A treat for the eyes in the Countryside of Ireland

When I thought of Ireland I envisioned road tripping through emerald green rolling hills, coastal cliffs, and stopping for sheep on tiny winding roads. You know…like what you see in the movies.

It turns out the West coast of Ireland was exactly that minus sheep on the road (we did spot this guy though).


After a few nights in Dublin we rented a car, Peter re-calibrated his brain to drive on the right side of the road and we settled in to cross the country of Ireland from the East coast to the West. Our first destination was a city called Killarney which is an ideal touring base while you take day trips to the surrounding sites of Ring of Kerry, Dingle Peninsula, and Kilkenny Castle.

We stayed at a Bed and Breakfast by the name of Killeen House due to its cult-like love status on Trip Advisor. And while I wouldn’t say the accommodations were the best – the rooms were pretty small, the wifi dicey, the shower drain broken – it was the host that really made staying here such a treat. The Killeen House is owned and operated by a lovely couple named Michael and Geraldine.  All smiles and genuinely happy to help you plan out your days, Michael and Geraldine have an amazing ability to not only remember you by name, but also make you feel at home.

One morning I wanted to get some exercise after all the beer and food consumption in Munich and Dublin. Michael recommended some gyms in the area as well as a beautiful running trail. After trying to describe how to arrive at the trailhead (about five minutes away) he stopped mid-sentence and said, “let me just drive you there.”  He almost insisted. I decided that I would be fine running myself, but this is just one example of Michael and his wife going over and above any levels of customer service. The running trail turned out to be amazing. Running in the crisp Irish air felt so refreshing and the trail provided some some inspring best views.


When I returned from my run Peter and I decided to make it a spa day. We were still in chill-mode and as relaxing as Dublin was we still wanted to have agenda-less days and the idea of a massage sounded amazing. On queue, Michael gave us a great recommendation for a massage at Aghadoe Heights Hotel. The spa facilities were indulgent. We had the entire facility to ourselves which consisted of four different types of sauna and steam rooms as well as four different times of rain showers. We tried them all. Afterwords you can relax in a lounge chair overlooking spectacular Irish settings or kick back with cucumbers over your eyes as you wait for your masseuse. Bliss.


Another fun part of staying at the Killeen House is the welcome drink after returning from your outings. You were always greeted and offered a beverage. With such warm Irish hospitality you almost felt impolite saying no and at the end of the day a Guinness did usually sound like a good idea.


Our second full day we had a very nice breakfast at our B&B and then headed out on our first Irish countryside road trip along the Ring of Kerry. The Ring of Kerry is a circular tourist route that boasts some of the best of Irelands untouched beauty. It takes nearly a full day in a car. A trip that proved to us that Ireland has something to brag about.




































































That evening we took some recommendations from Michael on where to eat and also where to enjoy some live music.  We ate at a place called Laurels that might have been the worst meal we had all of last year (Michael!).  My dinner tasted like a frozen dinner that had suffered freezer burn.

After dinner we did a search for pubs with live music in Killarney which brought us first to a pub called O’Conners. No live music. Over to another pub called Danny Mann. No live music.  Our last attempt was a pub by the name Grand which has live acts that progress from traditional Irish before moving to a live (rock) band and ending with a DJ which transforms the pub to a club.  Maybe we got too spoiled in Dublin or maybe it was the puke in the hall on the way to the bathroom, but we weren’t loving the scene in Killarney so we went home and dutifully watched the amazing Irish film, Once.

The next morning  we were packing up and pushing onwards with our Irish road trip.  This time to see the Cliffs of Moher.

We said our good-byes to Michael and Geradine and took a photo in front of their B&B.


We enjoyed all the scenery from Killarney to Cliffs of Moher. We came across a beach with surfers that to me looked cold, but inspired Peter. We docked our car on a ferry and crossed a small river. Then stopped in a small town, Kilrush for lunch and sipped coffee while the local men drank their pints. We were given tips on how to eat our crab claws – “You gotta just pick it up and get dirty.” It was a perfect day in Ireland.

Late in the day we finally arrived at our destination, Cliffs of Moher.  This had been a bucket-list destination for both Peter and I for some time and as cliche as it sounds, the pictures just do not give justice to this amazing sight.  Naturally, however, we took a ton of pictures. Here are some of my favorites.

































































When we arrived at the Cliffs of Moher there was a dense cloud cover, rain and zero visibility. We had just a couple hours before the park closed and we heard people exiting whisper things like, “glad we came when we did” as we waited in line to buy tickets. Despite all this we walked out into the cloud bank, right to the cliffs and started doing mind exercises from the book The Secret.  Almost on queue the clouds lifted like a curtain exposing an elaborate set and our jaws hit the floors at the sheer dominance of the surrounding beauty. It was an overwhelming moment of both excitement, adrenaline and gratitude.

One thing that struck me was how close you could get to the edge of the cliffs.  If you are someone that is scared of heights this could be a stressful place to visit.  Along with sheer drops, there were at times strong gusts of wind to make for an even scarier experience.  I wanted to get a picture of me on my stomach overlooking the cliff, but Peter was very clear in squashing that idea.  This was the closest I was allowed, but this made him uncomfortable and it looks like I was too actually. As you can see, no railings, no signs just sheer drops.










On our way out we stopped to watch a gentleman play with his drone over the cliffs. I’d love to have one of those to capture aerial video, but it’s just too big and cumbersome for traveling the way we are.  You can see from the picture just as we were leaving the clouds started to roll in again.  We were really blessed with the view we had during our visit.











That night we stayed at a hotel just outside of Dublin, close to the airport.  The next morning we were off to Scotland.

I look forward to another visit to Ireland.  We just scratched the surface of this incredibly beautiful and welcoming country.  I had quite a few people tell me that Galway is a must visit.  Peter would like to visit Northern Ireland too. Until next time.

Thanks for staying in touch with us.  We miss all our friends and family.

See you in Scotland!


  • Shastin

    Love the pics! Galway is incredible so you’ve got to go back!

  • Thanks Shastin! Ireland has so much beauty to capture. We look forward to going again and exploring more.

  • Becky Lessley

    Those pictures of you two on the edge of the cliffs made my butt hurt just looking at them. Imagine if I had been there. No way, thank you very much.

  • Aprille

    We did not get to the the Cliffs on our visit, but we did drive the Dingle Peninsula which is amazing! You know what they say about the weather in Ireland – If you don’t like it, wait five minutes. So glad you had nice views! And the hospitality of the Irish people is the kindest I’ve ever experienced. They truly make the visit a full experience. We plan to go back and see more as well. Great country!

  • Aprille, we did hear that phrase, “If you don’t like the weather…” I think our cab driver said 15 min. You need to make it to the Cliffs someday. You won’t be disappointed. Well unless there is a cloud cover. Couldn’t agree more about the people and hospitality. Thanks for following and commenting.

  • Hahahah Becky you would have lost it. You can see that I’m even nervous to be close to the edge.

  • Rosemary Hodges

    Now this I can relate to. The Cliffs…..ah yes. You know how much braver you were than me. I did enjoy the sights. Just at more of a distance. The green the green….could you believe the green? thanks for taking me back again.

  • They don’t call it the Emerald Isle for nothing. I of course thought of you being there and wondered how you did.