I was invited to attend a destination wedding last month that took place in Ireland. Since it had been a while since I’ve traveled abroad, my girlfriend and I decided to extend our stay to explore more of the region. I had always wanted to drink a Guinness right from the source and experience driving on the opposite side of the road (which have incredibly narrow lanes and shoulders lined by either stone walls or cliff edges, note taken). Ireland had so much to offer, and it was difficult to choose only 8 of the most memorable sights, but here they are.

1. The Guiness Factory
Of course, no trip to Dublin would be complete without visiting the world famous Guinness Factory!  With multiple floors dedicated to the creation, history, and success of Guinness, it was just as much fun walking through the pint glass shaped atrium as it was drinking the beer from their top floor observatory room. With a 360 degree view of Dublin, the beer went down extra, extra smooth.


2. Powerscourt Gardens
Shortly after picking up the rental car and driving out towards the countryside, we took a brief stop to a beautiful public estate which was the home to several different international gardens. My favorite was the Japanese garden, with its decorative bridges, coy ponds, and a Pagoda.

3. Rock of Ceshel
Unlike some of the other castles we had seen, this historical landmark showed no sign of restoration and therefore was a true representation of the architecture during that time. Sadly, it had fallen victim to a devastating attack, but it was hard not to reminisce about those who once built and protected the castle.

4. Kilkenny Castle
This castle, just up street from one other famous Irish brewery, Smithwicks, did go under number of restorations.  Still, with the depth of its detail and original charm it was as though the building brought us back to centuries ago.  On a sidetone – I definitely would not have minded living here back in the day.

5. Skellig Michael
Cue Star Wars main title music here. If you don’t know where these pictures were taken, you need to watch the new Star Wars movies again where Luke reluctantly agrees to train Rey on his secret island. Accessible only by boat, this may have been one of the coolest things I have ever done. Not to mention we had the most perfect weather imaginable, which we all know Ireland isn’t known for.


6. Ring of Kerry
Coming back from Skellig Michael, it made perfect sense to complete the scenic drive along the coastline known as the Ring of Kerry. Swerving through the country roads and then brushing up alongside beautiful cliff edges made this a spectacular drive to remember. It was hard not to keep pulling off along the way so that we could capture the perfect photo of one of Ireland’s most famous coastline.


7. The Wedding
The wedding was everything anyone could have asked for. With only 6 of us in attendance, our small group was well received by the locals as we jumped around the town of Dingle. We were the center of attention as we moved from the ceremony, to the local pubs, to the fancy restaurants, and back to more local pubs (where we saw the 5-time Irish dancing world champion perform a mini set).


8. The Cliffs of Moher
Words and photographs could not explain how breathtaking these cliffs were. As we stood well above a flight of birds admiring their ocean habitat, there was not a single railing between the mile-long cliff-edge and us. Nope, there was nothing in the way of its natural beauty and potentially our doom.

Back To Work
Sadly, our time in Ireland had to end. It was time to head back home and finish a big deadline for our SunValley Gateway project. Fate would have it that my plane would be leaving from Gate 8. ( I sent this photo to the office crew to ignite team morale – a tradition we like to do around here).


Alex Parulis | ARCHITECT
08 July 2018