Shanell Peterson is an official CAPA blogger for summer 2016, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A journalism major South Dakota State University, she is studying abroad in Dublin this term.
In this week's post, Shanell shares her top tips for future students who are heading out to explore the Cliffs of Moher and Kylemore Abbey with Healy's Galway Bus Tour.
For anyone in Dublin looking to see the Cliffs of Moher on the west coast of Ireland, I have an inexpensive suggestion for you: Take a Healy’s Galway Bus Tour!
Photo: The Cliffs of Moher were like something out of a storybook!
For €85, a bus will pick you up in Dublin and drive you three hours across Ireland. You will not only get to see the Cliffs, you’ll also have the chance to explore Kylemore Abbey as well as Aillwee Caves, DunGuaire Castle, and more. The best part? An overnight accommodation in Galway City is included. It’s a super good deal, and I highly recommend you check it out.
With that being said, here are some helpful tips and tricks to keep in mind:
TIP 1: CHECK THE WEATHER BEFORE YOU BOOK THE TOUR. We got lucky on our bus tour. We only encountered a tiny bit of rain. I recommend checking the weather before you book the tour since you’ll be looking out the window a lot and voyaging outside to explore neat attractions.
Photo: DunGuaire Castle was one of the many neat attractions the bus tour took us to that I don’t think we would’ve normally got to see if we went to the Cliffs by ourselves.
TIP 2: WHEN TRAVELING IN A GROUP, BE SURE TO CALL AHEAD. I was in a group of five when I took this tour. If you call the company, they will do their best to keep you all together. It didn’t work out perfectly for us - two people stayed in a hostel and three stayed in a B&B - but that was okay. The accommodations were close by and we were with each other for the entire bus tour.
Photo: On Saturday, the bus driver drove us to our accommodations and connected us with places to hear traditional Irish music.
TIP 3: BRING SNACKS. Throughout the weekend, the bus will stop multiple times in areas with gas stations and other little shops. This is helpful, but it can add up. Bring granola bars or fruit to snack on while on the bus.
TIP 4: ENTRANCE TO THE AILLWEE CAVES & KYLEMORE ABBEY ISN'T INCLUDED. Despite paying €85, access to the Aillwee Caves and Kylemore Abbey isn’t included. However, the bus driver offers discounted tickets once he stops at these places. Aillwee Caves was €5 euros (and so worth it) and Kylemore Abbey was €8 euros.
Photo: Be sure to take a shuttle bus to the Kylemore Gardens before you see the Abbey. That way you’ll be able to make the most of your two hours there.
TIP 5: FIND A WAY TO STAY AWAKE. As the bus driver is driving, he will spew out amazing information about Irish history and culture. This is wonderful and something you’ll want to pay attention to. Just be sure to stay awake during it all. The bus drive gets so peaceful and relaxing, it is easy to slip away, especially on the second day of the tour. Get a good night’s rest, or, at the very least, grab a coffee. You’ll be glad you did.
TIP 6: DRESS APPROPRIATELY. Since it’s Ireland, always bring your raincoat and rain-appropriate shoes - preferably ones that are easy to walk in. Additionally, be sure to dress in layers. (I would’ve killed to have a light scarf at the Cliffs of Moher.)
That’s all of the tips I have for you (besides to remember to use the bathroom whenever you can, but that’s kind of a given). Healy’s Bus Tour is definitely something you should check out if you want to explore the west side of Ireland. I hope you found this post helpful. Let me know if you have any questions at all. (CAPA Note: Message us on social media and we'll be sure to pass your questions on to Shanell!)
Labhairt leat níos déanaí! Talk to you later! :)
Shanell's journey continues every Thursday so stay tuned.