We LOVED our Airbnb in Kesh! The house was so cozy and affordable with comfortable linens and upscale decorations, it cost us a total of $126 for a one night stay. The host left us fresh eggs, bread, milk, and juice allowing us to have a nice, relaxed breakfast at the home.
Relaxing a Bit in Kesh, Ireland
After our long and late night last night, we decided to sleep in and relax a bit in this wonderful house before heading to our next destination. I woke up and did a work-out on the smart tv using the Youtube channel and then enjoyed some coffee out on the patio. The kids woke up shortly and we enjoyed some morning snuggles on the couch.
Donegal Castle Self-Guided Tour
We left the house around noon and headed north 30 miles to Donegal to see the castle. The Donegal castle is located in the city centre of Donegal. (Before visiting the Donegal castle we had spent 80 Euro in visiting the Heritage sites, so we saved our first 10 Euro on admission). We had to find parking in the middle of the center, but all the parking lots were “pay and display” lots taking only Euro coins. So, my husband went to bank and exchanged some of our American dollars for some Euros. Yay! We finally have some Euros, and going to bank only cost us $1.27 for an exchange fee. The castle was built in the late 15th century at the bend in the river Eske by O’Donnell. He was forced to leave the castle and upon doing so destroyed part of the castle. The Brooke family was given the land and made some renovations and additions in the 17th century. The castle provided laminated papers with the information and history for a self-guided tour, and cute kid appropriate papers as well including a search and find.
Quick Bite to Eat in Donegal
After finishing our self-guided tour of the castle we walked around the city of Donegal a bit looking for souvenirs and admiring the cute shops. We had decided that my son could choose the place for lunch, so we walked around looking at every option, then he decided to choose the first place we passed. Of course! But, it was a great choice, The Blueberry Tearoom. It was absolutely delicious and at a great price. We paid 39.80 Euro for 2 adult meals, 2 kid meals, a mocha latte, and 2 desserts. I had a loaded spud, if you know me you know how much I love potatoes!
Drive from Donegal to Galway
We then started the 3.5 hour drive from Donegal to Galway. We had planned to stop by Ben Bulben (a cliff mountain known as the “Table Mountain”) and go through Connemara National Park. But since we got a late start on the day, we decided to change up the plan and just head to our lodging. We are staying at our first hotel while in Ireland. We choose a hotel because we couldn’t find any reasonably priced Airbnb available for the dates we needed. The kids are super excited about the hotel as it has a pool!
The Connacht Hotel in Galway
I was able to get in about a 1 hour nap during our drive before we arrived at the Connacht Hotel. We must have received some crazy discount when booking through Hotels.com, because it seems like rooms are normally ~400 euros a night! We only paid about $150 I believe.
:-(Once we arrived at the hotel we checked in as fast as possible to get ready and head to the pool. We changed and headed to the Leisure Facility, which a complete gym connected to the hotel. We were surprised that we had to purchase swim caps as they are mandatory in the pools :-(. Luckily we could purchase them at the front desk of the pool for 2.50 Euro each. We felt pretty silly wearing the caps, and my husband kept questioning the reasoning. As another frustration, kids under 16 are not allowed in the hot tub, which made my kids pretty upset despite all the other fun play areas. We spoke with some other visitors in the pool area and they informed us that all pools in Ireland require the swim cap. Hmm, okay when in Ireland…act as the Irish?.
Awesome Pizza in Galway, Ireland
We finished up at the pool and showered and hurried to my daughter’s choice for dinner: The Dough Bros (cost us 26 Euros). We enjoyed our brick oven fired pizza while learning the encouraging story of the owners. They started 3 years ago with a food truck at the Galway Food Festival. It was such a hit that they opened a small store and then 3 months ago they were able to expand to the larger restaurant that we visited. We got to meet the owners and watch them make and fire the pizza.
We made it back to the hotel around 11pm and headed to bed. We are touring Galway tomorrow, and we have reservations for Trad on the Prom for tomorrow evening.