The Aran Islands came highly recommended by a very good friend so during our recent Ireland travels with the toddler my focus was to get to the Aran Islands. NO matter what I did! Slotted for the end of our road trip we based ourselves in Doolin (more on that next week!!) for our day trip to the Aran Islands. The Aran Islands are comprised of three Islands with Inishmore being the largest and most popular and that’s where I wanted to go! I’d heard about those Aran Sweaters – I HAD to get one!
Getting a ferry from Doolin to the Aran Islands was supposed to be relatively easy, as long as the weather was cooperating. Well what do you know… weather was absolutely horrible! It is highly recommended that you get your tickets at the ferry terminal versus the vendors in the town but you do run the risk of tickets being sold out. Which is why we sent our dad early that morning into town to buy tickets for our group of 6 adults and the baby and he made an executive decision to go to the smallest of the islands, Inisheer. None of us were very pleased when we heard that, but by the end of the day we were VERY thankful!
With tickets in hand we go to the ferry terminal only to learn that our boat was delayed, the weather was dismal and we weren’t even sure the boats would be going out. After a thirty minute wait freezing our tushies off we finally got on the boat. The seas were so rough that everyone around us was puking, luckily the boat came stocked with barf bags and I was shocked that the 6 of us were the only ones not puking. Being preggers I was ready to let it all out but I managed to hold it in. The hubs who has braved many a seafare was pale as ever and the Little Monkey was so confused and unable to grasp the concept of being sea sick that she cried for a good portion of the 30 minute ferry ride before falling asleep. The boat we were on had benches as seats which meant no buckles to hold us in place and we were sliding around, trying to hold on to the seat in front of us for dear life. Add the fact that the door to the cabin was left ajar to bring in a breeze meant that there was water everywhere! Here’s a tip – never sit on the front row (wish I knew that!!) and stick to the right side for added breeze which did help keep us away from the barf bags. Another tip is to take the Bill O’Brien boat as the seats looked better than the Jack B boat we were on.
On arrival we were so exhausted and realized that we’d need to make a quick visit so that we could catch the next ferry back to Doolin. With three hours to explore we hired a waggon with an English speaking driver (little did we know that his waggon/tractor would suffocate us with fumes!). With a population of only 200 and most of them Irish speaking, it was very interesting to explore the Island and learn about its history. He first took us to a coffee shop (where we had the best darn ginger guinness bread EVER!) and then took us to the Saint Gobnait’s church, The wreck of the Plassey and ofcourse the whole while we’re riding through limestone wall structures which were super impressive. Free standing rock walls lined the entire island – one knock and then what?
Here’s a load of pictures to show you what we got up to during our three hour visit – my advice to you is to get yourself to Inishmore either from Galway or fly! I’d totally fly if I ever go back as they have a small “airport”. The ferry ride back was smooth but I’ve been since told that the ride is brutal from Doolin 90% of the time and then cancelled the remaining 10% ! Go figure!! We had our stroller with us for the day but could have easily done without as it was stashed away for the ferry ride and then didn’t need it on the waggon. As part of #IGTravelThursday with Skimbaco I’ve included some of my instagram photos along with some of the pics the hubs took.