Loop Head & Kilbaha Gallery

Here in county Clare, we have lots of breathtaking scenery and tourist attractions. One of my favorites has to be a drive around the Loop Head Peninsula. Personally I think it is nicer than the world famous Cliffs of Moher! It’s a lovely drive around the peninsula and it’s something that the whole family will enjoy.

The Loop Head Peninsula was recently voted the best place to holiday in Ireland and it’s easy to see why! Stunning views which are miles long, it is a very popular area for geologists and you can often spot dolphins and even whales swimming in the waters!

It is also home to the famous lighthouse where you can do a tour to see how it works and you can climb to the top for the ultimate views from county Kerry all the way to the Cliffs of Moher!

It is in a rural area of west Clare which means it is very peaceful and the roads are quiet, it’s the ideal weekend drive! There are many small villages which have restaurants and bars to keep your stomach full while employing this beautiful area of Clare.

You can even write your own message with the stones left on the ground, it makes for a lovely photo to send home to friends or family. I have visited this site multiple times and every time is just as breathtaking as the last. You could never get tired of seeing it!

The best thing about driving on rural road is that usually the only traffic jams are caused by farmers moving their herd of cows from one field to another! It’s easy to see why so many tourists visit this part of Clare every year.

About 5 minutes away from the lighthouse is a lovely gift shop called Kilbaha Gallery. It is a contemporary art gallery on the Wild Atlantic Way. Co-owners Ailish and Liz are so friendly and make you feel very welcomed once you walk in the door. The rest of the staff are also so nice and they are all very jolly and upbeat. They sell lots of gifts to suit every age group.

Kilbaha Gallery stocks work from some of Ireland’s best contemporary artists. From bronze sculptures, oil paintings, and mixed media to ceramic and textile art. 

My favorite thing about Kilbaha Gallery is that they sell mostly handmade products, the majority of which are even produced in county Clare. I love the idea of this as I think it’s great to support local businesses within our county. The girls are very friendly and they are very helpful if you require assistance or have any questions. The pictures below show just a few of the beautiful range of products on sale;

There’s a café onsite, they have a great selection of cakes and drinks. I also really liked the presentation of the drinks, the teapots and cups have different designs on them, I even brought home a teapot for my mother, just like the one below. It’s lovely to have a warm cup of tea after being out and about on the cliffs for the evening.

If you are interested in the history of the gift shop and the history of the local area, you can head upstairs to the historical section of the gallery. It’s nice to see some of the old artifacts which people used long ago and there’s a film playing on a TV so you can see how people lived back then! Henry Blake was a local man from the area of Kilbaha and the film explains all about his life.

You can check out Kilbaha Gallery by clicking here.

If you would like to read more about the Loop Head Peninsula you can do so by clicking here.

Thank you for reading!

5 Nights In Prague

My friends and I had spent a great Christmas together so we said we would start off the new year with a nice trip to Prague! Myself, Ryan, Megan, Jennifer, and Rachel hit off on the 3rd January from Dublin airport to spend the next 5 nights in the Czech Republic. The flight took two and a half hours so we managed it fine, as I tend to get agitated of sitting down on longer flights. We landed in Prague and the weather was just like it was in Ireland, but it’s what we expected so we weren’t disappointed. A taxi took us to our accommodation where we stayed for the next 5 nights. As there was a group of us traveling together, we booked a large apartment so we had our own sitting room and separate kitchen which was so cool. I have a video saved somewhere if any of you would like to see the inside of the apartment I’ll send it to you.

Prague looked fantastic and it reminded me a lot like Krakow in Poland. It was old fashioned but it was still a lovely city and the nightlife was great too. The St.Vitus cathedral was a two minute walk away from our apartment and it was very nice, the ideal spot for that Instagram perfect picture!

Also a reminder that the currency in Prague is called Czech Crowns. They do not accept Euro but there are lots of currency exchange shops all around the city.

Prague is just as nice during the day as it is during the night!

We found that the nightlife in Prague was very good! Just like Poland, there were people walking around the streets advertising a pub crawl which we took part in on a few of the nights so that we would get to see more of the city. The pub crawl brought us to all the best pubs and clubs in the city. We got to meet some great people some of who we still keep in contact with.

There is a huge nightclub called Karlovy Lazne which has multiple floors each of which play different types of music! It also included the famous ice pub and an oxygen bar. We had great fun in this nightclub but it is expensive. You have to pay just to get in, then anything else you wish to see is at an extra cost after that. Having said that, we still saw everything that there was to see!

