Cliffs and beaches, clubs and bars

My website is back up and running! Since it has been so long there’s lots of updates ahead!

Love Knotts ties to a bridge in Galway.
Similar to the concept of the Love Lock bridge in Paris France, the Wolfe Tone Bridge in Galway is covered in Love Knotts.

My trip to Ireland has come to an end, but I will continue to update my website with photos and stories about my experience! To pick up where we left off…

Galway and the Cliffs of Fog:

My roommates and I went on a weekend trip to Galway, and we took a tour of the Cliffs of Moher. The cliffs are a popular tourist stop along the West coast of Ireland. The view from the grass-covered cliffs stretches for miles across the sea. 

Of course with my luck, we got an excellent view of the Fog of Moher. We were told the view would normally be breathtaking. On the bright side, at least we had a photo booth with a green screen that was prepped in case of a foggy day.

Don’t let the foggy photo fool you, the weather was not cool. I spent the first two weeks in Ireland wrapped up in a thick wool jacket and then suddenly, I was experiencing one of Europe’s worse heat waves.

Our view from the Cliffs of Moher.

The weekend in Galway was the first weekend it truly started to feel like summer. At the parks, people laid out in the sun, enjoying the view of the river and playing sports.

Our intern group split off into two groups. Half of us chose to stay overnight in the city, and the other half continued with the day-long tour. Of those who stayed, a majority stayed in hostels while my roommates and I opted to stay in a hotel just outside the city.

Folks in Galway enjoying the summer heat.

We also had our first night of truly successful clubbing, in my opinion.

It had been difficult to get into certain places with a group of 15 or more 20-year-olds. Oftentimes the bouncer will tell us the age requirement is 23-years-old and older. However, one of our waiters told us clubs will be selective about that rule depending on the group that arrives at the door. According to him, it is a convenient an excuse to keep the rowdy bunches out of venues for more mature crowds.

So, we experimented and our theory held truth, the rule does not apply to everyone. I was one of the lucky few who got into Coppers in Dublin, despite being only 21 years old, but the rest of my friends were not so lucky. The rest of my group was either told they were too young or too drunk to enter.

We found ourselves still in the hands of this wavering this rule as we jumped from club to club in Galway.

We started our night at the King’s Head, a three-story bar and landmark that is 800 years old. While the third story was closed, the first two stories provided us with dimly lit seating and a bar, with some room to dance.

Our next stop was a dance club called DNA. This club was also three stories, and each level had a different genre of music playing. The top of the building was a small outdoor smoking area. I found the smoke-filled “fresh air” on the top floor preferable to the sweat and must of the packed dance floor.

By the time Jaqueline (one of my roommates) and I were ready to leave, it was just before 2 a.m. Our hotel was about a 25 minute drive out of the city. Our next objective was to call a cab using the Ride Now app, which is basically Uber in Ireland.

After ten minutes of waiting next to the club entrance, clinging to the free WiFi, the app informs us that there are no cars available to take us home. Our hotel was not walking distance, especially since that would require us to walk on an unlit highway at night.

Jaqueline and I look around the area we are now stranded in, and see a couple of taxis parked in a pharmacy parking lot. Lucky for us, we were able to find a driver willing to take us back, and it was even luckier that Jaqueline was carrying cash on her, since none of the taxis took card payments.

The next morning we had brunch at an adorable restaurant called Dela, and later we caught our train back to Dublin. It took us just three hours to cut directly across Ireland.

The Forty Foot Cliff Jumping:

During the week, our group went to FortyFoot, a small cliff jumping spot in Dun Laoghaire. The jump is not actually 40 feet, it is much closer to 10 feet in the small spot, and maybe 20 feet at the taller spot. For now, I did the smaller jump and thanks to my roommates, I got some pretty fun pictures.

The jump from the “FortyFoot Cliff” in Dun Laoghaire.

Once I reached the halfway mark of my trip, I made an effort to go see new places everyday. Everyday, even if I was exhausted, I tried to make sure I did at least one small, new thing.

For example, after work one day I found a vintage thrift shop that sells clothes by the kilo, and bought myself a couple of items. I’ve walked through old bookstores and bustling farmers markets. My favorite thing to do is still taking photos.

The cities are covered in beautiful bricks and old fashioned clocks. The small towns are lined with pastel colored houses with brightly colored doors. The valleys we cross on the train are covered in fields that go for miles. Oftentimes you will see sheep, and cows. A few times we’ve even seen horses. 

A view of the beach from the hiking trail in Bray.

Bray and Howth:

This past weekend my roommates and I visited Bray and Howth, two popular beach cities each about an hour away from Dublin by public transportation.

Bray has been my favorite beach city so far. The day we went there was a carnival for the Beach Festival BBQ. There were massive roller coasters and tons of vendors set up along the boardwalk.

This sweets stand was set up in Bray at the Beach Festival BBQ.

We hiked around the cliffs that border the city, and despite the intense heat it was completely worth it.

Howth was a different scene. The main part of the city is located near a harbor, so there is a view of several boats small boats and a small lighthouse. We walked through the Howth Market, and got some lunch.

Phoenix Park:

Our next stop was Phoenix Park in Dublin.

The group decided to rent bikes to get across the park, which was almost the same size as City Centre.

Phoenix Park Fields
The first field we paused to look at in our journey through Phoenix Park.

Riding bikes has gotten more complicated since I was a kid. I never had a bike with adjustable gears on it before! After chaotically struggling to get onto the bike path with a group of eight unsteady bikers, we took off.

Each part of the park we stopped at looked completely different. One moment we were looking at rolling hills with nothing but tall grass, the next we were in a forest. Before we knew it, we saw a bunch of deer.

The deer were used to company and were completely unbothered by all the gawking tourists and the clicking of my camera.

The Phoenix Park deer have had lots of practice posing for cameras.

Renting the bikes was one of the best decisions we made. Nothing beats seeing the views in Phoenix Park while feeling like a little kid again.

Stay tuned for more Ireland content coming soon!

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