I was studying abroad in London when my roommate and I decided to go to Ireland for a long weekend.We heard great things about the Paddy Wagon Tours so we booked a 3 day southern trip. The nice thing about the Paddy Wagon Tour is that you are given two options – the backpacker or economy trip.
According to their website:
Backpacker: This is the best value level of accommodation, where you stay in hostels in shared dormitory style rooms, sharing with other tour members. Basic Breakfast is included. No single supplements!
Economy Private Rooms: This is our option for the budget-conscious who still wish to enjoy a private room. This option stays in B&B’s, Apartments & Budget Hotels. Guests enjoy breakfast each morning, with a variety of Continental and full Irish Breakfasts. All private rooms are en-suite.
We went with the backpacker tour to save some money and meet new people!.
We booked an extremely cheap flight ($56 USD roundtrip) from London Gatwick to Dublin via Ryanair.com. Be sure to read all the fine print before booking on this airline and ALWAYS make sure you check in at the airline desk even if you aren’t checking a bag.
We flew in late at night and checked into Paddy’s Palace.
We only had one other roommate in a dormitory style room and she was very nice and joining us on the same tour which was leaving that morning. We didn’t tour Dublin that night and instead grabbed a bite to eat and went to bed since we had to be up early.
We left promptly at 8am and the tour was made up of students. Phil – our tour guide and bus driver – was crazy (but in a good way!) Before we got settled in our seats, he asked who was single and then proceeded to re-arrange the entire bus. I was paired with a rather good looking Aussie so I didn’t complain!
We drove around Dublin on our paddy wagon and made a stop at Phoenix Park to see The Papal Cross. Look at all those deer!
We then drove out to Cong. It’s a very charming town.
We enjoyed a lunch and then toured the ruins of Cong Abbey.
After touring Cong Abbey we set out for Galway – a very lively city. We immediately found a pub and settled in for the night.
Here is a photo of our tour guide (Phil, center) and two others from competing tours. There’s nothing but love between these Irish men.
We enjoyed traditional Irish music.
And drank the traditional Guinness…with the Aussie. Below marks #4 of the 5 beers I drank that night. Needless to say, it was a rough morning for us all!
Our next stops were the Cliffs of Moor and Killarney followed by Blarney!
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