The next thing we visited was the Charles bridge. It looked just as how I had imagined and it was great to finally see it in person. The only problem with it was that it was crowded with people. It was very busy and difficult to take a nice photo of it.

We walked the length of the bridge which only took a few minutes. Then we went to see the John Lennon wall which was also very cool.

Prague castle was next on our list but it involves a lot of walking. It seemed to take us forever to get to the top of it. There were literally hundreds of steps to go up and down! The view from the top was amazing and made it all worth while. You could see a lot of the city from standing at the top of the castle.

Oh and, isn’t the picture below one of the nicest ‘Instagram blogger poses’ you can imagine?

Drink and food is cheap in Prague, don’t forget to try out some of the local food which is delicious. The weather is similar to Ireland so I would highly recommend a visit to this beautiful city. I’m from county Clare, it’s a real pity that Shannon airport don’t operate flights to and from Prague, as it would make the journey a lot shorter for us! Absolutely beautiful country, make sure to add it to your bucket list, you won’t regret it! I’m going to finish this with one more picture of my dinner which was soup served in a bread bowl. I can’t remember the correct name for this meal but it tasted great! Thanks guys for reading.

7 Days In Poland – Warsaw & Krakow

Poland had always been one of the places in Europe I wanted to visit, so when I got the opportunity, I grabbed it! Myself & Megan had just returned home from a week in Lanzarote and decided to plan another trip for two months later. We decided to book Poland and I could not wait to go. I have always read so much about Poland and looked at many pictures online of how beautiful it was.

We booked return flights from Shannon airport which cost €250 for the both of us. The hotel cost €370 for the week, which was a lovely hotel in a great location in the middle of the city. We flew out on Good Friday, and landed later that night! We got a taxi to our hotel in Krakow and we went out for food and a few drinks. The one thing I had always presumed about Poland is that their currency is Euro, considering it is in the European Union. The currency in Poland is złoty, we discovered this only a few days before traveling, so we were panicking to have our money changed on time.

I have to say that Krakow was one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever visited, it looked very old fashioned but still quite modern at the same time. There were lots of horses and carriages around the main square which brought people on a trip around the city.

Our hotel was just around the corner from the Wawel Cathedral which was breathtaking from the outside and inside as shown in the photos below! There were various mass times on a sign as you enter, but we didn’t stay for a ceremony.

As it was just the two of us in Poland, we researched the nightlife online and found a pub crawl which helps tourists meet up with different people from all over the world and head out in the city for the night! We contacted them and booked our places. The pub crawl is called ‘Krawl Through Krakow’ and we met the group at 9PM that night in the main square. Immediately we got to meet new people from Spain, America, England, Ireland, just to name a few.

We got to meet so many lovely people including a few which I still have contact with since returning home! The pub crawl cost us €15 each which included all you can drink alcohol for two hours, and entry to all the top pubs/clubs in Krakow. We joined up with the pub crawl group a few more times during the week as they went to different venues every night and it was nice to chat to new people.

There’s lots to do in Krakow, including shopping centers, restaurants, etc. The streets were always busy and had a nice atmosphere around the whole city. We went in March, which was a fairly cold time of year to visit Poland. It was around 11 degrees Celsius during the day but dropped to -1 at night time. The weather stayed dry for the trip so it was nothing that a pair of gloves and a jacket wouldn’t sort out!

We planned two trips while we were there, the first was to visit the Wieliczka Salt Mine. This is a UNESCO site and is visited by over a million tourists every year. We booked this tour at a tourist office (which are all over the place). The cost of the tour was about €25 each which included a return taxi to and from the salt mine. The salt mine was absolutely amazing but the thing I didn’t like was the amount of steps we had to walk down to get to it! I think there were approx 300 steps which seemed to take us ages and we had been out the night before so we felt a bit sick halfway through it haha. It was all worth it once we got to the bottom and saw how nice it was.

It was like a city underground, I wasn’t sure what to expect before seeing this, but it did not disappoint! They have a gift shop and a restaurant there too! I must also say that when you are in your tour group, do not leave it! We left the group for a few minutes which caused a big scene with our guide and the entire group of 30 people had to be stopped until they found us at the restaurant eating our chicken nuggets lol.

The next trip we did was to go and see the concentration camp. We visited the Auschwitz-Birkenau sites. We had been advised not to do this tour until a day or two before flying home, as it’s a very sad sight to see and I just could not stop thinking about it for the rest of our holiday!

