Travel Stories | An Ireland Adventure

I got home and could hardly wait to share my photos. A two-week road trip all around Ireland with my camera in hand for the entire thing? Kiiind of a photographer’s dream. (All that was missing was an awesome couple to travel around with and photograph at each destination. Where can I find me one of those? ;) I was so lucky to get to take this trip back in August, but when I got home, the travel withdrawals set in, and instead of getting to work editing my images, I found myself staring listlessly at my computer screen, just wishing I could go back and do it all over again. If I held onto my photos a little longer, maybe it would feel like I were still there, I thought. No dice. I still missed that beautiful country terribly. But now, finally, a full five months after I returned home, and in the full spirit of Throwback Thursday, I’m finally sharing my adventure!

If you’re not into mountains, lakes, cliffs or the color green, you may just want to stop here and check back next time, as this post is most definitely not for you. Everyone else, here’s a little peek at the unbelievable beauty of the Emerald Isle and a few a the places that have my heart forever.

Dublin
I started my round-country road trip in Dublintown, using Penn State’s participation in the Croke Park Classic as my excuse for my travel. While I didn’t lug my dslr out with me often in Ireland’s capital, I did get to bring it along while I explored Trinity College and during a bus day-trip out to County Wicklow, which remains one of my favorite days of the entire trip.
ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0004 Trinity College’s old library. Straight out of Beauty and the Beast. ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0001 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0003 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0002 Touring Ireland’s Wicklow National Park killed me in the best way possible. I could take this view in every day and never be tired of it. ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0006 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0007 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0013 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0009 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0010 If this is all looking a little familiar, let me refresh your memory with a little P.S. I Love You clip. The bridge below is now affectionately known as the “P.S. I Love You Bridge” ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0008 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0011 “Guinness Lake” ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0014 If only heather grew like this in the states! ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0012 We made our way to Glendalough, a centuries-old monastery named for the valley (glen) of two lakes (da loch). Absolutely beautiful even despite getting caught in a torrential downpour. ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0017 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0015 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0016 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0018 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0019 And the last place visited on my bus trip was Avoca Mill! The oldest weaving mill and the source of the coziest, most colorful blankets in all of Ireland ;) But seriously, if you think I didn’t lug around a blanket from this mill with me for the rest of the trip, well, you are sadly mistaken. ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0020 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0029 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0021 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0022 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0023 The colors! ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0024 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0025 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0026 Also, hilarious. ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0027 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0028 Once my time in Dublin came to an end, I hopped in my rental car with my friend Lauren and started our tour of the countryside! On our way down to Cork, we stopped at our first castle of the trip, the Rock of Cashel. Of course we had to make our way to Blarney Castle too, to kiss the stone! ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0030 Our first real view of Irish countryside in Country Tipperary. ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0035 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0031 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0032 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0033 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0034 Yeah, I know, they’re just cows. It’s fine. ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0036 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0037 I’ll never get sick of adorable Irish towns. I mean, come ON! ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0038 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0039 Blarney Castle! ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0040 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0041 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0042 Is the stone a little disgusting? Probably. Was it worth it? Also probably. ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0043 And Cork City! ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0044 Dingle
One of my favorite things about Ireland is just how compact it is. You can drive for three hours and pass five major sites on your way! It makes visiting everything so easy. Exhibit A: on our drive from Cork to Dingle, we were able to go ten minutes out of our way and hike up to this incredible Torc Waterfall. Worth it.

ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0045 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0046 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0047 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0048 This was the first time during our drive that the scenery left me absolutely speechless. I was probably a bit of a hazard while driving and trying to take it all in, and I’m thankful that Lauren trusted me with her life ;) We pulled over to enjoy Inch Beach, this incredible sand beach surrounded by green mountain ranges on both sides, before enjoying the rest of the drive to Dingle. ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0112 Dingle is this quiet, adorable fishing town. In the mid-80’s this dolphin showed up in the Dingle Harbor, and the town has since adopted him as their own, named him Fungi, and placed a bronze statue of him by the water. It’s the weirdest thing and I love it immensely. ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0052 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0050 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0053 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0051 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0054 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0056 Great ice cream, or the GREATEST ice cream?? (Hint: it’s the second one.) ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0055 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0049 Cliffs of Moher and Galway
We said goodbye to Dingle and Fungi and headed up the Wild Atlantic Way to the Cliffs of Moher! I was beyond excited for this day. I can remember changing the background on my parent’s computer to an image of the cliffs way back in 7th grade, thinking, “One day, I’ll be there.” And there I was!! We had pretty beautiful though WINDY day to take in the view, too.

ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0057 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0058 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0059 Don’t fall, y’all. ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0060 Sah-woon. ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0061 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0062 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0063 (perfecting the art of the dslr-selfie.) ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0065 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0064 And if getting the see the cliffs in person weren’t enough, the very next day I got to stand on the Claddagh Quay in Galway and take in “The Long Walk” of Galway with its iconic houses. Oh man, my heart was full. ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0066 YE! ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0067 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0068 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0069 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0070 If you’re ever in Galway, go to Ard Bia at Nimmo’s! You will be so glad you did. ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0071 Connemara and Kylemore Abbey
I sadly had to leave my traveling partner in Galway as I went on the rest of my trip (don’t worry, it was planned!), so I learned the in’s and out’s of my self timer over the next few days ;) Driving through the Connemara region was a bit like the drive to Dingle: I was absolutely a hazard to everyone else on the road as I just gawked and gawked at my crazy surroundings. It was rare that I drove a leg of my trip without stopping at least three times for photo ops. I mean, just look at these views… ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0072 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0073 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0074 The west coast! ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0075 And Kylemore Abbey. Can we talk about this lake for a minute? Really though, who wants to get married HERE?? ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0076 The gorgeous formal gardens where I was thiiiiis close to being locked in for the night. Whoops! ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0080 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0079 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0078 Le sigh. ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0077 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0081 Croagh Patrick and Slieve League Cliffs
Alight, so these two aren’t really near each other at all, but this works ;) On my way out of the sweet town of Westport, I decided to go for a bit of a hike up a big ol’ mountain, Croagh Patrick hidden in the clouds. ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0082 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0083 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0084 The next day, just before sunset, I made my way up to County Donegal to take in Slieve League Cliffs. If you think the Cliffs of Moher are gorgeous, just prepare yourself, because Slieve League was by far, hands down, the most incredible part of my entire two weeks. All that was missing were a bride and groom in front of this sunset, I’m telling ya. I had to make do with some new friends I found instead… ;)
ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0085 Romantic, right? ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0086 <3 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0087 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0088 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0092 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0090 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0089 You become shameless of selfies on solo-trips. Also you worry much much less about your hair. ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0091 Wha?! Heyo fox! ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0093 Sometimes you find a big ol’ beach and accidentally drive your rental car straight onto the sand. It’s cool!
ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0094 Northern Ireland: Giant’s Causeway, Carrick a Rede and Belfast
During my final two days, I headed up to Northern Ireland to see all of the sights I missed during my trip in January, and I’m so glad I did. Giant’s Causeway is this crazy coastline of hexagonal stones, caused by a volcanic eruption. 
ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0095 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0096 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0097 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0098 And Carrick A Rede, other than being a surprising location for incredibly blue water, is the spot of an old rope bridge! ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0099 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0105 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0100 Clearly a bridge selfie was necessary. ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0101 That water, though! ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0102 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0103 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0104 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0106 Any Game of Thrones fans out there? I got to take a little stroll down the Kings Road! ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0107 And lastly, back to Belfast! ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0111 With a big old fish ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0109 ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0110 And a pretty gorgeous nighttime view. ireland_destination_wedding_photographer_0108

Oh, Ireland, how I miss you! Who wants to book to photograph their Irish destination wedding? ;)

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