So, next on the summer travel list was Ireland – a destination none of us has been to before. When boarding our direct flight from Zurich to Cork we were all super excited to explore a new destination.
Already from above one thing became clear; they don’t promise too much when talking about the green island. The approach from the Atlantic Ocean was beautiful. We were later told by locals that the summer of 2018 was extraordinary hot and dry, therefore some areas dried up and turned brown which apparently is unusual. To us, it still looked really lush and green.
After landing it took us quite a while to proceed through passport control and pick up our rental car. What always proofs to be an extra challenge is the installation of rented car seats for the children – I mean, you want to do that properly; I am always left in awe how many different types there are! When we finally hit the road, we had to get used to driving on the left-hand side of the road. I have only tried it once before when we rented a car in Malaysia, Renz was familiar with it growing up in India but in the last decade he mainly drove in Central Europe. It was interesting to see how fast it felt natural driving on the other side. I expected it to take longer, but on the second day I was already comfortable hitting the road by myself.
From Cork we drove south-west to a small town called Bandon where our AirBnB was located. It turned out to be a good spot to explore the Wild Atlantic Way. We only managed to cover a small part of the 2500-kilometre-long touring route stretching along Ireland’s beautiful untamed coastline from the Old Head of Kinsale in West Cork to Malin Head in Donegal. As we meandered the cost we took time to stop and enjoy the views, the subtly changing landscape, the dramatic coastline, the historic towns as well as the secluded beaches.
Sometimes, images speak more than words:
We have talked about it before; the number one thing we learnt since traveling with kids is traveling slower. We allow more time for everything, we plan less activities and we take a lot of breaks.
Whilst on our road trip we passed many signs with true tongue twisters: places called Owenahincha, Clonakilty, Inchydoney. Besides English, everything is written in Irish/Gaelic; we were wondering how many people might still use Irish in their everyday life?
So, more from our Ireland adventures in the next post. But, let’s close with a summary of our trip for now:
Apartment: We rented an AirBnB in Bandon. The apartment was a cute little cabin in the countryside overlooking fields and it came with our own little patio. We could see cows, rabbits and foxes from the big windows. All the amenities we need like Wi-Fi, dish washer and washing machine were there. Plus, the hosts were super nice! We did not have a separate bedroom as it was more like a studio. As the weather was really pleasant, it was not a big issue but we realised we generally really need a separated bedroom for the kids.
Luggage: We travelled with two medium sized suitcases, two small backpacks as well as two kids’ “Trunki” suitcases. Those came in handy at the airports as the kiddies find it fun to ride them (they are actually made for that). Therefore, we only took our small stroller. We were not sure whether the big one would fit in the rental car and our strategy was that they usually nap in the car if we are out driving a lot.
Travel: We flew from Zurich to Cork with Swiss. The flights went so well with the kids, it was super relaxed! The decision to rent a car was a good one as it is so much easier to get around.
Food: Our apartment had a well-equipped, big kitchen. The host left a super generous variety of food there for our breakfast. We ended up eating nearly all of our meals at home unless we were out exploring where we ended up doing picnics quite often. The spots were just prime and the weather really inviting!
We enjoyed buying local food which you can distinguish by the “Fuchsia” brand promising high quality, distinctive, traditional or speciality products. You get them in supermarkets, local markets or directly from the producers.
Routine: With all the sightseeing and the wedding we attended (more on that in the next post), we again found it difficult to get heaps of work down. We still managed to squeeze in an interview for my new, exciting book project as well as some filming for my virtual summer reading for my book “Gestickte Erinnerungen”. I guess both our July trips were a mix of vacation and work trip.
Duration of the stay: As in Porto, we stayed for a week which was a good amount of time to explore the South of Ireland. However, we have only seen a really small part of the country and our goal is to be able to spend longer chunks of time in each destination.