(Note: This post was originally written in April 2012 on my personal website)
I finally earned my Irish stripes!
I had been wanting to visit Ireland for quite some time now and was actually thinking of planning a trip there in March. As luck or destiny would have it, where does my client send me to?: Ireland, in March. Perfect!
I flew into Dublin a day earlier to explore the great city. Dublin reminded me of a mix of several European cities all at once. Some parts of the city were reminiscent of Barcelona (especially the shopping areas), others looked like London and then there was also a mix of Amsterdam (mainly due to the canals). Dublin gave me quite a lot to work with an I was grateful.
Galway was where I spent the bulk of my time in Ireland however – a full 5 days. Galway was really quite different from Dublin and very enjoyable. I didn’t have expectations going into Galway, mainly because I wasn’t as familiar with Galway, but I kept an open mind. For the most part, as you’d expect from an Irish city, pubs were the main staple. But the subtle countryside and city like atmosphere was also most welcoming (unfortunately, I didn’t take a lot of pictures in Galway because I was in work mode).
The real treat of the trip came after leaving Galway, back to Dublin, then heading out to visit the Irish countryside. We drove from Dublin to Howth and then on to Wicklow with some stops along the way. We spent most of the time in Wicklow where we discovered some amazing greenery, landscapes and beautiful fields. I was quite a happy camper.
For anyone contemplating visiting Dublin, I would highly suggest renting a car and taking a drive along the countryside as well. Ireland is a relatively small country and you can drive to some pretty picturesque places all in just a few hours… Just Do it! You won’t regret it! : )
Dublin: I highly recommend staying at The Westin Dublin. The location couldn’t be more superb and it’s a pretty swell hotel, great staff, wonderful views. It could get on the pricey side, so for more budget friendly options, I’d suggest exploring hotels around the Temple Bar area. You can walk to all the fun places in the city from there. If too far to walk, cabs are readily available and cost just a few quid.
Galway: The Radisson BLU Galway might be the only major chain hotel to stay in Galway, but it is well worth it. Yet again, great location. Right next to the bus/train station and you can walk to virtually everywhere happening in the city.
Slanche! (which means ‘cheers’ in Gaelic/Irish)
Please enjoy some more photos below : )