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Best ways to spend great time in Ireland!

Ireland is one of the most beautiful country I have visited not just in terms of landscape and natural beauty but also the people there are just one of a kind, the most friendliest and happiest people I have met. When I went to Ireland for two weeks in the beginning of October, I did not really research a lot and just asked the locals around for recommendations. Everyone was so nice and helpful, it felt amazing to be on my own for the first time travelling solo. I thought it would be nice to share my experiences and recommendations for anyone who is visiting Ireland. Depending on how many days you have in Ireland you can plan a trip around it. Here are a few things I loved the most during my trip!

Walk till you drop in Dublin

Dublin is a super busy city , mostly can be explored by walking around the city. It does have lots of touristy things to do just like any other city. My favorite things to do while I was there was enjoying Butler’s Hot Choclate, watching scenic sunsets by the leafy river, relishing the healthy vegetarian meals at Tang, exploring Phoenix park with the beautiful deer and the lush green St Stephen’s park where I would sit for hours together. At night I loved hanging at bars with live music such as the Brazen Head and Church bar. The city seems overwhelming and bustling with tourists but once you start getting the hang of it, its enjoyable and all worth it.

Experience Irish countryside at Wicklow National Park

They say the real beauty of Ireland lies in the countryside. The best part is its accessible from Dublin by tour buses that take you out to the countryside if you don’t have a car there. I used the services from the Wild Rover tour and they were very entertaining. The bus travels to the small city of Killkenny which is a small cobbled stone town and then takes you all the way to Glendalough in Wicklow mountains which is landmark to early monastic settlement remains naturally preserved in a valley.


Visit a sheep farm at Glendalough

The last part of the wild rover tour was something I was most excited about.  It was the visit to the sheep farm and interaction with the shepherd about the sheep dog demonstration.  It was amazing to see the dog follow the whistles of the shepherd , run and herd the sheep. I also got a chance to get so close to the sheep and pet them. My day exploring the countryside left me wonder struck that Ireland is so beautiful.

Relish the live music and great food at Galway

The Hueston train station was the hub to hop on the train and travel to the different little cities. One of the weekends I traveled to Galway, which is the cultural heart of Ireland. It is in slow paced cities such as Galway, you experience the real Irish culture. Bustling with tourists, Galway was a hub for great food and music. The Kitchen, Pasta Factory and Dough Pizza were some of my favorite spots in the city for food. The street music was very lively and enjoyable too.

Visit the local coastal towns of Mahalide, Howth, Dun Laire and Bray

Just about less than an hour away by train, Dublin is sorrounded by various beautiful coastal towns. I visited Mahalide and Dun Laire, both pretty towns surrounded by the ocean. Moderately cold fall weather and the leaves changing colors made it even more beautiful.

Explore the Killarney National Park

My favorite out of everything that I explored during my two weeks in Ireland was exploring the Gap of Dunloe in Killarney. Everything was just so magical about this place including castles, horse carraige rides, colorful sheeps and just the most stunning landscape ever. It was two trains away from Dublin and took about 3 hours to reach there but was a totally worth it visit and my absolute favorite part of the trip.

I also have individual posts on each of the above places if you are specifically interested in any one of them .Please share if there was a part of Ireland I missed! I would love to read.

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The coastal village of Mahalide, Ireland!

The first weekend after I landed at Dublin in the midst of jetlag and excitement to explore, Mahalide was one of the first places I visited with my cousin in Ireland. We hoped into the train that runs to all the coastal towns such as Howth, dun laoghaire, Mahalide and Bray. It took us less than an hour to reach Mahalide which was 18 km east from Dublin. The weather was crisp, sunny and bright. It seemed like a perfect fall day.  It was also moderately cold and breezy.

As soon as we got out of the train stop, the castle surrounded by the huge park was at a walking distance. We entered into the park and slowly made our way into the castle walking along the park trails. There were lots of tourists visiting the castle that day since it was the weekend. The castle was intricately designed and stood beautifully under the blue skies. We wandered more around after clicking lovely pictures by the castle. The gates into the castle seemed very old fashioned and preserved. The ivy leaves changing colors creeped into the walls around and made it even more beautiful. As we spend more and more time there, more visitors came by. The castle itself dates back to the 12th century and has immense amount of preserved culture and history to it.

As we made our way out, we spent time walking through the streets of the village of Mahalide. We stopped by the picturesque church in the main road which was full of devotees and it was difficult for us to get in so we stayed out and appreciated its beauty from outside. We then made our way into dun laoghaire which was another town by the ocean side where we enjoyed our thai lunch, ocean side walk and long chatter as we sat down by the ocean in the pathway. As we watched the sunset relaxing by the ocean, it was getting close to dawn. We relished the beautiful day and one of my first lovely days in Ireland!

Have you recently spent time with your family that has been special! Please share , I would love to read!


The super fast paced city, Dublin!

Dublin seemed to be very overwhelming when I first landed and made my way around the city. My first few days were pretty rough from being sick, jet-lagged and just being all over the place. Figuring out the public transport etc was also challenging at first. Slowly as I spent more days there, I got more familiar with the nooks and crannies of the city. The crowded streets seemed overwhelming at first and slowly I started to get a hang of it. I remember being sad on my last day, seemed like I was leaving something behind and going to miss it.

