It's been a while since I asked for help on my Ireland trip in April, but I finally got my pictures up and documented. You can view them here:
The trip was a wonderful adventure. Your recommendations were spot on. My itinerary turned out like this:
Days 1 & 2
Dublin - Stayed at Lyndon Guesthouse. I think it was a good value at a standard room for 40 euros. The only drawbacks were the very strange shower/tub in the shared bath (it was raised awfully high) and the neighborhood is bordering on a sketchy one. I had no problems though and it is on a well-lit street of hotels.
The second day was mostly spent on Mary Gibbon's tour to Newgrange. It's a great tour, though I wish I had seen Knowth as well.
Picked up car and drove to Boyle in County Roscommon. I stayed at Abbey House and it was lovely. It took me longer to get there than I thought (that was true pretty much all throughout the trip) but the owner made sure I had a nice cup of tea to enjoy in front of the fire.
Before getting to Boyle I had to first: have my one and only minor car accident and second: stop by Cruachan Ai. While driving through the little town of Longford I scraped someone's car with my rearview mirror. It wasn't severe, but we exchanged info anyway and it turned out there were people from Longford running a bar in Manhattan called the Pig and the Whistle. I have to stop by one of these days and mention I was there.
Anyone interested in Celtic/Iron Age history should stop by the Cruachan Ai visitor center. The sites they describe are spread out around the countryside, so it really helps to get their introduction. After getting a short tour around the exhibit by the woman at the front desk and watching a video it was almost closing time. I found out that it was this guide's very first day working there - very impressive! From the photos you can see I made it to two sites before moving on.
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