Ireland 2016: Day 3

Today was mostly driving and man, did we learn a lot! First of all, road signs in the Irish countryside are small and difficult to read, second: there are roundabouts EVERYWHERE! Left turns area the easy ones and motorcycle drivers are crazy. 

Make sure you plan the extra time if you're driving, as "that was our turn" became the slogan of this trip. Having a GPS is beneficial, but they're a little slow, so anticipate greatly. 

Outside of the driving adventures, we've been having a good time. This morning we left the farmhouse and headed to what we thought was our ancestral Irish home. Turns out that wasn't the case, but it was still beautiful. And cold.  

Dunluce Castle on the northern coast of Ireland

Dunluce Castle on the northern coast of Ireland

We walked around a bit and decided that the 5 pound entry fee was not worth it not being the right castle. 

A very windy Dunluce Castle on the northern coast of Ireland

A very windy Dunluce Castle on the northern coast of Ireland

Ambling a bit down the Coastal Highway, we stumbled on a beach. A harrowing endeavour driving down to the beach, but it was worth it when we got there. This country is full of switchbacks and being on the other side of the road makes the instincts for driving untrustworthy. After a couple of days of practice, I'm more used to it, but it takes a significant adjustment. 

  Gorgeous beach near Dunlice Castle along the Coastal Highway in Northern Ireland

  Gorgeous beach near Dunlice Castle along the Coastal Highway in Northern Ireland

The beach was also windy, but it wasn't as cold as the castle, so we stayed longer. 

We got back on the Coastal Highway and drove for hours along a surprisingly varying countryside. There is such a difference between the countryside in the north and farther south.  

Traffic cropped up a couple times on our journey, but nothing insurmountable. Although, finding parking in Sligo was a challenge, but we were all good after the lady at the counter helped us out. 

  Driving into Ireland from Northern Ireland proved quite the change in scenery on our way to Sligo

  Driving into Ireland from Northern Ireland proved quite the change in scenery on our way to Sligo

The pub downstairs (which almost exclusively served burgers) had really good drinks and the bartender was a bit of a fox. After dinner, we ventured out to explore. Turns out, there's an Italian Quarter here that is quite beautiful and we will hit it again tomorrow.  The gelato is calling my name!

  Italian Quarter in the city center of Sligo, Ireland

  Italian Quarter in the city center of Sligo, Ireland

There were so many shops everywhere and we picked out where we want to go tomorrow for souvenirs and such. The streets are beautiful and easy to wander through. I'm excited! I don't know what Irish goodie I will purchase for myself, but I live in anticipation that it will be awesome!

  Gorgeous city scape of the city center of Sligo, Ireland (this is the view one hundred feet from our hotel)

  Gorgeous city scape of the city center of Sligo, Ireland (this is the view one hundred feet from our hotel)

While we were walking along the river, we stumbled on a singer at a local pub singing a mash up of Sweet Home Alabama and the Fresh Prince of Belair theme song. My sister couldn't get enough!

A singer at the local pub, Garavogue singing a mash up of Sweet Home Alabama & the Fresh Prince of Belair

A singer at the local pub, Garavogue singing a mash up of Sweet Home Alabama & the Fresh Prince of Belair

Along the way, we found a gorgeous church and had to have a quick selfie moment. I love that you can just happen upon gorgeous architecture like this on nearly every corner. It gives a magical air to the city and reinforces the fact that you're on vacation. 

  Stunning church in the city center of Sligo, Ireland

  Stunning church in the city center of Sligo, Ireland

The evening ended with a quick jaunt into a Tesco for some sweet treats and headed back to the hotel. The view from the window is gorgeous.  

  The view from our hotel window in Sligo, Ireland

  The view from our hotel window in Sligo, Ireland

It was a lovely day and we're hoping to get an early start tomorrow. I hope you enjoyed today's tromp through Ireland and I'll post again tomorrow.

Thanks, y'all!