We started our day with a big breakfast at the hotel and headed out for the longest day of our vacation, driving from Galway to Dingle (AKA the “Wild Atlantic Way) which is about 225 miles/5 hours of driving. We had a late start because it was the first full day of vacation. I was up researching at 5 AM and the boys slept in until 8:30. Our route would take us through some pretty typical stops and was an aggressive one considering the amount of sunlight there is this far north – and an impossible one considering the 6 year old that is travelling with us. SO. MANY. BATHROOM. STOPS.
Dunguaire Castle was the first stop just south of Galway and on the way. It’s a small tower/keep style castle that has been restored and people can walk around it but for the winter, it’s main gates were closed so only the outside was accessible.
Next we hit up the Cliffs of Moher where we only exclusively heard American accents. At first I was unencouraged because it looked very touristy but I was pleasantly surprised – you can’t take melancholy me or bummer Ben out to a touristy spot without spontaneous eye-rolling and sarcasm. But in this case. if you could tune out the noise (“They got them rings with the two hands together in the jewelry store!”) and focus on the weather and the view, it was nothing short of spectacular, outstanding, breathtaking.
But our favorite spot was the last one scheduled: Bunratty Castle and Folk Park. Oh man! This place is a goldmine! It’s a 1425 castle restored to period where you can explore all the rooms and levels, from the dungeon to the top of the turrets. As you can imagine, little guy flipped out. Goats to pet! Crazy looking sheep! Houses you could go into and explore! It was just TOO cool. Then around the castle there are about 25 buildings representing life in those times; a couple pubs, farmer’s cottages, weavers’ home, private church, a walled garden, a school house, a doctor’s office; all open to see and explore. This was the single best activity for the family as we were all very intrigued. A friend of mine that lives in Shannon recommended a nearby place to called “Durty Nellie’s” – while it had a wonderful story and extensive menu, we just ran out of time.
The drive to Dingle ended up occurring later than we planned for (and mainly in the dark) because our plans that day ran so late. It’s a sign of how much fun we had for sure. Tonight, we stay in a bed and breakfast/pub and hubby has already jumped to another pub to listen to live music while I fall asleep at the keyboard with our little guy in the twin bed on the other side of the room. Tomorrow we explore Dingle!