Ireland

Dublin - Landed at 5am and was at the 7am pub Slatterys by opening. I was surprised by the number of people already drinking this early on a Saturday. After Slatterys I venture to the Guinness Storehouse to learn about how Guinness is made. I climbed my way to the very top which has a 360 degree panorama of the city which doubles as a bar. I spent most of my time in and out of the Temple Bar area to get a sense of the touristy joints as well as the pubs the locals go to. Met some amazing people including Paddy O'Toole and a few crazy Australians. Another notworthy spot is The Dawson Lounge which is the smallest pub in the world.

Glendalough - After spending a few days in the city, I ventured off into the countryside. Just south of the Wicklow Mountains is a town called Glendalough which has some amazing nature trails to hike on. They have a smaller lower lake and a larger upper lake with hills flanking on each side. This was a great getaway and taking the time hiking through the "mountains" was well worth it. Fresh air, tons of greenery, and plenty of picture perfect sights. Highly recommend this area, it's only an hour bus ride from the center of Dublin. This site also has the famous St. Kevin's Cathedral which has a ton of history associated with it.

Galway - Not much happening in Galway. This was a chance to slow down and just people watch. It's a campus town full of students and tourist. Again I set out to find the local watering holes filled with locals locals. The coastal town made for some nice walks along the seaside and they had some delicious seafood to choose from.

Plenty of shopping in the Latin Quarter on the west side of town. For pubs I recommend Taaffes Pub for a central spot or E. Brun for a cheaper pint of Guinness.

Lisdoonvarna - A sleepy town that has a crazy underside to it. I was passing through while the Match Making Festival was going on and the town gets overrun by Irish country folk who crowd the pubs, listen to Irish music, and dancing the night away. I befriended some Irishmen from Galway and we spent most of the time drinking at The Roadside Tavern which happens to brew their own beer on site.

15 minutes west of Lisdoonvarna is the Cliffs of Moher. I was lucky enough to make it there on one of the most beautiful, clear, and sunny days. Friendly people, lovely sights, and plenty of drinks. Lisdoonvarna was definitely the highlight of the trip.