IT HAS BEEN a while since the idea to have a whiskey road trip in Ireland. And there you go, in the cold winter morning of Feb 2015 I landed full of positive vibe in Dublin. My idea was to stay away from big cities whenever possible. So, I rented a car and went directly on the opposite coast side of the island in the heart of the small town Galway.
This is how I always imagined the winter in Ireland. Nasty wet weather without snow, but super humid that makes you feel the cold deep inside of your bones. After quick checkin I engaged in the most important thing...visiting all pubs in the town. Because i was not sure who things will go, I left my camera in the hotel.
The pubs are good, but the hospitality of the locals is really big. It's was super easy to make friends while drinking. Of course my irish friends warn me before traveling to their homeland to avoid talking about politics and religion while I look for adventures there.
I was really funny to find that the temperament and the kind of jokes people do in Galway are similar to what I have back home in Bulgaria. Seems similarity in the historical development of the society left similar mark in both nations on the opposite sides of Europe.
Winter mornings in Galway, Ireland are notorious for the cold. Weather was changing a lot. From sunny it can become huge storm only for 5 minutes. That cold made me enjoy the morning breeze while running along the harbor.
As I expect, just a moment later the sun was shining everywhere.
Somewhere deep in the country side of Ireland, the landscape was very impressive. I liked the simplicity of the view. From here I drove direction the Cliffs of Moher.
There are plenty of old ruins along the road.
The villages along the west sea coast are colorful and magnificent with their mini harbors.
Most of the buildings had this kind of fresh colors to boost people mood when the sun is hard to see. I expected everything to be a pub, but on the contrary this was just a regular cafe but they served the coffee irish style - mixed with whiskey.
Finally, i made it to the most famous cliffs in the world. Despite the sun, there was strong wind towards the shore from the North Atlantic. Regardless the impressive 60+m cliff high the waves were able to "climb" all the way up and helping a fellow strange take a morning shower.
Centuries ago irish built the O'Brien's tower to mark the highest point of the Cliffs of Moher (214m above sea level) and make it visible from the ocean for all sailors. I can imagine what could it be to be in the middle of a storm near the shore without any visibility and instruments and then to see those giant cliffs in front of you. Breathtaking!
In the cliffs is called home by Puffins, Razorbills, Guillemots, Kittiwakes and Chough birds who prefer to nest there with a view towards to roaring North Atlantic ocean.
The small dots in the top right are humans. I was very impressed by the hight of those cliffs.
Following R477 road I reached my next stop a place called "Blackhead" located near Clare.
Blackhead is bounded by the south shore of Galway Bay to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, Gortaclare mountains to the east, with Lisdoonvarna, Kilfenora and Corrofin to the south. Blackhead is area of unique carboniferous limestone.
Next day i finally arrived in the small village of Kilbeggan, where for centuries locals brew whisky.
The main building of the distillery is visible from the road.
While outside the weather became really nasty...
...I was enjoying great time inside the warehouse and in the special designed room for degustation.
My drinking roadtrip around Ireland brought me to the Guinness Brewery in Dublin.
Fancy building, but who cares?! On the 3rd floor there was this corridor leading to a special room for degustation. Now we are talking baby!
After visiting countless pubs in the old downtown of Dublin, it was time to call the day off. Otherwise i could have missed my returned flight to home.