During our seven day trip to Ireland, we decided to split our time between Dublin and the southern countryside. There were a lot of sights that we wanted to see in Ireland, including Cliffs of Moher, Blarney Castle & Stone, Ring of Kerry and Galway. Each of these is located in a different geographical direction. So, I decided to base us centrally for a few nights and then do day trips to each point of interest. We had a rental car with unlimited mileage, so why not make the most of it and see the countryside? So, when looking for a place to base ourselves, I searched in the central regions around Limerick and Shannon for lodging.
I chanced upon a nice B&B in Bunratty and booked it online without any (known) familiarity with the town or the surrounding area. However, as we pulled off the motorway in Bunratty, we drove by the local castle (and folk center) with a cute little pub located just across the street. I had an immediate déjà vu moment and realized that I had been there before!
About twelve years ago, I had an opportunity to travel to Limerick, Ireland for work. My colleagues in Ireland were wonderful hosts and took me to see a handful of sights while I was there. Bunratty was one of them! A colleague met me at the airport and took me to a castle and the little pub next door where I enjoyed my first Guinness in Ireland! I am horrible at remembering names and had long-forgotten where I’d been. Little did I know that I’d return twelve years later.
Many things have changed since I was in Bunratty. The biggest change is to the roads and infrastructure. I recall the roads being pretty poor. Many roads were narrow and filled with bumps and potholes. But Ireland has made a significant investment in roadways in the last decade. They’ve added major motorways and the overall road quality has significantly improved making it much easier and quicker to get around the country.
It’s ironic that I stumbled to the exact same spot again on my own travels. It was fun to recollect and retrace some steps from not that long ago!