I stayed in Dublin with my cousin who lived in the neighborhood just across Phoenix park. Her living room window had the view of the Wellington monument. After overcoming jetlag to some extent on my third day I finally made my way out to venture into the Phoenix park around the corner from her house.  I met some fellow travelers who were looking for the flock of deer there and together we had such a blast feeding them carrots and oranges. I ended up spending that evening with my two new friends in one of the bars close to Phoenix park. Finally it felt like I started to enjoy my trip. After all it is about the company as well in addition to the place while travelling.


The bars in Dublin were very lively with live music everywhere and it just lit everyone. I particularly enjoyed Brazen head, which is apparently the oldest pub in Dublin. They had some incredible musicians and singers, it was just so great to just sit back, relax and enjoy the music. Some of the specific things I enjoyed in Dublin were Butler’s Hot Choclate, Leafy river sunsets, healthy vegetarian meals and the lush green parks around the city. I did spend lots of time reading and just watching the fast paced city while sipping on green tea or fresh juices at this cafeteria called Tang which was very enjoyable. Right across from Tang was Stephen’s green park which was a beautiful park with falling leaves, huge pond and variety of birds to just watch and enjoy. At that point my slow paced travel actually seemed enjoyable.


Some of the other places I visited in Dublin was Dublin’s Castle, Book of Kells, Ha’penny Bridge and Christ Church Cathedral. Although it seems like a large city but all the attractions are located with in walking distance of one another and that makes it easily accessible and walk-able. I did make more friends while my visit to Dublin’s castle and ended up spending time with them exploring the church bar and the library at the Trinity college. I also spent great times with my cousin who was my local tour guide after her office hours. Temple bar area was one of the most touristy spots in the city yet enjoyable to explore. J walking was so common there and I really enjoyed crossing the streets and not following the rules.


Overall Dublin was kind to me and I knew I was going to miss it as soon as I step out of it. It all turned out good. All is well when it ends well. Is there travels when you had both rough and good times? I would love to read! Please share!


Touring the Wicklow Mountain National Park, Ireland!

A visit to Ireland is really incomplete without visiting the untamed countryside. Since I did not have a car as a means of transport while I was in Ireland, I decided to go on bus tour to explore the Wicklow Mountain National Park. Just a few hours drive away from Dublin, surrounded by glacial valleys, rolling hills and ancient ruins, stands the Wicklow mountains. Our tour guide from Wild Rover tour was quite entertaining. He made us laugh all throughout bus ride. He showed us the sights where various movies such as “ The Vikings” and “PS  I Love you” were shot. It indeed looked like a very romantic location and as our bus climbed up the elevation of the mountains, our ears popped with the change of pressure.

The most incredible stop that we made was the Glendalough Valley. It was originally a monastic settlement in the 6th century with ruins left behind now. The remains of the round tomb, graveyards and churches stood so beautifully even after so many years. I was lucky to have the company of my two fellow travelers when we walked to the Glendalough Lake together. The walk was beautiful along the trail towards the lake and back via a well-constructed board walk. We spotted sheep and deer while we walked back and looked through the vast stretches of green land.

The part I was most excited about in my tour was our visit to the sheep farm and interaction with our shepherd about the sheep dog demonstration. As soon as I reached there I was so happy to see the Border collie dog and the sheep up so close. All the other visitors gathered around as well and the shepherd started to tell us all about how the lamb business is so prevalent in Ireland. He showed us how the dog is trained to help the shepherd by controlling the sheep and their directions of grazing. It was amazing to see the dog follow the whistles of the shephard , run and herd the sheep. I also got a chance to get so close to the sheep and pet them. Overall my day exploring the countryside left me wonder struck that Ireland is so beautiful.

Have you recently been to any farms you have loved? Do animals give you happiness. Please share, I would love to read!


The cultural heart of Ireland, Galway!

Venturing out of Dublin into the smaller towns of Ireland was the best decision I made while being there. Since my cousin’s home was so close to the Hueston train station, it was really convenient to hop on the train and travel to the different little cities. One of the weekends I was there, we both traveled to Galway, which is the cultural heart of Ireland. It is in slow paced cities such as Galway, you experience the real Irish culture. Bustling with tourists, Galway is a hub for great food and music.

As soon as we reached Galway which took us about three hours, I could see musicians in every corner of the cobble stone streets. Curiously walking down the streets of Latin Quarter I enjoyed watching the rainbows across the bridges of the river Corrib. The river seemed to be flowing with very strong currents and the weather felt like it was perfect just for us. There was a little farmers market we walked into which was full of artifacts, fresh fruits and flowers. Everything there reflected the small town vibe which made me feel that Galway was my kind of town. I remember enjoying conversations and laughter with my lovely cousin who made time to get out of Dublin for me.

