Short video clips from Dublin, the Wicklow Mountains, Ring of Kerry, Skellig Michael & the Dingle Peninsula.
Just went on the trip of a lifetime – a ten day long tour of Ireland with the love of my life… and came back engaged!
It was on the second to last full day of our trip when I proposed. We had taken a boat out Inishmore, one of the Aran Islands off the coast of Galway, and biked our way out to the "Man of Aran Cottage" where we stayed for the night. Man of Aran is modeled after the old fashioned thatched roof cottages that were once common in Ireland, but was actually built in the 1930's for the documentary "Man of Aran".
Arriving at the cottage via bike
Our view while we enjoyed some wine in the backyard
Joe Watty's – best pub on the island
Walking up the trail to Dun Aengus, an ancient fort built around 900BC alongside an extremely high cliff… and where I proposed.
Kelly lovingly scaring the sh*t out of me
I could see the headlines – "Woman falls off cliff to her death seconds before boyfriend proposes"…
Fortunately she stepped far away enough from cliff where I could feel safe enough to get down on one knee and ask her to marry me.. and SHE SAID YES!!!
After we got back I did some reading about the place and learned that the name Dun Aengus translates to Fort of Aengus. Aeungus was the pre-Christian god of love, youth and poetic inspiration. The myth says he had four birds flying about his head, which supposedly is where the xxxx's symbolizing kisses at the end of love letters come from. Cool!
Couldn't be happier!
The other week I made my second visit to Ireland this year. It was a much shorter trip than the one I took in August, and had a very different feel to it. This time around I was there primarily to visit some friends of mine, whereas the last time around I was there to tour the country. My friend Rachel and her boyfriend James were kind enough to let me stay in her home in Limerick for the few days I was over, and for the most part we just relaxed.
The one big plan for the weekend was to visit Inis Mór, one of the Aran Islands located in Galway Bay. The islands are known for their strong Irish culture and loyalty to the Irish language and are only accessible by a small plane or boat. To get there we had to take about a three hour drive north past Galway and through Connemara to a ferry in Ros a' Mhíl. The ferry ride was about an hour long, and we arrived on the island sometime after dark.
The first thing that struck me was how quiet the island was. Aside from the few cars that were waiting at the pier when we arrived, there wasn't a vehicle in sight. The sky was perfectly clear and we could see ten times as many stars as I could ever see back home in Derby, and aside from the waves crashing and a few teenagers playing on the steps near our hostel, there wasn't a sound.
At night we walked up the hill to a pub called Joe Watty's. They had some of the best Guinness I've ever had and the experience was a memorable one. There were some regulars, some sober, some drunk.. one guy with no teeth and drool all over his face who was stumbling from one table to a next trying to find someone to join him for a dance. Then there some people visiting from the mainland of Ireland, including a man from Dublin sitting on a stool in front of the musician singing along, who dropped his pint on the floor then made his way towards our table for a sloppy sing-a-long of the Saw Doctor's "N17" – a song I had never heard before until that night. By the time the night was over we found ourselves acquainted with a number of people, including three other Seans – a first in my life.
In the morning the three of us rented bikes for the day. Since there aren't many cars this is the primary way to get around the island. We rode from Killronan, the main town of the island, to a prehistoric fort on the cliffs about four miles away known as Dún Aengus.
This week has been unbelievable. Yesterday, after my stroll around Limerick, I checked out this restaurant across from my hotel on O’Connel St. called Luigi Malones a quick dinner. The food was great. They even gave me a glass of complimentary red wine which wasn’t all that bad.
Following dinner I met up with my friend Rachel and from there we joined with a bunch of people for another night out at Molly’s. Had a blast, although I came back home with a few scratches and a bruise on my back.
Today started off much like yesterday did. I walked around by myself for a bit…. ended up in People’s Park and then made my way all the way down to the Hunt Museum to check out the 50’s Chic/60’s Cheek exhibit, which was somewhat of a disappointment due to the lack of photography they had on display.
That evening I met up with my friend Rachel and her friend Claire, who rode the bus with me up to the Ryan’s where I saw Hazel and Mike once again. We all had some pizza (which wasn’t all the bad) and then we made some plans for the night.
My last night there was incredible. Hazel, Rachel, Claire, and myself all went out to a a few pubs and a few clubs, including Nancy Blakes, Molly’s, and Icon. I can’t tell you enough how good it felt to be there… especially with Hazel and Rachel who I hadn’t seen prior to this week in about 8 years.
At some point in the night a photographer took our picture. I guess it’ll be in a Limerick newspaper sometime next week. I’m looking forward to seeing it.
I had to end the night by packing for my trip back home. My flight leaves in just a few hours and I need to stay awake to catch the bus to the aiport.
Dad, travel junkie, Beatles fan, & married to the lovely Kelly Henri. Work-wise I'm a Marketing Strategist and Agency Owner with 15+ years specializing in digital analytics, marketing automation and inbound marketing, & web development. Read my blog, follow me on one of the networks below, or contact me for work.Read on...