Sunday, August 21, 2016

cape clear island, ireland

^^i die with the cute houses and stone walls

^^views on the ferry to Cape Clear

^^love the one way roads

^^view in Baltimore harbor

^^Baltimore from the harbor

^^Sometimes the ferry goes a different route and you can see a castle

^^Cape Clear harbor

Cape Clear is a magical magical place. As is Sherkin Island (post on that next!). And Cape Clear is pretty cheap to get to - a €10 return for a student, and €16 for an adult, for a 45 min ride each way. So worth it to see the adorable houses and one lane roads that make you feel like you just went way way back in time. I was only there with my family for one day, but I was so close to coming back on my own and spending a few days there (there's a freaking hostel!!), but in the end I decided to keep moving and go to Killarney National Park (HIGHLY SUPER RECOMMEND! Post on that coming up, as well!) I absolutely love small islands, or small cities in general - time just seems to go slower and you just feel 10000000% more relaxed, and it's so easy to just walk around or rent a bike and enjoy your day slowly. I love that, because I absolutely HATE rushing (probably from all the years of being perpetually late...I think I'm a lot better now haha). My absolute favorite thing is to wander around and get lost but not so lost that I can't find my way back LOL. Esp since I only use wifi when traveling. And, similar to Clonakilty, because this place is so small the only real recommendation I have is to wander slowly and get lost (bc it's pretty impossible to actually get lost on a small island lol, even without wifi!), and to check out the Heritage Center! There are also tons of water sports that you can do as well - but of course, most of them cost money. These include kayaking, fishing, snorkelling, and taking a trip out to Fastnet Lighthouse. Cape Clear is also a great spot for bird, dolphin, and whale watching. To be honest, I could have easily spent a few days on the island just exploring and relaxing. Somehow this place just manages to melt away all your anxieties and sources of stress - like I said, it's magical.

Friday, August 19, 2016

timoleague, ireland

^^view from the Friary

^^reminded me of the Irish version of the iconic London telephone booths haha
My family and I did a quick stop in Timoleague after Clonakilty on our way back to their house in West Cork (it's the cutest freaking house, too - and the views are green green green and some cows and windmills and other little houses and more green). Specifically, we stopped at the Timoleague Friary which was built around the year 1300 (!!!!!!). So it's one of the oldest Franciscan Friaries still standing. Sooooo cool. And it's located on a super pretty bay, too. It was hard for me to get the best picture of what it looked like overall, so click here for better ones from Google Images.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

clonakilty, ireland


^^the cathedral

^^obsessed with the cotton candy pink house

^^even have flowers decorating construction areas, lol

^^loved the cool marine life posters
Clonakilty was a pretty quick stop for me! I went with my family on our way back from Skibbereen. They wanted to take me to the Michael Collins House, but it was closed so we just walked around for like an hour or two instead, then went to eat. But I'm not complaining - Clonakilty, of course, is super cute and adorbs like every other Irish city. So, I suppose I don't have many suggestions for things to do here, other than to walk around and stare at all the pretty things. And the flowers. They kill me with all the flowers!!! I've decided that when I'm older my house will not be complete without a hanging basket of those purple flowers. And maybe, just mayyyybe take a look at the cathedral (bet you didn't see that one coming).

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

skibbereen, ireland

^^As seen on the way to Skibbereen
Skibbereen is another cute lil Irish city with another cute lil name. I freaking love Irish city/town names - upcoming places I'll be blogging about are called Clonakilty, Dingle, and Doolin - I'm not making this up haha. 

Also, interesting tidbit as read from The Clothes Horse: there is a very important difference between the terms city, town, village, and hamlet. A city has a cathedral, a town has a market but no cathedral, a village has neither a cathedral nor a market, and a hamlet is just a little clump of houses with no stores or cathedral. And apparently, a city can sometimes have a smaller number of people living there than a town. Oh Ireland. You need to stop being so damn adorable.

So, my Irish family took me here the day after Cobh because they had a meeting to attend. I went to the Skibbereen Heritage Center (highly recommend) and walked around and looked at the shops. On our way back we stopped in Clonakilty (blog post coming!). Without further ado...

Skibbereen Heritage Center - Supercool exhibits on the Great Famine (when my ancestor's emigrated and went to the states!!) and Lough Hyne (really cool lake - ("lough" is pronounced "lock" and it means "lake"). Lough Hyne is this superbeautiful lake that glows (!!!!!!!!) at night bc of the phytoplankton that live in the waters (post on that coming, too!). So yes. The Skibbereen Heritage Center is not free, but is def worth the price - adults are €6.00 and students/seniors pay €4.50 (so, I swear to you, do not lose that college ID card bc it will save you sooooo much).

^^Pop into Some Shops - Cutest shops and storefronts. Also noticed lots of hairstyling places - confused bc I thought it was mainly a tourist town, so not sure how they stay in business? Maybe they're renowned for their hair cutting abilities and people travel from afar? 

St. Patrick's Cathedral - Yes, I know, another cathedral...but they're free and pretty to look at :)

Lough Hyne - If you have time, this is such a beautiful, peaceful place!