Ireland (Cobh, Cork, Blarney, Dublin, & Antrim Coast)

After travelling through England, we headed off to explore Ireland for 3 days.

Cobh, Cork & Blarney

The cruise ship docked in the town of Cobh, we then took a bus through the city of Cork to Blarney on day 1 of Ireland.

Places visited and what I did

  • We drove through Cork (I took some photos from the bus) and into the countryside to get to the village of Blarney.
  • Once in Blarney, we walked around the Woolen Mills, which is filled with lots of super soft sweaters and things made from the wool of the local sheep. Also, a lot of cute sheep stuffed animals.
  • We walked a little bit over to Blarney Castle where the famous Blarney Stone is. I did not kiss the stone because 1) it was an hour and a half wait in line and the bus left before that and 2) it seems kind of terrifying to almost hang off the edge of a castle to kiss a stone. Instead, I walked through the gardens around the castle and I also went into the castle’s dungeon. Much less scary than a stone?

Tips

  • You have to pay to get close enough to even see Blarney Castle. All around the castle is a park with beautiful gardens so you could spend awhile walking through the gardens if you’re not going into the castle. There is also a little cafe in the park.

Photojournal

Patrick Street from the bus while driving through Cork
Also in Cork
A church where a truck photobombed in Cork
Blarney Castle from many angles and a photo from being in the dungeon 
Blarney Castle and the gardens 
Geodes?? or just fancy rocks in the gardens at Blarney

Dublin

Places visited and what I did

  • In Dublin, we took another hop on hop off tour like in London. I think this might be my favourite way to see around a city since you have the freedom to get off wherever you want as well as have a bus tour where they tell you lots of history.
  • Dublin was one of my favourite places because it reminded me of where I live a bit and where I lived in Kentucky. Plus all of the people were very friendly and kind. It was also quite beautiful and we were lucky to have great weather that day.
  • We saw St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Wellington Monument, St Ann’s Church, Christ Church Cathedral, Spire of Dublin, and of course we had to visit Guinness (I did not drink any) and Trinity College. I did not know much about Dublin’s history before but it is a history-rich city and I think there would definitely still be more to see.

Tips

  • I would definitely take a hop on hop off bus tour through Dublin. It allows you to be able to see lots of the city and its famous points.

Photojournal

The Spire of Dublin
General Post Office 
A fancy bridge made to resemble a harp I believe. 
Trinity College which was very pretty. And another candid photo of strangers
Dublin is famous for its multicoloured doors
From top left to bottom right, me outside of Guinness, Ha’penny Bridge, Dr Steevens’s Hospital and Jeanie Johnston a replica of Irish emigration vessels

Antrim Coast

The ship docked in Belfast and we took a bus ride to Glenariff park.

Places visited and what I did

  • The bus tour took us along the Antrim Coast. The ocean was extremely blue, the coast is black and white because it is made up of basalt stone and limestone. It looked almost fake the colours were all very intense.
  • We stopped at the little village of Carnlough, walked around the harbour and admired the ocean. If it is clear enough, you can see Scotland’s coast.
  • The bus tour continued into Glenariff Park in the middle of the Glens of Antrim. It was very beautiful. There is a tea shop in the park where we stopped for tea and scones (I did not have the scones because of possible allergy contamination).
  • It was a very lush drive back to the ship. All of Ireland is so green. And filled with sheep.

Photojournal

Driving through the glens and all the sheep 
The harbour in Carnlough 
Sheep on the coast and Scotland very far off in the distance to the left
Black beaches 
At the tea shop in Glenariff park. Everything looked almost fake. 

Next up on the trip is Scotland!

P.S. It’s Peri

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England Trip (London, Southampton, Guernsey)

In June I went on a 2 week trip around the British Isles starting with England!

London

We spent 2 days in London before boarding the cruise ship (more on this later!) to adjust to the time zone and explore London.

Food eaten, places visited and what I did

  • Flew into Heathrow Airport and took the Heathrow Express into London close to the Gresham Hotel where we stayed for 2 nights. The Express took us to Paddington Station which was beautiful and hard to get around. We couldn’t figure out how to get out of the station for the longest time.
  • Ate at Pret a Manger for the first time which is the best place. We need them in Canada. They have prepared, healthy foods that you can just grab and eat. And good coffee!
  • Walked around Hyde Park/Kensington Gardens. Saw The Peter Pan Statue and Italian Gardens. Beautiful gardens, lots of people walking around, dogs kept jumping in the Italian Garden fountain (??), chairs were set out for people to sunbathe in. It was quite a nice place and I could walk around there for a while.
  • After walking around, we had dinner at a little cafe down the road from the hotel. I had an omelette and salad since after travelling I wanted something not too fancy.
  • The next day we were surprised with an English Breakfast at the hotel, then headed out on the Hop On, Hop Off tour.
  • We saw all the major landmarks of London (Big Ben though it was being renovated, London Eye, Parliment, Buckingham Palace, Tower of London etc.) and got off of the bus at Buckingham, Trafalgar Square/National Gallery, and Tower of London to go on a cruise down the Thames. It was a long day but we saw so much and it was crazy to take in.
  • Ate at Pret (of course) and had dinner at a little Greek restaurant close to the hotel. They surprised us with fruit after dinner. A day full of surprise food.

Tips

  • The Hop on, Hop Off tour is great. We rode the full route through once to see everything and decide where we wanted to get off. They sometimes come with extras, like this one had the Thames River cruise included.
  • The tap water was pretty gross. I brought a water bottle filter and you could still taste it. So hydrate lots when you can and bottled water is probably better.
  • The Galleries admission was free but special exhibits were more.

Photojournal

Italian Gardens in Kensington Gardens

Peter Pan Statue in Kensington Gardens
Paddington Station

I accidentally took a photo of this guy but it looks very purposeful. 
Piccadilly Circus 
Parliament and the River Thames
Tower of London
Cleopatra’s Needle
Buckingham Palace, the Queen was in that day. 

The National Gallery

Southampton & Guernsey

In order to board the cruise ship, we had to meet at the airport and then take a bus down to Southampton. The first full day we spent in St. Peter Port, Guernsey.

Places visited and what I did

  • We only drove around Southampton a bit, but it was a cute city. There were ancient ruins of the Town Wall built in with the more modern parts of the city. The city has a rich history since it is a port. It was where the Titanic departed, not comforting when you’re about to board a cruise ship.
  • Most of the day was spent waiting to board the ship, then exploring the ship and unpacking once our luggage arrived.
  • The next morning we boarded tenders to take us into St. Peter Port. It is the definition of quaint. The town is colourful and looks straight out of a painting.
  • We took a bus from the port, through the island and to the Little Chapel. The Chapel is made up of bits of old broken china and shells. It sits in a pretty garden up a hill. You can go downstairs in the chapel so it’s almost two levels? There are many little alters in the chapel.
  • We went back to the ship where it was the first formal night. We had dinner (which I forgot to take pictures of, so I forgot what I ate that night) and saw a show onboard.

Tips

  • Always be prepared for rain! Even if it says it’s not going to rain, it probably will because it’s Britain. Luckily we were very fortunate and it only sprinkled a little rain. It was still cooler outside than in Canada at the same time of year so I would’ve dressed more warmly if I had known.

Photojournal

The cruise ship in Southampton 
The Little Chapel in Guernsey

Next up on the trip will be Ireland!

P.S. It’s Peri

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