By UL Student Ivo Petro
It is no secret that Ireland is a beautiful country. The Celtic heritage of the country combined with its wonderful landscape attracts millions of people every year. After being on a couple of trips I experienced some of Ireland and got to know for myself why it is so highly regarded for its mystical charm.
You will probably find a lot of blogs writhing about the Cliffs of Moher, Dublin and the Ring of Kerry. They are popular destinations, especially of international students like myself. Dingle is also very popular but I have the feeling that it gets forgotten, especially considering how much more there is to be seen. That however is a shame, considering the breathtaking scenery that is presented to the traveler once he gets there.
The trip began at 8.30 in the morning and continued throughout the day. The only urban places we stopped at were Killarney and Dingle, for a very short time on the former . Most of the trip consisted of travelling in the bus, enjoying the scenery and stopping at some more notable places where you could enjoy the fresh air and take pictures. If you are planning on reading while traveling this might not be a good idea since you will be missing a lot.
The first place we stopped at was Inch beach. Contrary to the name it is quite a big beach. At the time we were there it was raining but I didn’t mind because the rain added a lot of character to the beautiful view that I could enjoy. The sea was on the one side, the green hills were on the other and there was a sense for tranquility while being there.
After Inch Beach we continued our trip to the west. We were already on the infamous Wild Atlantic Road. What I was seeing made me wish I had a car of my own with which I could travel along it. We drove past Dingle without stopping and continued our trip. We were lucky because the weather got better at that point. Thanks to that we were able to see in the distance which was important because there were some quite interesting islands to be seen in the ocean. The most interesting was perhaps “An Fear Marbh”, the sleeping giant. If you have a look at it you will see the island resembles the profile of a lying man. Interesting, right?
At some point we reached the Slea Head Beach. A beautiful place like everything on this trip. I even got to touch the Atlantic Ocean for the first time in my life. The beach was actually the closest we got to the most western point of mainland Ireland and perhaps even Europe.
After Slea Head we drove to the north. Obviously west wasn’t an option anymore. The landscape changed and we observed the harsh and rocky soil of Clogherhead. A welcome change to the previous scenery adding more to the experience. We got to drive past a lot of houses that were built along the road, some of them old and dating back to the Great Famine of 1845. An interesting observation was that a lot of houses had windows on their roofs. People went this far to be able to enjoy the scares sunlight. I’d probably have done the same anyway.
After some time we reached our final destination of the trip, Dingle. Since we were hungry the first thing we did was to go into a pub. We ate such a fantastic soup there. It was made with seafood and was one of the best dishes I have ever tasted. After that we walked a bit around Dingle. A small town indeed but it has a lot of character. It makes you feel the spirit of Ireland. The colorful houses were an interesting site. I really enjoyed the calmness of the place.
The rest of the trip was basically a matter of getting to Killarney and from there to Limerick. From what I saw Killarney had a thing or two to offer. It’s a shame that we didn’t have a lot of time to explore it and we saw only a tiny part of it. I ate a very tasty muffin there though.
So this is it folks. I hope you enjoyed reading! This however is only a very small fraction of what you will experience by going on this trip.
P.S If you are reading this I would like to share with you how I signed up for the trip. It was very easy. I had already heard that Paddywagon was a quality tour agency and after a quick research on the Internet I decided to place my faith in them. I wasn’t disappointed. You can sing up for the trip either by visiting their website and paying with a card or by going to their office at Arthur’s Quay. I opted for the second option. For a student the trip would cost 35€.
This blog is run by the University of Limerick Student Ambassadors.