Driving on the Wrong Side of the Road + Kinsale, Ireland

Hello and welcome! In case you missed it, make sure to check out my previous Europe trip recaps of Munich, Neuschwanstein Castle, 8-hour Paris adventure, and first night in Dublin!

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Wednesday

The morning started off bright and early with a 6:30am wakeup call. We had a 7:30am bus to catch that would bring us to the airport so we could pick up our rental car and begin the road trip  portion of our trip!

We arrived at Dooley Car Rentals, checked-in, and were in our rental car within the hour.

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Something isn’t right.

Being on the “wrong” side of the car while Felix was driving on the right side of the car was a total mind you-know-what for the first half hour. It was SO WEIRD. Thankfully, Felix drove the entire time, because I for sure would have forgotten and gotten us into a mess.

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From Dublin, we drove south towards Glendalough where we got to explore and see the Wicklow Mountains (where the water used to brew Guinness comes from!).

The views were absolutely breathtaking.

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Looks like a car ad.

The pictures don’t even do it justice.

Here, we explored the Seven Churches of Glendalough and walked on a path through the mountains, which, naturally, was stunning.

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We spent a few hours here and had to remind ourselves a time or two that this was part of our road trip. It wasn’t just getting from Point A to Point B, it was about enjoying the in-between.

After leaving Upper Lake, we made our way towards Kinsale, where we’d be staying for the evening.

The drive was amazing! Narrow roads, long stretches of bright green grass leading to mountains. We even saw a man and his sheepdog herding sheep on the side of the road! It was incredible.

When we arrived in Kinsale, we were greeted with a view of a marina filled to the brim with sailboats and lined in buildings of every color you could imagine.

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A view of the marina

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The most appropriate word I can think to call this town is charming. Unbelievably so.

We arrived at our Airbnb and, before even going inside, could not believe what we were seeing.

It was a gorgeous multistory home on a plot of land that overlooked the water and had a backyard that was turned into a lush garden with flowers all around and an adorable dog running about named Curly.

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Our hosts, Rosemarie and Dave, we wonderful! They greeted us with smiling faces and gave us the tour of the home and showed us to our room that had quite the view…

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AND REALLY CUTE BEDDING.

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After dropping off our luggage, freshening up, and playing outside with Curly, we ventured into the town on foot for some dinner + drinks.

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Charming little building on our way into town!
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The “main path” to take to walk into town. You can see the marina in the background! It’s enchanting. 

We had dinner at this seafood restaurant (because when you’re basically staying on top of a marina, you should probably try the seafood) and shared mussels, crab cakes, and a baked seafood dish. The mussels were great, as Ireland further proved to remain true.

We had a few beers at dinner and decided we’d take ourselves on a bar hopping excursion.

Felix also pointed out that the restaurant had an abnormally small handrail to help you down the single step from one dining area to the next.

We laughed at this for an hour.

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This is where things got silly.

We went to one bar that was the diviest of dive bars and was filled with what I thought were regulars in every sense of the word. I think it was called Casey’s.

We had a half pint here, which was a good choice, because bingo was about to begin, and we didn’t seem to fit in. It was hilariously weird.

After leaving Casey’s, we made our way to another bar, which consisted of three people total including the bartender. So Felix and I had a beer in the corner of the bar and that’s where I learned about the game of darts.

Because apparently it’s huge in Ireland.

And I am Irish, so I need to connect with my people.

We finished our beer and went to our last stop for the evening, which was a restaurant called Twisted that one of our hosts works at. He invited us to stop by for a bite, so we figured why not!

We grabbed another drink, which, at this point in the evening, we found hilarious. I have a beer. Felix has a… cruise ship cocktail?

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We ordered a couple of oysters to snack on while we waited for the main event…

Dessert. Which I sadly don’t have a picture of, because we ate it entirely too fast.

It was an almond tart drizzled in creme, and alongside a generous scoop of homemade mascarpone ice cream with diced mango.

Heavenly.

At this point, we were beyond full of food and beer, so we decided to make the trek back to our Airbnb to get some sleep.

Along the way, things got silly because, well, it’s us.

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We had a little #FollowMeTo photoshoot of our own, and I couldn’t stop laughing. So here I am laughing at a sign at approximately midnight on an empty street in Kinsale, Ireland.

Good times.

Felix gave me a piggyback the majority of the way back to our room. I mostly sang “On The Streets of Kinsaaaaaaale,” but this time Felix joined in.

Thursday

Thursday morning, we woke up and got dressed and packed before heading downstairs for breakfast.

Rosemarie and Dave had a huge spread of food for us. Fruit, muffins, cakes, cereal, yogurt, coffee, tea. The works. It was so delicious and so appreciated!

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Plus, we had some pretty great breakfast company too.

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Curly!

After soaking up the last few moments of Kinsale and having coffee #3, we hopped back into our car and headed towards the main attraction for the day, Blarney Castle!

But not without a bag of homemade muffins to go from Rosemarie and Dave. I told you they were the best.

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Up next: recap of our afternoon exploring Blarney Castle and gaining the gift of eloquence. 

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