Stories and Tips: Ireland

Let me just start off by saying that Ireland killed me. Not to say I didn’t have a good time but I seriously underestimated how much drinking would be done and I wasn’t smart about it. That’s the first tip I have. PACE YOURSELF. By day 4 of our trip my body was destroyed, my stomach was in messed up, I was exhausted and my acne was coming back. From just 3 days of drinking. Granted it was 3 heavy days in a row so I guess it makes sense, but still.

We started our trip off in Galway. Galway is seriously underrated. When you think of Ireland everyone always assumes Dublin is the place to go but Galway is great too. I recommend doing both considering its just a 2.5 hour drive to get from Dublin to Galway. Yes it’s crazy, you can go from the east coast to the west coast in under 3 hours… There’s ton’s of cool bars, food places and things to see over there. Galway is my friend’s college town so they knew were all of the cool places to go were. The first night we actually went to a 3 story club’s silent disco night. The headphones that everyone had had two channels. If you were feeling more hip hop music you could listen to one of them and if you were feeling more pop you could listen to the other one. It was such a fun night. Definitely very funny when you take off your earphones and see everyone club dancing without any music. After the club I tried an “Irish delicacy” that one of my friends said I had to try. It was pretty much a sausage wrapped in some sort of bread and fried. I guess I would call it the Irish Corndog. A good after partying kind of snack, but I don’t see myself eating that sober… A must try after a night of heavy drinking in Ireland. Upon waking up in the morning, my same friend said I HAD to try another popular Irish food called a “Chicken toastie”. It’s literally just a chicken sandwich where you pick a type of chicken, like 3 toppings and then they throw it into the toaster for a bit. I mean it was good but don’t really understand the rave..? It was a good hangover brunch type of deal though.

We headed to Connemara the next day to see a different part of Ireland. The Connemara sights are more of what I expected Ireland to be like. It was very green, very cloudy, very windy, with live animals roaming around. As we drove through we occasionally spotted small towns, but there was much less going on than there was in Galway. We stopped for “lunch” and a coffee at around 4 pm at a cute cafe in Spiddal. One thing to know is that in Ireland, much like in America, you can eat at whatever time you please. It’s not like in France where you have about 3 hours that restaurants are open to serve you food around lunch and dinner time. If you’re hungry, you can eat! Restaurants will serve you all day long.

We went out again in Galway, checking out some other really cool bars. We started at a classic Irish bar called “Barr a Chaladh”. It’s so sick. They had a live band playing tunes that we all know and love but with an Irish twist. The band was amazing and so were the beers! Overall a must visit if you are ever in Galway. Such a local experience. For our second (or third?) pint of the night we headed to a bar with board games called the Caribou. Another cool bar to check out in Galway. When the bar began closing down we decided to go to something called a “Disco bar”. A disco bar is a bar that is like a bar/club. It stays open a bit later and has music for dancing. You also have to be dressed decently to be let in. Therefore, not in sweats or tennis shoes (as the boys in our group sadly realized). It definitely had a cool ambiance. A lot of random people asked me to take photos of them with my camera and then proceeded to friend me on Facebook so I could send them the photos. So funny. We talked to a bunch of different new people and everyone was really cool! Some old guys were even a bit too cool, to the point where it started becoming creepy.

We then headed to the Cliffs of Moher. On the way were surrounded by the greenest grass I’ve ever seen in my life. I mean it was like neon green, incredibly healthy grass. I made a comment on it and my friends were like “ughhh fuckin’ Americans”. I guess it’s a stereotypical thing that American’s comment on when coming to Ireland. But I did a lot of stereotypical American things I guess so… The drive felt way longer than it was because one of our friends played the song “Unforgettable” by French Montana (one of the worst songs on the planet) on repeat. PSA: never listen to that song more than once a day, especially on a speaker that other people can hear. It will make them want to shoot their brains out (Ahem). The cliffs were really cool to see, though I think it would have been way cooler if it was a nice day out. Unfortunately, we saw the cliffs on a super windy, cloudy and rainy day. We were all also very hungry and pretty cold so while it was cool, it just wasn’t very pleasant. For sure a must see when coming to Ireland though.

The next stop was Lahinch, which was the ultimate low of the trip. Lahinch is a cool little surf town on the west coast of Ireland which once again might have been fun if the weather was better and we were there mid-season. Unfortunately, we were hit with super shitty weather and we were there at the end of the summer season so it was a ghost town. We decided that we wouldn’t let our spirits down though and that we would go out anyways! We grabbed some G & T (gin and tonic) from the store across the way, and headed down to hostel’s dining room to drink and play a board game. We played an Irish/English game called 30 seconds… Quick tip: never play this game with Irish or English people because you will lose, HARD. I new little to none of the questions asked in this game. Which unfortunately meant I drank a lot. One more tip: never drink G & T’s out of a pint glass!! You will not be okay. I was not okay. When we left the hostel I had already had too much to drink but proceeded to order a couple more pints at the bars we went to. One thing led to the next and I got sick. I ran back to the hostel and I was sick all night long. I felt horrible the next day. My stomach was so empty that I couldn’t even digest food properly, I had a permanent stomach ache the rest of the trip. This was what I was referring to when at the top of this article I said “PACE YOURSELF”. I’m bummed I didn’t.

The next couple of days were spent driving to my friend’s houses, checking out the towns they lived in and trying not to feel sick.

We explored Dublin on the last day of the trip. We didn’t want to carry our suitcases everywhere though so we checked them into something called something like “bag BNB”. We paid 5 euros each and brought our bags to some internet bar that kept them locked up for us for the whole day. Definitely worth it. We saw all of the cool monuments and things that are “must-sees” in Dublin. Luckily, one of my friends went to school in Dublin for a while so she knew what was worth seeing and what wasn’t. We saw Trinity College, Temple bar (though we did not get a pint there, too expensive), a bit needle in the middle of the city, the river and O’connel street.

We tried a bunch of good food like; Boojum (Irish Chipotle, surprisingly better), Butler’s Chocolate Cafe (free chocolate with your coffee), Offbeat doughnuts (best doughnut I’ve ever tasted, puts Krispy Cream to shame), Zizzi’s Italian food, and Chopped (which is a healthy food place which isn’t super expensive and is DELICIOUS). If you’re looking for a country to get good fast food, don’t go to the US go to Ireland! I’m not really a huge fan of fast food nor am I used to eating it, so the amount I ate while I was there made me feel pretty sick but if you’re a big fast food eater, you’d like Ireland. Not only do they have a lot of fast food but it’s not just your average burger and french fries kind of fast food, there’s a huge variety! Anything from vegan chilly to Asian french fries.

Another thing that we got to do in Dublin is see a Gaelic football match! We didn’t see it live because tickets are very expensive, but we went to a bar that had a big screen and got to watch the match with a pint of Guinness. Very cool ambiance. It seems as if everyone in Ireland stops what they are doing to drink and watch the Gaelic match. Watching one of the matches is a must do in Ireland, though if you are planning to watch the game try to get to the bar you want to watch it at as soon as possible. If not you’ll be standing 5 feet from the projector with a crook in your neck while people bump into you on their way to the bathroom. Not the best place to be.

Over all Ireland was a good experience. I wish I hadn’t had as much to drink and maybe that I had eaten a little better. But you live and you learn right! Big thanks to all of my Irish friends that helped make this trip happen! It was good craic!

PS: I logged and rated all the beers that I tried and where I tried them on this app called “Untapped”. All the bars I mentioned in this article were tagged on my Untapped profile! Friend me (@chlonot) if you want to follow my beer tasting adventures!

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