Now don’t get me wrong, it was nice to get to see this world famous concentration camp, but at the same time I found it very eery and upsetting to hear about the shocking things that happened the people who were sent there. They had rooms full of real hair which was taken from the people before they were killed. They also had a full room of suitcases with the children’s names wrote onto them, along with old clothes and shoes which were all kept behind large glass walls.

The tour guide told us stories of what happened when the people arrived at the camp, and even brought us into the gas chamber where thousands of people were killed. I didn’t take any photos in the chambers, to be honest I didn’t like that part and could not wait to get out of it. We also got the see the shooting wall where people had to stand and got shot while at the wall.

Overall I would definitely recommend a visit to this site, but as I said above, leave it last on your bucket list before you go home!

I nearly forgot to mention, halfway through the week, we got a train to Warsaw where we spent the night at a 5 star hotel which my sister Majella booked for us! Warsaw is a lovely city but to be honest it’s full of tall buildings and felt like visiting a city in Ireland. There were still a few lovely parts to see but it looked very built up. The picture below was the view from our bedroom on the 17th floor!

Warsaw old town was lovely, it’s just like you see in the pictures. The buildings were lovely colours and there was a great atmosphere around with all the different restaurants and locals selling gifts at the side of the footpath. There’s a large shopping center about a five minute walk away from the old town which had every type of shop you could want!

Oh and one more thing, don’t lose your train ticket as the train workers don’t speak much English, and you will get a fine! I know this from our personal experience haha.

Overall it was a great trip and I would love to go back again, but i wouldn’t bother going to Warsaw again! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me. Thanks for reading!

Gran Canaria

Good afternoon everyone! I really need to start updating this more but I’ve been gone away a lot recently!

I have visited the Canary Islands many times, in particular, Lanzarote. This time I wanted to visit a different island to see what else the canaries had to offer! I got in contact with my local travel counsellor, Melanie!

I explained to her that I’d like to go for a week and wanted a hotel with air conditioning as the weather would be hot! She was very accommodating and had multiple options to choose from. You can have a look at Melanie’s Facebook page here: Melanie Cahill Travel Counsellor.

Myself and my friend Ryan decided to book a week in a 4 star all inclusive hotel resort. Melanie looked after everything for us so all we had to do was to pack our bags!

We flew from Dublin airport which was fine with us as we had the car left at a nearby parking zone. We boarded the flight and could not wait to arrive in the heat. The flight was 4 hours long, we landed and were met at the door by a rep for the travel company which was great as they escorted us to our bus and took our bags.

We were expecting it to be warm, but it turned out to be 36 degrees for the entire week! It was great and such a difference to the weather here in Ireland! We checked into our hotel which was super clean and very posh. We got our all inclusive wristbands which entitled us to eat and drink as much as we wanted for 7 days. (back at the gym now so hopefully it won’t have affected me much haha)

That was the name of the hotel! I couldn’t recommend it highly enough to anyone. The rooms were so clean, the resort has 2 swimming pools, a gym, 2 bars, an art shop, and 3 restaurants which each had their own theme. We had a great view from our balcony bedroom as you can see in the photo below.

The hotel is located about ten minutes walk away from the beach. It’s a lovely walk to the beach with many pubs, restaurants and shops along the way. If you prefer to get a taxi, it costs €3 to get down to the beach. The food in the hotel was delicious and we ate there every day which saved us spending more in restaurants a few times a day. They had a great selection each day, including fresh fruit, pizza, chicken, pasta, beef, etc.

We also enjoyed the nightlife in Gran Canaria. We had a few drinks at the hotel each night before heading down the street to the Irish bars and nightclubs. Our favorite bar to visit was called Molly Malone’s. The staff were so nice to us and all had great personalities and very jolly.

There were many bars to choose from, we also enjoyed The Irish Tavern, its a karaoke bar which was great fun. The 2 main nightclubs in Playa Del Inglés are Pacha & Chinawhite. The nightclubs were brilliant and very lively. They were very expensive though, at €19 for 2 vodkas it’s a place you probably wouldn’t spend all night there. Most of the bars are also shisha bars. It was nice to have a few drinks and smoke the flavored shisha.

The cocktails were the nicest I’ve ever had! They all included plenty of ice which we wanted as we found it extremely hot during the day. My favorite was the strawberry daiquiri, and also the coconut cocktail which was served in a real coconut.

I would definitely recommend a trip to Gran Canaria, it’s very similar to Lanzarote, perhaps not as lively by night but it’s still worth a trip to see the gorgeous island. There’s lots to do, including boat trips, fishing, kayaking, jet skiing, golfing! Thanks guys for reading and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me!