Three weeks, two countries, and many lasting memories sums up our road trip through Ireland and Scotland.
Hubs and I flew into Dublin and picked up our adventure wagon for the next ten days in Ireland. Since we arrived a bit later in the day, we opted to spend the night in Dublin (but not really seeing it…yet). It was a good thing, because it gave time for Hubs to get acclimated to driving on the left side of the road. After a full Irish breakfast, we headed toward our next pit stop; Avoca Mills in Kilkenny. It’s Ireland’s oldest working mill and still remains an Irish run business. Obviously, I had to pick up some beautiful handwoven wool scarves which come in handy for our harsh Vienna winters.
We arrived in the coastal town of Kinsale, next, where we spent one night. It’s such a cute little colorful town. We had one of our best meals there – fresh scallops and mussels. Hubs and I then proceeded to Dingle. We stayed on the Peninsula there, because it’s still under the radar compared to the tourist-heavy Ring of Kerry and it was great jumping off point to Killarney National Park. I also wanted to stay at a particular bed and breakfast. It was a relaxing driving through the park, Wild Atlantic way and exploring the peninsula for the next five days.
I’ve always wanted to stay in a real castle…who wouldn’t?! So, we made a special overnight stop at the famous Ashford Castle in Cong, Ireland. The grounds were beautifully manicured and positioned right on a lake. Ashford Castle also featured a falconry school, the oldest one in the country. We definitely took advantage and registered for a private session with one of the falcon handlers. Our falcon’s name was Lima and supposedly one their best falcons (so he said). It was such a cool experience being able to hold and feed a falcon perched on my arm. They’re quite majestic little, heavy, creatures.
Our last stop was Dublin for two nights to explore. It’s like a miniature London, but with a bit more grit. I would say the highlight was our visit to Trinity College Old Library where the Book of Kells is on display. The book contains the four gospels of the new testament, and estimated to be written around 800AD! After having an amazing meal, two nights in a row, at a little whole in the wall type place (Klaw), we left the next morning for the Dublin airport to start the second half of our journey from Edinburgh, Scotland.