Slieve League | County Donegal, Ireland

Slieve League | County Donegal, Ireland

Slieve League, or Sliabh Liag in Gaelic, are the highest reachable sea cliffs in Europe.  They are located on the Wild Atlantic Way scenic driving route.  These cliffs seem to be a well-kept secret.  There were only a few people there when we arrived, and one tour bus arrived as we were leaving.  They are very beautiful and worth seeing if you’re in the area.  My suggestion would be to see these cliffs before the Cliffs of Moher, if both are on your itinerary.

When you arrive, you will enter a parking lot.  There are restrooms available in this area.  You can choose to park and walk up the winding road to the cliffs, or you can drive directly to the viewing point.  If you are going to drive up, make sure to close the gate behind your vehicle.

I recommend walking up, as this adds to the experience and allows you to stop along the way for photos and to take in the surroundings (it took us about 45 minutes to walk from the parking lot).  However, if you are short on time or have limited mobility, the ability to drive up is great!  The drive up does not seem as treacherous as we thought it might be.  The road was nicely paved and wide enough for two cars (even though they would need to slow down to ensure safe passage).  There are steep areas that some cars might have some difficulty with.  If you choose to drive up, go very slowly and keep your eyes on the road.  Be on the lookout for people walking, other vehicles, and sheep.

Be prepared with appropriate shoes, if you’re going to walk, and for rain and a lot of wind.  It rained the entire time we were there.  Luckily, we had water resistant coats and waterproof shoes.  Having ponchos would have been better to fully shield us from the rain.  Umbrellas were useless with all the wind.

Beyond the viewing area is One Man’s Pass, a path to the highest point of the cliffs.  I cannot comment on this as we did not attempt the walk due to all the rain and limited visibility.  However, some of the information I read did say that only experienced hikers should attempt this path.  In my opinion, the sights from the viewing area are spectacular enough.

My advice, based on my experience at the Cliffs of Moher, is if you arrive and it is overcast or foggy, give it some time to clear.  You will be rewarded for your patience and treated to a beautiful view of what is hiding behind the fog.

~Rachel

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Mexico City | Sites and Museums

During our stay in Mexico City we visited a lot of sites and museums.  I was amazed by the affordability of admission.  On Sundays, admission is free to most museums.  We only went to one museum on a Sunday and it was very busy.  I do recommend going on a weekday and paying the nominal fee to avoid the crowds.  I am a fan of the free admission though because it allows everyone access to the museums, no matter the ability to pay.  It was also common to be charged a separate amount in order to take photos, but it was never more than $1.00 USD.  Most of the places we visited had free admission for teachers and students.  This may be a hit or miss if you aren’t a teacher or student in Mexico, but if you have your ID it wouldn’t hurt to ask.  Below, I have included the various sites we visited with their admission prices in Mexican Pesos, the United States Dollar equivalent as of July 26, 2018, a link to the websites where you can find out more information, and photos.


Catedral Metropolitana de México:   Admission was free.  https://www.arquidiocesismexico.org.mx/index.php/catedral/catedral-introduccion

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Museo Nacional de Antropología: The day we went we received free admission.  It was not a Sunday, but the upper level of the museum was closed so I believe that the free admission was due to this.  Normally, admission is $70 MXN ($3.75 USD).  https://www.mna.inah.gob.mx/

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Museo Nacional de Arte (MUNAL):  Admission is $65 MXN ($3.48 USD).  I highly recommend seeing artwork by Nahui Olin.  http://www.munal.mx/en

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Museo de Arte Moderno:  This is the museum that we visited on a Sunday when admission is free and it was very busy.  Normally, admission is $65 MXN ($3.48 USD).  https://mam.inba.gob.mx/ (I did not take any pictures at this museum.)


Castillo de Chapultepec:  We received free admission with our IDs, but I wouldn’t count on this.  Admission is $70 MXN ($3.75 USD).  This building houses the Museum of National History, as well as preserved rooms from when it was a private residence occupied by Maximilian I and his wife Carlota.  http://www.cdmx.gob.mx/vive-cdmx/post/el-castillo-de-chapultepec

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Museo Frida Kahlo: We did the “A Day with Frida and Diego” tour that is available on Saturdays and Sundays.  The cost of the ticket gives you admission to the Frida Kahlo Museum and a bus ride to and from the Diego Rivera – Anahuacalli Museum.  The cost is $150 MXN ($8.03 USD) for adults and $75 MXN ($4.02) for children under 12.  While we were waiting in line, they made an announcement (in Spanish) about this specific ticket, we were taken to the front of the line and given two admissions for the price of one.  I can’t say if this is something that is offered regularly.  Our suspicion is that not many people had purchased this ticket and with it being near the time the bus was heading to the other museum they wanted to get as many people on the bus as possible.  http://www.museofridakahlo.org.mx/en/ and http://museoanahuacalli.org.mx/#inicio

