So long Ireland! Til we meet again. I have to say that is the best
$80 insurance – sneaky
$150 cash –
$8 soup and sandwich
$7 seafood chowder
$10 giants causeway
$10 soup and sandwich
$15 stamps and postcards
$4 chips and gravy
$24 tolls and parking
Total – $337
That was the best $337 I’ve spent in a week for a while .. The car was a luxury .. And $189 of that total.. But without the car.. Less than $150 for everything that I saw, experienced, and captured the moment of, I’d say it was well worth it. .. 5 days.. $67.40 per day.. So if that was a month.. $2000 .. Maybe a little expensive for my budget. At home my bills are about $1600 a month for car, house, phone utilities Etc.. But then thT isn’t including gas and food so it’s about the same.
So what exactly did I experience? Well many of you follow the travels moment by moment on Facebook, so you already know.. But for those of you who don’t .. You should! Lol here you go..
I landed in Dublin, and picked up my little Volkswagen Up.. A word of warning; if you hire a car at Dublin airport, be prepared to drive a manual on the wrong side of the road on the wrong side of the car .. Luckily I have experience with stick shift .. But it is weird turning into a street and having to remember which side to turn into. In addition, the pedals are in the same position as American stick shift cars .. The accelerator is on the right, the clutch on the left.. The gears are the same positions also .. First is up to the left, reverse is down to the right, but you may need to press down on it to get it into reverse. Ok, so moving along.. When I reserved the car, it was €7 a day.. €35 but when I got there they wanted me to take out additional coverage to cover the cost of the deductible – $1600 .. That was an additional $16 per day.. Or let them hold $1600 on a credit card.. I don’t have a credit card and I’m broke .. Hence the frugal travel lol so $80 it was. After driving around in a nearby park a little I was ready to embrace the city of Dublin. I walked around the beautiful Christ church cathedral and took some pictures of the river and the bridges. I’d been offered a couch to crash on in the city via couchsurfing, so my first two nights sleep was free.
Anita was an amazing host! When I arrived, she welcomed me into her cozy apartment. She’d just finished cooking pumpkin spiced pasta but I wasn’t hungry. I’d stopped at a cafe and had some amazing potato and leak soup with a cheese and chutney sandwich. Note to self tho.. This was an additional $9 I could have saved.. But since financially I didn’t need to, I splurged on some all natural farm produce lunch. It wasn’t trust the lung tho.. The staff at the cafe was so friendly and helpful.. With their help I found my first castle.
So, Anita and I sat and talked for a little while about our travels. I was her first guest it turned out. She’d used couchsurfing to travel but hadn’t hosted before. Her couch was a futon that folded down, and the down comforter was so warm and comfortable… But it isn’t the couch or the price that is my favorite thing about couchsurfing .. It’s the experience! It’s getting on the bus with this new friend and being shown around Dublin.. The right pub to get authentic Gaelic music.. Not having to worry about what bus and what stops .. All of which take time to research. It’s exchanging travel tips of other places, and making a new friend that will probably stay in touch. Anita was leaving for NYC in two days, so I was able to give her tons of information that is learned on my time in New York. 🙂
We went to The Temple Bar and a see got to the door, a group of men were coming out .. The first one hugged me and kissed my cheek.. They had boarded the same plane as I, and were in front and behind me. We hung out there and met a couple from Denmark that we talked to for a while .. It was all so friendly.. I drank my water and they all drank Guinness.. It reminded me of PS – I LOVE YOU .. The part where they’re in the Irish bar and he’s singing lol the live music was great!
We got back to the house for 11p. Anita had work the next day and I was tired. I wanted to edit the pics id taken and get an early start for Wicklow mountains the next morning.. So we called it a night.
The next day I took 3 and a half hours to drive an hour drive because I kept stopping to take pictures and videos of all the amazing views. Seriously… No matter how many pictures and videos I show you, it can’t do the experience justice.. It’s just something you’ve gotta see for yourself!
Once I arrived in Glendalough, it was time to eat. I was fairly hungry, and there was a restaurant at the hotel in town. The price on the menu was in excess of £20 ($30) and although sitting having a posh roast dinner in the middle of a cute little Irish village would’ve been dreamy.. This is a frugal travel blog, so I found some sachets for a cup of soup, and a loaf of bread with dairylea cheese slices, and enjoyed one of my favorites; grilled cheese and tomato soup… Sucking down another bottle of water.
After lunch, I began hiking the trail that said it led to the lake. On the way, I came upon a cemetery.. A very old 13th century cemetery, that completely captured my attention. It had so much history, and the views of the land beyond from it was simply stunning! It reminded me of the perfect place to hide a letterbox, so I opened my letterboxing app and sure enough, there was a treasure hidden somewhere in this cemetery.
I spent hours following the clues and retracing steps, but never found the stamp. What I did find was some beautiful picture angles, and a red robin that seemed to hang out with me for at least two hours. She reminded me of the robin that would visit my grans house during breakfast as a child. The Robin seemed very tame, and I wondered if maybe it was my gran, helping me find the stamp.. Or attempting to. She’s always been very good at showing herself. It began to get dark, so I knew it was time to go. The roads are narrow, bumpy, windy, and dark..
By the time I arrived back at the apartment, it was dinner time. My host had already messaged me that she would be at her friends house celebrating a birthday, but had suggested checking out the Dublin spire as they were hosting a Star Wars party there. I hadn’t slept much and was pretty tired, but I wanted to see this once in a lifetime chance. I rested at the apartment for a couple of hours, working on a few pictures, and face timing with my bestie, Amber.
Dublin Spire was freaking awesome!!!!!
They literally turned the spire into a light sabre. Storm troopers were hanging out, flying Irish flags, and people were lining the streets. I didn’t stay long, but I am sure glad that I went to see it.
The next morning, I packed my backpack and hit the road towards The Giants’ Causeway! Parking in and around Dublin is quite expensive. It’s pay to park from 7a-midnight and at $3 an hour, it can add up quite quickly. Being up and out by 7am allowed me to bypass rush hour traffic, spend more time exploring, which ultimately turned out to be an amazing sunset over Dunluce Castle, and save money!!
Giants’ Causeway was so amazing, I’m writing it its’ own blog. If this is now a link, then click away, and experience it for yourself!
The sunset over Dunluce Castle was stunning. It’s the only sunset that I have actually seen since arriving in Europe. Thank you to those of you at home that tag me in the beautiful sunsets that I’ve been missing back there!
A two hour drive to Ballyliffin and I found my lodgings. Thanks to Airbnb, I found a hostel for $18 a night.. I happened to be the only guest registered during my stay, and enjoyed having the whole house to myself. The house was a short walk to the beach, and a 30 minute drive to Green Castle..
There were plenty of things to look around and see on the northern tip of the Republic of Ireland, and I simply didn’t have enough time there. I still can’t believe all the things that I was able to see. Stunningly breathtaking.. And def want to return to Ireland for a longer stay at some point in the future.
Green Castle and its history can be seen by clicking here.
The last morning, I set out to find the castles, but due to losing my signal, I never actually made it to the Castles unfortunately.. But I did come across even more beautiful views than I had already found in my previous days in Ireland.
A five hour drive back to Dublin.. A refill of the gas tank ($50 in gas altogether) and I was back at the airport, heading back to England for the holidays.