We made all of our travel plans in advance, and we decided that it would be a good idea to take a day trip from Dublin to the opposite side of Ireland to see the cliffs of Moher. Now normally we don’t do day trips. But looking back I am so happy we did. If we had had to spend another full day in Dublin we might have gone insane.
We met with the tour bus in the center of Dublin at 6:30 in the morning. Our tour guide/driver was a nice older gentleman who told us about key places of interest along the way. He had the best accent of all time, and ended every other sentence with “so it was”, or “so they did”. So he’d end up saying, “Then the rebels were all killed, so they were”, or “That’s the Guinness storehouse, so it is”. It was awesome.
We stopped for breakfast at a simple gas station. K and I hustled and we managed to get inside before anyone else had even gotten off the bus. This was good news because there was a deli inside. We didn’t know what to get, so we revived the tried and tested Derry tactic of asking for their recommendation. We ended up getting a sausage sandwich (two pieces of bread with a handful of sausages in there) with baconnaise, and a bacon roll (a french bread with bacon and ketchup). They recommended it, and it was all delicious.
Stop 1: The Cliffs of Moher
The drive was pretty long, but eventually we made it to the Cliffs of Moher. These cliffs reach a maximum height of 700 feet, and are one of the top destinations in Ireland.
It was busy, but not overly so. We only had 1 hour 30 minutes here, and it was just barely enough time.
Then we took a short trip to the village of Doolin. We ended up following the guides recommendation and ate at a place called Fitzpatricks Bar.
Stop 2: The Burren
The Burren is a national park that’s best described as similar to the lunar surface. Our guide reminded us 3 times that due to the uneven surfaces it’s INCREDIBLY dangerous to walk around, and we did almost fall a few times.
We pulled over to the side of the road. Most people went towards the sea to watch the waves hitting the rocks, but between our northern hikes and our recent visit to the Cliffs of Moher we’d had enough of waves and rocks. So we went inland and honestly if we’d not done this we would never had realized why The Burren was worth stopping at. The Burren stretches on forever. Every step you take reveals more crevices, shallow pools of water and exotic looking flowers. When we got back in the bus we continued through The Burren for a long time, which might have been boring if we hadn’t seen how complex the area was on our micro excursion.
Stop 3: Galway
We stopped here for a couple of hours just to enjoy the city. We were given free reign to go find snacks and adventure. So K and I went out to see what Galway has. Mostly sweaters, it turns out. The city is famous for its wool and knitting industries, so a common souvenir is a wool sweater or hat. Galway is a pretty, quaint town, but it gets pretty crowded on the main shopping streets. Nonetheless, we enjoyed walking around for a bit. The best part though was when we found an Italian restaurant that sold cannolis. Chris loves cannolis, and for some reason they do NOT exist in Spain. So we enjoyed a cannoli on the street, and it was the best thing ever.
Return to Dublin.
Na, just kidding. We walked around for the rest of the evening, exploring the Trinity College campus and the Irish Potato Famine statues.
For dinner we wanted something simple and cheap, so we went to a Supermacs.
Supermacs made the news recently because of a legal battle it fought, and won, against McDonald’s. McDonalds had trademarked the use of “Mc” and “Big Mac” all throughout Europe. But even worse, McDonalds preemptively trademarked the term “Snack Box” which is not even a menu item offered by McDonalds. But you know who does use the term “Snack Box” on their menu? Supermacs. McDonalds trademarked the terms, and then sat on them just to prevent competitors from having them. So Supermacs claimed that McDonalds was unfairly preventing their company from spreading outside of Ireland, which was true.
So the European courts reviewed the matter, and then canceled the “Mc”, “Big Mac”, and “Snack Box” trademarks held by McDonalds.
So we found one and gave it a try. Now, I don’t think that I’m biased against McDonald’s (it’s my favorite guilty pleasure food in Spain), but Supermacs blows McDonalds away. Every single thing was better. The veggies were fresh, the meat was flavorful, the bread tasted like something from a bakery, the pickles were thick and yummy, hell even the fries were better. And they didn’t skimp on the sauce.
No wonder McDonalds was afraid of competing with these guys.