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Teotihuacan Pirámides:  This site was amazing and well worth the trip outside of the city.  The cost of admission was $70 MXN ($3.75 USD).  We took an Uber from where we were staying in Mexico City to the site for $581.84 MXN ($31.15 USD).  This cost will vary depending on where you are picked up, as well as the time of day as rates vary based on supply and demand at various times.  This was a very simple way to get there.  You can also find various tour options with pickups at hotels and other places in the city, or you can take a bus from the Autobuses del Norte station.  When we were ready to leave Teotihuacan, we were not able to find an Uber, but we were prepared that this might be the case.  We took a bus that was headed to the Autobuses del Norte station for under $5 USD (2 tickets).  We were told that the buses come regularly and we only had to wait about 15 minutes.  If you don’t know what gate to go to for bus pickup, as there are multiple entrance gates, don’t be afraid to ask, we had to.   https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/414

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Templo Mayor:  If you are going to visit this and Teotihuacan, I recommend visiting this first.  After seeing Teotihuacan, it seemed less impressive due to the sheer size of Teotihuacan.  The admission cost was $70 MXN ($3.75 USD).  http://www.templomayor.inah.gob.mx/

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Palacio de Bellas Artes:  This is not about the museum within the Palacio, but rather a performance that we saw.  We saw Ballet Folklórico de México, which you can learn more about here: https://travelinfocenter.fyi/2018/07/03/mexico-city-ballet-folklorico-de-mexico/ .  I highly recommend seeing this when you’re in Mexico City.  We decided to treat ourselves and sat in the fifth row.  We were originally going to sit in the front row, but the woman at the box office recommended the fifth row or back so we weren’t looking up at the stage.  Our tickets cost $1180 MXN each ($63.18 USD).  There were also tickets for $1140 MXN ($61.04 USD) and $363 MXN ($19.44).  There is a service fee in addition to these prices if you purchase your tickets online so I recommend going to the Palacio de Bellas Artes to purchase them at the box office.  Purchasing them in person saved us a total of $426 MXN ($22.81 USD).  https://palacio.inba.gob.mx/

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-Rachel


 

Puerto Rico | Adjuntas: Las Garzas Waterfall

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Puerto Rico is an amazingly beautiful, ecologically diverse island.  There is the rain forest, El Yunque, in the east, mountainous regions in the center of the island, dry forests in the southwest, and beaches along the coast.  Most visitors to the island stay in San Juan or other popular beach areas.  These areas are beautiful and worth seeing, but there is a whole world to the island that most people never see, what I call “The Real Puerto Rico.”  These are the areas of Puerto Rico where you don’t usually find tourists.  There are some real hidden gems in these areas that you’ll be happy you took the time to discover.

The last time we were in Puerto Rico, we stayed in Adjuntas which is in the central Midwest of the island.  It is a mountainous area and because of this, the temperature is cooler than along the coast.  There are nice, cool breezes and with the windows open, air conditioning is often not needed.

In Adjuntas, as with many other places on the island, you can find cool, clear river pools for swimming and beautiful waterfalls if you are willing to explore a bit.  A sense of adventure is a necessity because these locations do not have signs.  The falls that we went to are called Cascadas Las Garzas (Las Garzas Waterfall).  They are multitiered and have several natural swimming pools.  The path is steep and can be slippery after rain so be careful and wear walking shoes.  There are plenty of large, flat rocks to sit and lounge.  The day we went, there were only a few small groups of people and it was very peaceful.

–Rachel


For the complete Country Highlight and more photos visit the following link…

https://travelinfocenter.fyi/adjuntas-las-garzas-waterfall/


 

Mexico City | Ballet Folklórico de México

Mexico City is vibrant and full of culture.  We had the opportunity to see Ballet Folklórico de México at Palacio de Bellas Artes for a glimpse into Mexico’s rich culture.  It was wonderful!  I would say it was the best performance I’ve ever seen.  It was full of exciting dances representing various times in Mexico’s history and different regions of the country.  The music was powerful, the attire was beautiful, and the dancing was mesmerizing.  This wonderful performance should definitely be on your list of things to do when you’re in Mexico City.

–Rachel




       IMG_3414–The stage curtain in the main auditorium of Palacio de Bellas Artes is the only one in the world made of glass–

IMG_3415–The stained glass ceiling of the auditorium–