DUB: While living in the most diverse city (New York), it was only a few years ago that I was still craving culture, and needed to head over to Europe. So, I booked a long weekend and went to Ireland!
As soon as I arrived, first thing in the morning, I dropped my bags and began exploring. Walking around in a new city is not only a great recovery to the long flight but it gets you acquainted with the area for your next few days. Guinness , Dublin Castle, and Trinity College were just a few highlights on my first day.
I went to Ireland to see the nature and beauty and was traveling solo, which was actually very common for me. For those that know me, I am a very outgoing person and happy to strike up a conversation with anyone…. especially a fellow traveler. So, it was no question that I would want to tour the country with other like minded travelers which led me to join Paddywagon Tours.
Wicklow / Wicklow Gap / Kilkenny was my first trip and was incredible. It is the “picturesque postcard” of Ireland with the rolling hills, forests, and dramatic waterfalls. With the free time allotted, I was able to take a walk/ light hike to get closer to the view.
Another scenic highlight was a day trip to Cliffs of Moher – Ireland’s biggest visitor attraction. Standing 705 feet tall and 5 miles long, this was a moment of “awe” for me. I remember sitting there, telling myself to “take it all in”. It is moments like these where that travel bug crawls through your body and inspires you to continue traveling.
One of my favorite highlights was my sunrise run each morning. Everyone said it would be gloomy and cold while visiting so I could not believe it when the sun was shining as it came up each day. For a scenic run along the River Liffey, run on the Bachelor Walk until reaching the famous Ha’Penny Bridge – Dublin’s oldest pedestrian bridge. Or, in the opposite direct the Samuel Beckett Bridge – a more contemporary bridge. Since travelling solo, I made sure to stay close to one area and found the bridges to be great landmarks. Something I always seek out when running in a foreign city.
The Dublin Mountains are only 8 miles from the city center and includes mountain trails, country paths and rural roads where it’s noted as one of the “1,001 most scenic walks” in the world.
Ireland was a great destination for a 4 day long weekend. If time allows, I would suggest 1-2 weeks in order to drive and explore the country in it’s entirety or to combine it with a neighboring country.
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