My cousin Bruce from Kansas visited us this past week. While Damon worked, Bruce and I spent our days touring Ireland. (Damon broke away to sightsee with us on the weekend.) Here are some of the places we visited:
This was a new destination in The Burren I'd never visited; very cool caves, great butter-cream fudge in the farmhouse shop and amazing birds of prey exhibit. We also had lunch at a tavern near the Burren Smokehouse; instead of eating salmon, we opted for our first plate of bangers and mash.
Cliffs of Moher
We got lucky this day -- some rain but low winds -- we visited the Cliffs after our cave tour.
Ring of Kerry
Damon drove us south for our weekend getaway; we spent one night at a B&B in Kenmare, near the Ring of Kerry, hoping to catch one of the boats to Michael Skellig Island on Sunday, but no luck. The waves were too high. I was very bummed not to see the puffin birds on the island. We enjoyed some great food and Irish music at the pubs in Kenmare on Saturday night. This time, our drive through Moll's Gap afforded us sweeping views of the valley and lakes below.
Clifden, John d'Arcy Castle and Aughnanure Castle
The infamous crappy weather of Ireland hampered our journey that day. Our jeans got soggy hiking out to John d'Arcy Castle; we turned back and sipped on hot chocolate at the boathouse restaurant near the docks. We had to skip the John d'Arcy monument due to rain and low visibility. We also snapped some photos of Kylemore Abbey on the way home.
Ross Errilly Friary
Some of the coolest ruins in all of Ireland -- well-preserved and only 30 minutes from Galway.
We drank pints of Guinness at the Gravity Bar above the Guinness Storehouse, then went to the Jameson's distillery and drank whiskey at the bar -- the best place on the planet to drink Guinness and Jameson's, respectively.
Another highlight of the trip was simply hanging out in Galway. We watched musicians at Tig Coili, a famous pub here. Here's a video of musicians at Tig Coili. We also ate fish & chips at McDonagh's in Galway.