In the order that we reached them, here are our favorite places:
It wasn't just that Wicklow is drop-dead beautiful/we had good weather/there are sheep. We also met some of our most favorite people on the trip in Wicklow, including Clement, Brian, and Barry the Nice Cyclist, who stopped for a half hour to help us untangle Claire's backpack strap from her gears.
Kilkenny was brilliant in spite of the touristy-ness because it was adorable. The town was really cute, the castle was fun, and we entertained ourselves by imitating statues, finding Diagon Alley, and taking ridiculous pictures with the pirate duck. Also, we ate lunch in a shop called Bla Bla Bla Sandwiches. What more could anyone require?
Best little coastal town ever! With a beach made of real sand! Really pretty cliffs as well and a sweet shipwreck.
Also, we bought Jedward popping chocolate bars. Mine were defective and did not pop. So basically, mine was the more accurate depiction of Jedward.
Cashel itself was pretty cool, but even more amazing were the ruins of Hore Abbey, right across the street. We climbed over walks and around cows to play there. Claire probably described it best when she referred to it as a "giant adult-sized playground." No, the irony of the place being called "Hore Abbey" was not lost on us.
SUPER AWESOMENESS NEXT DOOR:
Also, Claire got snotted on by a cow:
Is another one that's really, really nice. The national park in particular is beautiful to wander around in.
Despite having the most awkward name ever, Dingle is hands-down one of the most beautiful places I've ever been to in my life. There aren't enough words, so have some pictures.
pronounced "crack house." Heeheehee.
Really, really hilly and a pain in the ass to bike through, but the views made it worth it.
The Aran Islands
We did two trips to the Islands, once to Inisheer and once to Inishmore. Both are gorgeous. Here, have some pictures.
And now, a few words on our least favorite places:
Cork: Blows. There's nothing to do, nothing to see, and the only redeeming part of our three days there was that we spent one in Cashel, the other hanging with Poles, and the other being entertained by a really drunk guy.
Tralee: Also blows. Likewise nothing to do/see. When we asked for tourist attractions, they sent us to a windmill. Not a cool windmill, in any sense of the word--it wasn't old, made of wood, or inhabited by Dutch people. It was just...a windmill. Also, the hostel was really, really, REALLY weird.
Dungarvan: The town itself was very pretty, but we got chased out of the B and B the next morning by the crazed Rose, who shut off our water and told us it was our fault we couldn't take showers and didn't we know she didn't have time to deal with us because she had to go to the funeral of some kid of OD'ed on bad ecstasy? After much argument, she offered to boil us water so we could take showers in the sink, which confused us greatly...mainly because we hadn't meant to check into Ye Olde Taverne Inne circa 1760. After even more argument, she finally let us take showers in a different room. The thing is, had she just let us do that the first time around, we would have been out in 15 minutes. As it was, the entire process took almost an hour, and was exceptionally irritating. So there you go. The Old Rectory, Dungarvan, County Waterford. Don't stay there, ever. Unless you enjoy washing your hair in the sink, in which case...nah, forget it. Wash your hair in a sink owned by nicer people.
The first hostel we stayed in the second time we were in Dublin: Right underneath the train tracks. Super dirty. When we were first given beds, we discovered that someone was sleeping in one of them and not paying for it, at which point we were moved to the back house. There were rats. No, just...no.
Ring of Kerry: It's not so much that the Ring itself sucks (it doesn't). Mostly it was just that we did a bus tour, and did not enjoy it. The bus never stopped where we wanted to stop, and always stopped where we didn't want to be...at which point we promptly abandoned the bus and found our own cool things, and then wound up holding the bus up for forever. Every. Single. Stop. So Ring of Kerry is cool, just don't do a bus tour.
Clifden: Same deal. Clifden is great, it's just that Irish public transportation blows lameballz and we only had two hours to run around. When I gaped at the driver upon hearing this news, he told me, "It's up to God to please you now, because I can't." Extra minus points for Irish busses for religious references.
And that's about it! See you guys back here tomorrow for a detailed account of all our favorite people!