I was on the bus towards Luton airport for my trip to Prague, wondering how I should spend my last week in London. After a quick search on skyscanner, I found cheap tickets to Shannon (Ireland) with really good timings (fly in the morning, arrive back at night the next day). Without hesitation, I asked Javier whether he was interested in joining me on this adventure (he clearly didn’t know what he was getting himself into), and I proceeded to settle the entire itinerary (transport, air ticket and accommodation) on the bus.
After some intense sleep deprivation, I dragged myself to Stansted airport (my favourite thus far) and took an hour’s flight to Shannon. Upon landing at Shannon airport, I was once again amazed by the friendliness of the Irish. We were greeted by the Irish customs officer with some banter on how Shannon’s Airport was better than Dublin’s, and he wished us well for our stay in Ireland. A far cry from many of the customs officers I have seen thus far.
After being led on a wild goose chase by google maps (I’m pretty sure the police station doesn’t provide the public transport we were looking for), we finally found our bus stop, and took the fastest bus to the town of Ennis. To our dismay, the town was really small, and it did not really have any attractions worth going to. After lunch (and checking into Rowan Tree Hostel), I made the wildest of decisions to rent a bike from the nearest bike store, and cycle in some random direction till we found something interesting.
Renting bikes for the journey
Doing exactly that, we ended up cycling north towards The Burren. Halfway through the journey, Javier realised how grave a mistake it was to agree to my impromptu plans and proposed a shorter alternative route. Finally realising that I actually had to cycle back whatever distance I was planning to cycle, I agreed with Javier. This resulted in us ending up in some random forest somewhere in Ireland.
The forest we ended up in was called Dromore Woods (sounds like its straight out from a MMORPG). With a road through the woods, it really felt like we were back in Pulau Ubin, except for the fact that the air was fresher and it felt like it was air conditioned. The pristine surroundings definitely added to the tranquillity of the place. Finally reaching some random lake, we sat down for a while to admire the serenity, before beginning our journey back to Ennis.
The journey back was filled with rain, sweat, and near misses from all sorts of vehicles. When we finally made it back to our accommodation, we heaved a sigh of relief, and crashed for a while (better on bed than on the roads). We woke up when hunger finally took over, and we made our way to a nearby Irish bar (Brogan’s). After getting a seat after 30 minutes of waiting, we were greeted by over-friendly waiters, who explained to us the items in the menu, and even providing the recommendations. Settling for a finger food mix and some seafood chowder, we took a moment to enjoy the lovely live Irish band performances that were being played.
Dinner on 1st night
After food was served, the waiter would check on us every now and then with smiles on his face. In addition to that, the food and the atmosphere was simply splendid. The dinner experience was one of the best I have ever had, and I swore that I would be visiting Ireland again to experience this once more.
After checking out and returning our bicycles to the bicycle shop, we made our way to the Cliffs of Moher. It was an hour and a half’s journey from Ennis, but the lovely scenery surrounding us made it well worth it. Arriving at the cliffs, we were greeted by throngs of tourist. Coupled with the amazing weather, the atmosphere was lively and a sight to behold.
We ended up sitting at the edges of the cliff and taking a few playful shots. It was a thrilling experience well worth it.
Cliffs of Moher
By the time we had toured the entire stretch of cliffs, it was time to head back to the airport. We stopped by Ennis for a final meal (yet again with excellent service and atmosphere), and headed back to London, tummies filled and hearts content.