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Scotland and Ireland, 12 days. Suggestions?

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Hi all,

It's back to Europe for my wife and I. It's our 5th wedding anniversary this year and we'd like to have one last big trip before having kids. She's 27 and I'm 30.

We're thinking of Ireland this time. We also have friends outside of Edinburgh that we'd like to visit for a day or two, hence the title. We've both been to Scotland before, although I missed out on seeing Edinburgh (spent most of my time in Glasgow).

She likes cities, I like nature. She likes a schedule, I like to sit and "people watch". We both like history and culture, and we both love a good fish-n-chips, but neither of us are big into the "nightlife".

Hopefully that helps a bit. Here's a preliminary itinerary I've put together. I'd love to get some feedback!

Day 0: fly out of MDT/BWI/PHL (right now, BWI->BOS->DUB is the best deal)
Days 1,2: Dublin
Days 3,4: Galway
Day 5: Sligo
Day 6: Giant's Causeway
Days 7,8: Belfast
Days 9,10: Edinburgh
Day 11: Dublin
Day 12: fly home

I'd love to skip the journey back to Dublin to get an extra day in Scotland, but the airfare is much cheaper flying out of Dublin.

Is renting a car in Ireland the best way to do things? During our last trip to Europe, we made exclusive use of trains.

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