A Travellerspoint blog

3 week trip around Ireland

The reason I love Ireland

County Dublin:

As always I started in Dublin


Peninsula Howth is near Dublin, so you can also do it as a daytrip from Dublin.

Northern Ireland

I left Ireland and went to Northern Ireland by taking the train to Belfast

Tour to the Giant Causeway

On the way are a few sights you can easily include:
Carrickfergus Castle
Dunluce Castle you can see it from the road
The World Heritage site: Giant Causeway

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge


Derry / Londonderry

Londonderry (official name) is the second largest City in Northern Ireland. It’s only a 2 h train ride from Belfast and the only city in Ireland with a completely intact city wall.
The sights include:
The Guildhall, which is one of the most recognisable landmark in Derry
The Apprentice Boys Memorial Hall
Aras Colmcille
St. Columb’s Cathedral is the city’s oldest building
St. Eugene’s Cathedral

County Donegal, Ireland

Malin Head


Slieve League

(Sliabh Liag – some of the highest sea cliffs in Ireland. Though less famous than the Cliffs of Moher, Slieve League’s cliff are much higher)
I did a boat trip, therefore I didn’t get many good photos, I was just too close to the cliffs. Attached you’ll see a photo, here I stitched a few photos together, I’m not very good at it, but hopefully you’ll get an idea.



County Connemara


Kylemore Abbey

Neo gothic Church at Kylemore Abbey

Connemara Walking Tour


County Mayo

Croagh Patrick

It’s a 764 m high mountain that overlooks Clew bay with 365 islands. Saint Patrick is Ireland’s patron saint. There is a statue about 500 m from the car park. It’s an important pilgrim sight. Locals often hike up barefoot. It was very foggy, when I was hiking the mountain.

County Clare

Cliffs of Moher

I already visited County Claire with the Cliffs of Moher on my first trip to Ireland. This time I did a boat trip, however it was rainy and therefore the pictures weren’t that great.
This is how they are suppost to look.
Doolin Cave with the great stalactite

County Galway

Inis Mor

Largest Island of the Aran Islands
Seven Churches, while only two of the buildings were churches, it was one of the earliest pilgrimage sites.
Dun Aonghasa a stone fort

Ardmore Cliff Walk

It is a beautiful cliff walk, where you don’t meet too many people. I met one local, who asked he, how I knew about the walk.
Round tower and ruins of St. Decalm’s Church, Ardmore
St. Paul’s Church of Ireland, Parson’s Hill

County Kerry

Gap of Dunloe

Ross Castle

Dingle Penninsula


Ring of Kerry

Another Sight: Ring of Beara
I intended to do the Tour, but there weren’t enough people, so it was cancelled.

County Cork

St. Brendan’s church, Bantry


Desmond Castle
St. Multose Church

Cork City

The English Market
The Church of Saint Peter and Paul’s
The Trinity Presbyterian Church
St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral
Court House Office
St. Anne's Church, Shandon
St. Anne's Church, Shandon Bells Tower
Holy Trinity Church
Red Abbey
Elizabeth Fort

Blarney Castle


Rock of Cashel


County Wicklow


I already visited Glendalogh and the Wicklow Mountains on my last trip to Ireland.
Paulanass Waterfall

Posted by Steffi Kay 09:08 Archived in Ireland Comments (0)


Capital and largest City in Northern Ireland. Belfast saw some worst of the Troubles, the civil conflict between the Roman Catholics and the Protestant population. The past and present religious and political divisions can still be seen on the murals. They are a fascination part of Northern Ireland. I got to Belfast by train. It was quite a surprise when I got out and immediately saw all the fine signs. “No smoking in the bathroom fine xxxx £”. I also had quite a few problems with the accent at first.
As I had limited time in Belfast, I might not have seen all sights, but I will show you the ones I saw (and made photos of). Unfortunately the murals didn’t turn out too great, but here you go:
Albert Memorial Clock at Queen’s Square
The Grand Opera House
Belfast Castle
Belfast City Hall
Parliament Building
Belfast Cathedral (also called St. Anne’s Cathedral)
Presbyterian Church in Ireland
The Parish Church of Saint George
The Crown Liquour Saloon is one of the best known pubs in Northern Ireland
Beacon of Hope (Art)

