I was going to blog each day I spent in Ireland, but since I did not find the time to blog yesterday, as it was our travel day, I will instead blog this trip in “parts” rather than in “days”. Anyways, here’s what I did on my first two days in Ireland.
When we got to the Shannon airport we received our rental car right away. The drive to our hotel was beautiful! Although it was a bit scary for my dad, and the whole family, to drive on the left side of the road, we were able to see much of the Irish country side and of course several full rainbows. That’s right, entire rainbows! Which is never possible for us in our crowded suburb back at home.
Once we reached Galway, we parked our car and explored, while we waited for our room at the hotel to be ready. Most of the the town was closed because of Easter Sunday, but the hot chocolate we bought at Maxwells was DELICIOUS! After we checked into our hotel we went back out in the city. We saw two amazing churches and attended Easter service at the Galway Cathedral. The European architecture was, again, amazing. We were also able to read about the history of the churches. At the market in the city, my sister bought a hemp purse. I bought a blown glass necklace. We even bought fresh, fried doughnuts.
The next morning we ate breakfast at our hotel and then got in the car to drive to the Ashford Castle. On our way we spotted what we thought were the ruins of a castle. So, naturally I decided we HAD to go see it. We ended up getting as close as we thought possible and even passed some adorable lambs. The farmer who owned the lambs came out and we learned that the “castle” was actually Ross Errilly Abbey. He gave us instructions and we went to see the abbey. The off and on rain added to the creepy mood, as the Abbey was filled with graves from long long ago. Plus the birds circling the Abbey made us feel like characters out of the Lord of the Rings.
We then got back on the road to continue our journey to the Ashford. When we arrived we learned we could not go inside, as we were not staying there, but we were able to explore the grounds. The gardens were gorgeous and the moss and vines growing on the trees, beautiful. The lake next to the castle, now hotel, was also gorgeous. It is actually the second largest lake in Ireland. I can’t quite put a finger on what it is, but I adore castles. The Ashford is not a monarchal castle, so it was even cooler to see.
The day before we made reservations for the Irish School of Falconry. It was a bit of a last minute arrangement, but it will definitely be something I remember for forever. (So I’ll just check that off the bucket list). Our instructor was wonderful. He was quite funny and very good at explaining and teaching us. My family and I flew two Harris Hawks. It was amazing to learn about them and how they behave around humans and other animals. It was especially cool to learn about how they “work with the school” not “work for the school”.
That night we ate dinner in “the Dungeon” at the Ashford. Everyone was extremely nice as always and our waiter looked like Eddie Redmayne (in case you didn’t know, I’m obsessed with Eddie Redmayne). The food was so good and filling, we couldn’t even order dessert.
Overall the Ashford and the past two days were amazing. Ireland is such a beautiful country and I can’t wait for the rest of this trip. I even like the off and on rain, as the bright, green grass makes up for it.