I had such a fantastic weekend filled with all kinds of traveling mishaps and miscommunications! But the mistakes and stories are what make the best memories, right?!
First and foremost, my new friends Claire and Allison and I seem to have the same OCD, schedule oriented outlook on life. So naturally, we planned this weekend to the T to avoid major issues. We even took the time to go by the Cork Travel Center to get someone to help us map out our bus trip and find the best hostel in the best location to visit both the Cliffs of Moher and the Aran Islands in one weekend.
Story behind Confusion #1:
The girl at the travel center gave us a sheet of the bus schedule and highlighted the numbers and times that we needed to catch. We had one connection… she told us we were to take the Galway (051) bus to Limerick, and then switch onto the Doolin (337) bus, which would be leaving 15 minutes after we arrived in Limerick on the Galway bus. When we arrived at Limerick we walked the entire bus station and did not see the 337 bus anywhere so we went inside to grab some coffee. When we came back outside the 337 bus was still nowhere to be found, but there was the same bus we had gotten off of with the lights out, so it had no number. But we assumed, that’s the Galway bus that we just got off of, she said we would have to switch buses so it can’t be that one.NOTE:When traveling by bus in Ireland pay close attention to your bus’s number when it stops at way stations, the same 051 bus we were on changed to the 337 bus and everyone who was going to Galway had to switch buses… not us. Needless to say, we missed that bus and had to wait 4 hours for the next one. BUT gladly, I was with 6 of the most incredible girls in the world and it ended up being a blast.
When we called to book the hostel we asked the owner how far away from the Aran Island ferry pier he was… “a 20 minute walk”. We also asked how far away from the Cliffs of Moher he was …. he answered, “200 metres”. So, of course, when we got off the bus the first thing we did was head out on our 200 metre walk to see the Cliffs of Moher. 3 miles later we decided to stop in a restaurant and ask exactly how close we were to the Cliffs of Moher. We soon found out that there is a hiking trail that goes from Doolin to the Cliffs of Moher, the trail is 9km long and begins 200 metres from our hostel. Because we had already made it half way we decided to keep going and powered on until we got to what is possibly the most beautiful sight I have ever seen in my life. It was well worth it! AND I earned my dinner that night :)
Other than the confusions (which were just minor setbacks) we had a fantastic weekend! The bus ride was long, but incredibly beautiful as we got into the Irish countryside. The Cliffs of Moher were more beautiful than anything I could have ever imagined. The wind was so strong we all joked about having to hold on to one another because we might get blown off the cliff. Friday night we ate in a pub in the town of Doolin, I had traditional Irish beef and Guinness stew and it was absolutely delicious, especially after a chilly and windy day. We also got to experience a traditional Irish “session” where musicians bring in their instruments, grab a booth and a pint, and play into the wee hours of the morning. It was wonderful to get to experience some traditional Ireland! Saturday we woke up and had scones in the hostel coffee bar, then headed out to buy tickets for the Aran Island ferry. It was a very relaxed day, we hiked around the island and saw some of the old ruins and stone buildings. We then stopped and had lunch and made our way back to catch the bus home. After some much needed rest Sunday morning, we all headed out to the pub to watch Ireland play in the Euro Cup last night at 7:45. They played terribly and lost to Croatia (who?!), but it was an incredible experience that I will never forget! I love the sense of nationality and pride in their country that everyone has here!
It’s been a great trip so far and I hope you are enjoying my little anecdotes. Thanks for reading!