Posted by Steffi Kay 13:32 Archived in Northern Ireland Comments (0)

Sights near Dublin

Walk from Dun Laoghaire to Dalkey

They are two suburban coastal towns near Dublin that are connected by the electric rail system DART. I bought a day ticket for around 8 Euro in 2010.
There are a few sights on the way including:

  • Town Hall of Dun Laoghaire


  • National Maritime Museum of Ireland


  • Christ the King Monument


  • The James Joyce Tower and Monument


  • Bullock Castle


  • St. Patrick’s Church


  • Dalkey Castle and heritage center


Newgrange and Hill of Tara

The Hill of Tara is an important historical sight. It’s a sacred place, where the high kings were crowned. It has a lot of earthwork monuments of burial and ritual nature. There are also some stories in the Irish mythology about Tara.
On the Hill is the Saint Patrick’s Church and Visitor Centre.
The Battle of Boyne was 1960 on the Boyne River. The Protestant King William won against the Catholic King James, which meant the continuation of protestant rule in Ireland.
Brú na Bóinne is the largest and one of the most important prehistoric megalithic sites in Europe. The most well known sights are Newgrange, Knowth and Downth.
Newgrange was built in 3200 BC and is therefore older than Stonehenge.

Wicklow Mountains and Glendalough

Glendalough was founded in the 6th Century and partly destroyed in the 14th Century.

Cliffs of Moher and County Claire

The Cliffs of Moher are breathtaking, but not really near Dublin, however as I did a daytrip from Dublin I felt like I had to include it.I Took a Bus to Galway, which took 3 to 4 hours.
The Burren is one of the largest karst landscapes in Europe.
Poulnabrone Dolmen is a tomb in the Burren.
Cliffs of Moher
Near the Cliffs of Moher are some smaller cliffs, that are also called “mini Cliffs” by the locals.
Kilfenora Cathedral a 12th Century Cathedral, which is partly in ruins and is known for displaying three high crosses. High Crosses are free-standing richly decurated Christian crosses.

Dunguaire Castle (16th Century)


Peninsula Howth is near Dublin, so you can also do it as a daytrip. I did it on my second trip to Ireland.

Posted by Steffi Kay 09:00 Archived in Ireland Comments (0)

Introduction to Ireland / Trivia

There are a few things that surprised me, when I first travelled to Ireland. First of all that there is a language named Irish. Now it is only spoken in some counties, however I was told most people learn it in school. I (like most foreigners) loved the ideas. Some locals were less enthusiastic and would have preferred to learn a more useful language. Still it is the first language in some countries and you might see it written on some signs.

The people and my experiences:

Most of the people I met in Ireland were very open and nice. If you stand too long in a corner in Ireland looking at a city map, you are always asked if you’re lost. They also had security in the Dublin rail later at night. I never had any problems, but it gave a sense of security. The rail network in Dublin is very well developed, which I liked, since busses aren’t my favourite public transport for cities. I took a lot of buses for longer distances on my second trip, which worked great, but in cities I prefer the rail. It is easier to navigate there and find out, when you had to get off.

I also loved that there are sheeps just running around, sometimes even on the road, so be careful, if you drive yourself. There are also a lot of hikes over privately owned properties, so respect the people and close the gates after you. You don’t want to be at fault, for some sheeps being run over, because you were too lazy to close the gate properly, right? Often there are ladders near the gates, so you don’t have to open the gates. I generally did took the ladders, but as long as you close the gate behind you, do whatever you prefer. The people are very helpful, even if you enter their properties. I was once in the front yard taking a photo, when the owner came out of the door. I was really worried, because though I was careful, I was definitely on his property and not the official trail. I was like “It’s really beautiful.” And the owner was totally chilled and like “yeah, isn’t it”. I was really happy he totally ignored my trespassing and we talked about the view -much better for me.

Ireland is the only place I know, someone offers you a ride, back to the hostel, when you ask them for water. Just to make clear, I got the water as well. So if you want to hike, always take enough water. You might get distracted and spend more time, than you originally intended.
I was also told that hitch hiking wasn’t any problem in some parts of Ireland. I didn’t do any traditional hitch hiking, though I was offered and provided some rides and trusted my instincts, when I decided, if I wanted to take them.
As it was my first travelling by myself, I learnt the lesson to trust my instincts.

