I know that there are a lot of people who look down on the gift shop. It is the epitome of a tourist trap. Everything is overpriced and most things are pretty darn tacky and I love them so so so much. I would never skip the main event for the gift shop but in terms of ranking the various extras that come with main events, gift shops are way far up on the list. All of this is to say the gift shop at the Cliffs of Moher is pretty darn stellar. After we got some food to recharge after our big hike we wandered over to the gift shop and spent so much time there. I honestly just wanted to look at every single thing there…not necessarily buy it all but just
taking in the cartoon version of the Cliffs they’re selling right after seeing the real thing was lovely. There were also tons of really pretty jewelry there that I spent a lot of time. The Cliffs also has a couple of extra little shops you can stop in on the way out. A couple of gifts and some mediocre cookies and candy that came in pretty tins later we were headed back to the car. Now, on the way in we thought we were getting there pretty late in the morning and the parking lot was empty. Par for the course, we thought, must just not be a busy weekend for the Cliffs of Moher. Holy nuggets were we ever wrong. On our way out of the parking lot we passed a line of cars no shorter than a mile. These were people just waiting for a parking spot in the parking lot. It was batty.
Of course our hiking and gift shopping had taken its toll on us. So when we saw a whole pile of cars stopped on the side of the road we stopped to figure out why they were all stopped. Turns out they were stopped for the views. It was a gorgeous little area and the perfect spot to get out of the car for a little bit. Of course, taking a break from driving to go on another little hike may not have been our wisest idea ever, but when you’re in a place as beautiful as Ireland you don’t stop until you have to.
As we got a little closer to Galway we saw a sign for Dunguaire Castle. Now, we were pretty close
to Galway but it had been a long day and tired driving when the roads are super skinny and backwards to what we’re used to is extra super dangerous. So we checked out the castle. Let’s be real, we didn’t need the excuse of needing a break to check out the castle. It was a castle. We wanted to stop. I can’t pretend to be a castle aficionado but I feel confident in saying that as castles go Dunguaire is on the smaller side. There was a nice little courtyard and just inside was a gift shop with stairs that led up to another gift shop. Having just experienced the splendor that was the Cliffs of Moher gift shop, I was left less than impressed. Although it was pretty cool to be in a castle. We were pretty much restricted to the gift shop area unless we paid some money to check out the dining area. We opted out of that but were very interested to hear that we could have a dinner in the castle if we planned it out. I can’t speak for my dad but I was immediately planning my next trip to Ireland and it was going to include a dinner in Dunguaire Castle. We got back to Galway with just enough time to wander downtown and have a few Guinness’s to top off the day.