Megan's Trip to Irelandby Bike tour guru
DuVine Adventures gave me the opportunity to travel to Ireland this April. I (Megan) was very excited as I have always wanted to travel to this country. I arrived at the crack of dawn and DuVine's top Ireland bicycle tour guide, Padraic was kind enough to pick me up from the airport. Padraic gave me a quick tour of Dublin before dropping me off, complete with his own personal anecdotes. Padraic is a wonderful guide and has tremendous knowledge and pride in his country.
Padraic dropped me off at the Burlington Hotel where I met up with the rest of the group and we departed for the southwest of Ireland. I was anxious to see this region as our yoga bike tour visits many of the sites that were listed on the itinerary. On our way to Killarney we stopped for a tour of the Adare Manor. This is a stunning five star property located in Adare which is regarded as one of Ireland's most attractive villages. As you walk into town the streets are lined with thatched cottages. This evening we stayed in the town of Killarney. Killarney is a cute little town with a great nightlife! As Padraic said, the best way to experience Ireland is by pulling up a stool at the pub for the evening. The Irish are the kindest and most entertaining people I have ever met.
The next day we drove a section of the Ring of Kerry. We stopped at the Muckross House and for a guided tour of Killarney National Park. This is a beautiful area; we hiked up to a waterfall and walked around the lake. Everything was vividly green, even the trees were covered in a green moss it was like being in a fairy land! We had lunch at Molly Darcy's Pub and had a delicious soup and sandwich combo. This is a typical lunch in Ireland, they have many fabulous soups. We finished the day with a jaunting car ride around the park.
The next day we went to the Cliffs of Moher. The Cliffs are everything that you would imagine from the pictures. It was a beautiful sunny day when we went and we were able to see the Aran Islands in the distance. As we walked along the cliffs a man stood along the path playing a haunting tune on the bagpipes. I can only imagine what it would be like to be on the cliffs with the fog rolling in and the sound of the bagpipes in the distance.
On the way back to Dublin we drove through the Burren region to visit the Poulnabrone Portal Tomb which is one of the most photographed monuments in Ireland. The Burren is famous for its landscape and flora. You will find arctic-alpine plants living side by side with Mediterranean plants. Amazingly you will find rare species abundant in the Burren even though the land appears to be composed entirely of rock.
Back in Dublin we finished the evening at the Arlington Hotel where we watched dancers from River Dance perform along with an Irish band. We even learned how to pour our own pint of Guinness!
On my last day we had the opportunity to participate in Gaelic Games. I was unfamiliar with these sports and was excited to learn how to play Gaelic football, handball and hurling. I enjoyed the game of hurling the most, it is a stick and ball field game that traces its history back to 1100BC and is the fastest field game in the world where the (Sliothar) Ball travels at speeds of up to 180 kilometres per hour.
Needless to say my ball did not travel that quickly. I finished the trip up with a guided bike tour of Dublin which was a great way to see the city. I fell in love with Ireland and can't wait to go back someday. My trip showed me many places that would be great to explore either before or after any of our bike tours in Ireland, so give me a call and I can help you get started on your own adventure in the Emerald Isle.