I was so much in awe of the city as I spend more and more time there. We spend lots of time lounging by the park in the perfectly sunny weather. Another thing I loved in Galway was the food. I really relished the delicious food there and I would definitely recommend The Kitchen, Pasta Factory and Dough Pizza. The food seemed so fresh and well cooked at every restaurant we ate. We enjoyed strolling by the bay area, cathedral and river walk together. As the season was changing into autumn, the leaves were changing their beautiful colors. We stayed in Galway overnight and our bed and breakfast owner was so very generous to let us early check in and late checkout.

My memory of Galway that I vividly remember is laughing a lot and spending memorable time with my cousin. Those are the best kind of memories. Have you recently traveled to a place which has given you memorable times! Please share, I would love to read!



My first solo getaway to Killarney, Ireland

My first solo travel was as ironical as it could get since I met the most people I have ever in any of my travel ventures. I took the opportunity to go visit my cousin in Dublin and tour the country on my own. My favorite place out of all parts of Ireland that I visited was Killarney, which was a three hour train ride from Dublin with a train change in Mallow. My impromptu visit to the small town of Killarney based of the recommendation of a local in Dublin turned out to be the highlight of my two week trip in Ireland.

Killarney is a small town in the south of Ireland located adjacent to the Killarney National Park where nature is at its best. The town seemed to be very compact and walk-able and my hostel was only 10 minutes from the train station. I stayed at the Black Sheep Hostel and by all means recommend staying there while travelling to Killarney. It was my first hostel experience as well and it was just so exciting that I was doing so many things for the first time in my life. Since I was a little tired from the train ride, I took some time to unwind and relax in the hostel garden. There were home grown veggies and a small chicken farm in the back of the hostel which had a little shed area to lounge. I remember wrapping a blanket around since it was a little chilly and filling out my gratitude book. It felt so relaxing to just sit down and do nothing for a bit and just be thankful.

As I was starting to make some green tea for myself in the dining area of the hostel, I met some fellow travelers. There was one who just arrived and was quite curious to explore the area. I got to know her more and we decided to go explore the Killarney National Park for the little daylight we had remaining for the day. It was at a walking distance from our hostel about five minutes away. As I stepped into the National Park, I couldn’t believe the natural beauty that encompasses Killarney. We walked along this pathway where I could hear several male deer grunting as it was the mating season. The pathways were well marked and the weather seemed perfect. The clear skies with the flock of birds flying over the group of deer seemed magical. There were not many people within our vicinity and it felt wonderful to be out there in nature all by ourselves. I remember enjoying conversations about being mindful and being in the present.

As it got darker, we made our way back to our hostel. We stopped at the grocery store to get some vegetables and cooked our dinner at the hostel that night. We also went out to the little town later at night to enjoy some Irish music while sipping on some cider. I couldnt have asked for a better first night and went back to bed so thankful to God. I was very excited for the next day and was really looking forward to exploring the Gap of Dunloe.

I was happy that the weather was sunny the morning of the tour. There was a vintage car that drove us to the Kate Kearney’s cottage which was about a twenty minute drive. There onwards I made my way into the Gap of Dunloe in a jaunting cart with the horse Lily who was mid age about 10 years old. We rode along hills and valleys of the Gap of Dunloe overlooking grazing sheep and the most stunning scenery I have ever seen in my life. It was raining, sunny, windy and chilly at the same time , our guide called it the Irish mist. The sight of the colorful sheep grazing along the valleys and chilling in random spots along the road was just so adorable. It was a sight that is going to stay in my memory forever.

The jaunting cart’s dropped at another little cafeteria by the lakes of Killarney so the onward journey was by a boat towards the Ross Castle. I remember enjoying the deep blue calming water of the lake surrounded by all kinds of rock formations. I met some more fellow travelers along the way and enjoyed conversations with them in the boat ride. As we reached the Ross Castle, the weather was perfectly sunny and the castle stood right next to the lake in a beautiful location. Soon after the tour driver dropped everyone back in the town of Killarney.

Since it was still the middle of the day around 3 pm and there were a couple of daylight hours still left, I wanted to go see the Muckross house house and Abbey since I heard so much about its history. I hopped on a taxi to go there and the driver was so helpful to show me the scenic walkway back to Killarney through the national park. The beautiful old house of Muckross stood by the Muckross lake surrounded by well marked pathways in the Killarney National Park. Out of no where there was this horse carriage ride which offered me a ride towards Killarney and it felt like I was living a fairy tale moment. After walking a couple miles I finally arrived at the hostel and decided to stay indoors and keep it low key that night.

Soon after the next day I had another tour booked with Paddywagon to see the Ring of Kerry. I am happy I did so since it was a rainy day , the bus tour was the best way to go. The bus made its way through different villages along the scenic drive. The guide showed us deers and sheeps along the way while describing how the different farm owners have colored the sheeps for recognition purpose. We made various stops along the way and my favorite was the last stop which was the Torc waterfall. The waterfall looked more dense and flowy because of the rains.

As it was getting closer to sunset, I was starting to realize that my precious trip to Killarney was coming to an end. But I was still so happy and full of memories. I turned back to take a last capture of the beautiful little town and then made my way to the train station. At the end I was so proud to have made the decision to explore Killarney by myself. Have you ever traveled on your own? What was your experience like! Please Share!