Summer 2017 | Poland and Ireland

During the summer of 2017, I was able to spend a bit of time traveling. I have been to Poland a handful of times in my life; I have quite a bit of family who lives in Poland. This, however, was the first time I really got to travel around and explore the country.

There are so many reasons to fall in love with the city of Krakow! We toured the Roman Catholic Wawel Cathedral on Wawel Hill (and climbed up the Bell Tower). Legend says that if you touch your heart and the bottom of the bell at the same time and make a wish, your wish will come true. We also had lunch in Old Town Krakow – So picturesque!

KRAKOW, POLAND

ZAKOPANE, POLAND

The following photos were taken along the 5 hour hike throughout the Tatra Mountains of Poland! Dolina Pięciu Stawów Hike to Morskie Oko – This translates to the hike to the Valley of Five Ponds!

Earlier that summer, I was also able to sneak in a quick trip BACK to one of my favorite countries of all time: IRELAND. I fell completely in love with Ireland back in 2010, when I first discovered my love of travel.

DUBLIN, IRELAND

I first traveled to Ireland in the fall of 2010. After going through one of the most difficult experiences in life, I knew I was forever changed. I knew that travel had become both healing and empowering,  and therefore something that I would seek to continue for the rest of my life. I made a promise that I’d return to Galway one day, and of all the places I’ve traveled in the world, Ireland was in fact the one I had returned to first.

GALWAY, IRELAND

Although there are a handful of tours you can choose from when visiting the Cliffs, my friend and I rented a car and the experience of driving along the greenest countryside was just unbeatable.  In addition to the Cliffs of Moher, some of my other Galway favorites include grabbing a coffee and breakfast in Eyre Square, walking along the River Corrib, exploring the Spanish Quarter, and stopping into some of the shops! I always make it a point to pop into Primark, my favorite store throughout Europe. It’s fashionable and affordable (and sometimes called Penney’s, like here in Galway). Most of these things are pictured below.

Not pictured – the BEST nightlife! “No, Nay, Never” will you find a better time in all of Ireland. Just take a stroll down Shop Street after dinner, and you’re bound to stumble into some live Irish music (and by live music I mean everyone singing Irish songs) or even get pulled into a circle of dancing with the locals. It doesn’t matter if it’s a Friday/Saturday night, or a Monday. These were some of my all time favorite experiences and where I learned why people “left their heart in Galway…” 

NORTHERN IRELAND

Where are my Game of Thrones lovers? Add the Dark Hedges to your bucket list RIGHT NOW. These photos are famous for King’s Road in Season 2. Additionally, if you have time to stop in the village of Ballintoy, this is also a location where several scenes were filled. It was really awesome to see how some of these things were changed for the set.

DARK HEDGES

BALLYCASTLE

Driving up to Northern Ireland from Dublin is an entirely new cultural experience. For starters, you should make sure to have some British pounds, as this is their method of currency. Although English is the most widely spoken language in the country, but there are pockets of Irish and Scottish, and the most spoken minority language is Chinese. The Northern Irish is quite distinctive, and you might overhear some words that are only used in this part of the UK. 

Cruising along the Causeway Coastal route between Ballycastle and Dunluce, you will experience one of the most dramatic drives in the world. My two main experiences here were unforgettable: Giant’s Causeway and Carrick-a-Rede. In this case, I’ll let the photos tell the story for me.   

GIANT’S CAUSEWAY

CARRICK-A-REDE

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