The past two weeks have been filled! In Ireland, the schools are on break the week before and after Easter, so our cafe also took a break during that time. Timing worked out perfectly to have my parents come the first week of the break and Savanah’s parents for the second week. Wanting to explore as much as possible in a limited time, Savanah and I tackled the challenge of becoming tour guides for our parents.
My parents arrived in Galway on Thursday, March 29th, and we showed them around to some of our favorite places in Galway. On Friday, we rented a car and explored the Burren and the Cliffs of Moher. We explored more of Galway on Saturday, and after church on Sunday, we took a bus to Dublin (which we toured on that evening and Monday morning). Monday afternoon we caught a flight to Edinburgh, Scotland.
My mom’s grandparents came to America from Scotland in their mid-twenties, and it has always been a dream of hers to see the country of her heritage. It was such a blessing for my dad, Savanah, and me to experience Scotland with my Mom for our first trip there. The first full day consisted of exploring the beautiful highlands of Scotland (snow covered mountains, lakes upon lakes nestled among the mountains–including the mysterious Loch Ness, and beautiful sheep pastures).
Edinburgh is a beautiful city with old architecture everywhere you look. My mom especially enjoyed the Edinburgh Castle and Palace while Savanah was taken aback by the countless chimney tops seen throughout the city (literally thousands). I loved hiking up to the highest point in Edinburgh, Arthur’s Seat (an old volcano). The view from the top was incredible with a plethora of of green golf courses, the North Sea, the city, and the surrounding Highland mountains. What a joy it was to spend time in Scotland with my parents!
We flew back to Dublin on Thursday and enjoyed our last evening together. My parents flew out at 6:00 a.m. Friday morning and Savanah’s parents flew in at 8:00 a.m. Friday morning (little time to recover).
Already spending a couple days in Dublin, Savanah and I quickly showed her parents around the city. We also visited the Book of Kells at Trinity College in the Old Library. The four of us were amazed the the collection of books and vintage look of the library. Pictures weren’t allowed but you should google it to see it–Amazing!
Later Friday afternoon we walked to the Budget Car Rental place to pick up our little Skoda for the week of road traveling to come. I still find it amazing that you can drive across Ireland from the far east coast of Dublin to the far west coast of Galway in 2 1/2 hours (small country yet filled with a lot of beauty). Anyways, we arrived in Galway later Friday evening and spent the next couple of days showing Savanah’s parents around.
Early Monday morning, we began our road trip of southern Ireland. Much of Monday was similar to the day we explored the Burren and Cliffs of Moher with my parents, but instead we continued south down to the Dingle Peninsula. The famous Dingle Peninsula did not let us down with its beautiful scenery and wonderful hikes.
On Tuesday morning after a hike around Annascaul Lake, we head to what turned out to be our favorite area, The Ring of Kerry (specifically Killarney). Making the 4 hour drive around the whole Ring of Kerry was simply incredible. Savanah read an article that the Ring of Kerry is like the scenery straight out of the Lord of Rings. The 3000 foot mountains shooting up right next to the sea made for stunning stops along the way. The water was so blue at one point, I couldn’t help but to roll up my pants and go for a walk along the coast, but unexpected waves got the best of me.
The following day, Savanah, her dad, and I got up at 5:30 to head to Carrauntoohil, the tallest point in Ireland. Starting at nearly sea-level, we made it up and back down the 3,406 foot mountain in about 5 1/2 hours. The climb included every type of weather- overcast, drizzle, downpour, snow at the summit, sleet, hail, and spots of sunshine. It was a great time of working together and helping each other physically and with encouragement along the difficult parts of the climb.
Upon arriving back to town, Savanah’s mom was able to show us all around the cute little town of Killarney that she had been exploring that morning. Later we made it out to the Muckross House and Gardens, followed by dinner at our favorite restaurant for the week.
On Thursday we drove down to the southern city of Cork (second biggest in the Republic of Ireland), had lunch, did some exploring, and drove up towards Waterford, Ireland. Besides enjoying the culture by staying on a working Irish farm for our lodging that night, we went to see the world-famous Waterford Crystal.
Friday we made our final part of the journey back to Dublin while exploring an old monastery on the way, Glendalough.
After our dinner and ice cream together, Savanah and I got on a bus to head back to Galway while her parents stayed one more night in Dublin before flying out early the next morning.
Thank you all so much for your prayers for us during the trip (as the driver, they are especially appreciated)! We feel so blessed to have had a wonderful two weeks showing our parents around our home town (Galway), exploring Ireland, and touring Scotland. Please pray for our two weeks remaining here at the cafe.
To view some of the pictures from our two weeks of travel, click on the link below:
^If the link doesn’t work for you, please let us know!