The only one bad experience was being hugged against my wished. He also tried to kiss me, but luckily it stayed with the try and we were in public. While I was in no real danger, it still it stayed on my mind for the rest of the day. I learnt something from it though, if your instincts tell you to run, get rid of the other person. If you seem unfriendly, that is not a high price to pay, for feeling safer.

The culture:

The stories and culture were very interesting. Some Irish people are a little bit superstitious, but in a good way. I was told that there are some roads that are really straight, but then have to go around a tree, because it’s a fairy tree. It is rumoured that fairy trees are a pathway to the world of the fairies. They are protected by the fairies and those who cause harm to it, are cursed with bad luck. Now would you want to the person to cut it down? There are also ringforts also called fairy forts, that are traditionally associated with fairies and leprechauns - loved the stories.

There is also a rhyme I first heard in Ireland, it was called the “Irish Phiosophy”. I’m not sure by whom it is and if that is the right name. But here it is:

There are only two things to worry about either you are well or you are sick.
If you are well, then there is nothing to worry about.
If you are sick, there are two things to worry about.
Either you will get well or you will die.
If you get well, there is nothing to worry about.
If you die, there are two things to worry about.
Either you will go to heaven or hell.
If you go to heaven, there is nothing to worry about.
But if you go to hell, you’ll be so damn busy shaking hands with your friends.
You won’t have time to worry.
So Why worry?

Now you might love or hate it, but sometimes you have to view live as it is and not worry about small stuff. Especially small stuff that either doesn’t matter in the big picture or you can’t change anyway. I try to worry less, because I always worry about small stuff, like how to start an e-mail, if I said the right words for something...

You might google the song Molly Malone to get a small taste of the music. The song is very famous in Dublin. There also is a statue of Molly Malone in Dublin.

Pubs – can’t leave them out, after all a lot of people do pub crawls when in Ireland. I was told even the smallest village has two pubs, after all you might be thrown out of one of them and need an alternative.

The weather:

unfortunately is a lot like in England. You should be prepared for rain. On my first trip I had only one really rainy day, but it was a downpour and everything I took with me, was wet. Try to get a cape for your backpack - no normal backpack is totally waterproof.
In October the temperature is around 55 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degree Celsius).

Posted by Steffi Kay 08:06 Archived in Ireland Comments (0)


The first time I visited Ireland I used Dublin as my home base. Dublin is lovely. It’s the biggest city in Ireland, but isn’t packed with skyscrapers. I liked walking around a seeing the old buildings, even if cities normally aren’t my favourite thing.

The O’Connel Street is the main street with the following sights:

1. the statue of Daniel O’Connel (compained for the rights of catholics to sit in the Westminster Parliament)

2. the William Smith O’Brian Statue (nationalist in the 19th century)

3. the general Post Office (design from 1818 and place where the Proclamation of the Republic was read) and the Jim Larkin Statue (trade union leader)

4. the Spire (Art, also called Monument of Light)

5. the Parnell Monument (Politician in the 19th century)

There is also a visitor center. The central Tourist Office is housed in St. Andrew’s church.

The Statue of Molly Malone on Suffolk Street got some critic for looking too revealing. If you want you can listen to the song about her. Originally the statue was placed on Grafton Street, one of the main shopping streets in Dublin.
The statue is near the Thomas Davis Statue (writer and politician) and the Trinity College.
Trinity College (founded 1592) with the book of Kells (illuminated manuscript containing the four gospels of the New Testament, origin: celtic monks around 800)
Dublin Castle (18th century, Irish Government Complex – Coach House and Chapel Royal)

City Hall (18th century)

Christ Church Cathedral (founded in the 11th Century)

Saint Patrick’S Cathedral (12th Century, largest church in Ireland)

St. James Church (18th Century)

St. Audoen’s Church (12th Century, small church with a beautiful organ)

Áras an Uachtaráin (official residence of the president of Ireland)

St. Stephan’s Green (Public Park)

Wellington Momument (in Phoenix Park, largest obelisk in Europe)

Leinster House (national parliament of Ireland)

Guinness brewery (one of the most successful beer brand, you will see a lot of Guinness souveniers)

Ha’penny Bridge (officially Lifferty Bridge, toll was ha’penny for crossing it for 100 years)

Posted by Steffi Kay 04:49 Archived in Ireland Comments (0)

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