My Irish Pilgrimage

In June of 2014, we completed my number one item on my bucket list.  We took a trip to Ireland! This was definitely my favorite trip so far.  Not only was it all I wanted in the trip, but it also felt like a genuine Irish experience, especially for the region we were in.

The trip started by flying into Kerry airport.  It was the smallest airport I have ever been to.  There were only 2 gates in the whole place.  I loved going to the tiny airport because everything was quick and we got our rental car and started our journey right away.

I am lucky that I am under 25 and can’t rent a car, my husband had to deal with the stresses of driving on the left had side of the road.  It wasn’t too bad starting out, but about 15 minutes into our drive we turned onto the narrowest road either of us had ever seen.  We had to drive down that road for about 30 minutes with cars, trucks and buses coming the other direction.  Needless to say, he was a little tense.  Once we got off that road and he started getting used to driving, it was not bad at all.  Most of the roads there are very very narrow, but you or the other driver just pull off to the side to let the other pass by.

We were making our way to the coastal town of Kilkee and had to take a ferry on the way.

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We arrived at Kilkee and checked into our B&B, Water’s Edge.  The view from Water’s Edge was amazing and it was in walking distance to the town center with all the restaurants and shops.

A rainbow just outside the B&B overlooking the town of Kilkee.

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We had a pretty spectacular sunset even though it was cloudy.

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For dinner we ate at Murphy Black’s.  It was a wonderful experience.  Good food, great staff.  The owner was asking us of our plans and we told him we were just passing through and driving up to the Cliffs of Moher.  He said the cliffs were very nice, but we needed to check out the peninsula that Kilkee is situated on.  We took his advice, and WOW are we glad we did.

I believe I actually prefered the Loop Head Peninsula over the Cliffs of Moher because they are not super touristy. We were essentially by ourselves walking around in fields exploring cliffs on our own. Both are worth seeing, but each has a very different feel.

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I felt like doing a cartwheel on a cliff in Ireland.  Why not, right? You only live once! I was happy I could actually still do a cartwheel.

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After spending many hours exploring the peninsula, we made our way up to the Cliffs of Moher in the late afternoon.

They were spectacular for their sheer size.  The cliffs on the peninsula were big, but these were almost unfathomable.

Take note of the people (tiny dots at the top) in this photo.

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Now that you saw the people in the previous photo, you can really appreciate the scale of the cliffs in this photo. They’re so big you can’t even see the people anymore.

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Leaving the cliffs, we started our journey inland to the tiny town of Craughwell.  We arrived at our B&B, Craig Country House, to find out they had huge storms.  Lightning had hit a transformer and it also blew their internet socket out of the wall!  The socket was hanging out of the wall and smoke lines appeared on the wall.

Mairead, the B&B owner, called all over to see who had power and if any hotels had a room for us for the night.  She was able to get us a room at a local hotel, The Meadow Court Hotel, who had a generator.  The Craig Country House had their electricity back the next two nights so we moved back there.  I highly recommend their B&B!!

Mairead’s daughter took us over to the town’s hunt club where she showed us the hounds and we played with hound puppies.

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The “main event” or main purpose of our trip to Ireland was for me to horseback ride.  I had wanted to ride at Flower Hill Equestrian Center for over a decade and my dream finally came true.

Editors Note: This horseback riding is NOT for beginners and should only be attempted by experienced riders.  Ireland does have some outings for beginners and I would highly recommend finding a place as it is something you will never forget.

I had not jumped at all in about 5 years and had not been on a cross country course in 7 years, but it all came back to me.  I had the time of my life.  The horses were amazing, the people were exceptionally nice, the property was gorgeous.  What an awesome experience!

This was my first day riding a horse named Monsoon.

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The second day I rode another lovely horse named Lattee.

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I had the best time at Flower Hill and hope to go back another time in the future.

Our last evening we drove to a small castle/tower house and got some food at a local pub.  It was the perfect relaxing time to finish out our Irish adventure.

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