plenty of time to walk up, get some great pictures, eat lunch, and do some shopping. After the Cliffs of Moher, we continued our journey to Galway, which is located on the West coast of Ireland. Galway is a really cute city that is situated right on the water. Our tour guide had told us that when in Galway people will just randomly come up and talk to you because they are so friendly, and that was 100% true. Everywhere you went, whether it was shopping, just walking down a street, or at a bar, people would just come up to you.
The drive to Killarney is about 3.5 hours from Dublin, but once again it is a gorgeous drive. To break up the drive a little, we made a stop at Blarney Castle, where I kissed the Blarney Stone to receive the Gift of Gab. That was a fun experience, but I will go into more detail on The Blarney Castle in a post dedicated to just the castle. After The Blarney Castle, we headed straight to Killarney and got settled into our hotel. We had heard about a really great ice cream place in Killarney called Murphys Ice Cream, so a couple of the girls and I walked into town to find it.
My first couple of days in Ireland are over, but it has been so much fun! I flew into Dublin, met the group that I would be on tour with, went to a lot of pubs, saw some amazing live music, and was blown away by the beauty of Dublin. Once I landed, I met with my tour group, we transferred to our hostel, and immediately went to get some food because everyone was starving. Our tour guide had made some suggestions as to where to go, and we ended up eating at The Brazen Head, which is a pretty famous 800 year old pub and apparently the oldest pub in Ireland.
After Amsterdam I made my way to Brussels. I knew I wanted to try their chocolate, waffles, and beer, but hadn’t done too much research on where I wanted to actually go and see while in Brussels. When I got there, I kept reading about The Grand Place, so I decided that’s what I wanted to do. Instead of just walking straight there I decided I would take a walk and see where I ended up. It had snowed the night that I got in, so the next morning when I was ready to leave the sidewalks were covered in ice and it was really hard to walk.