Arrival at Dublin International Airport. The country of Shamrock lies there in front of us, waiting for a visit. The sunshine is part of the welcoming package this island offers to its visitors. The lack of rain signifies we are some special guests. The rest of the tour will prove if this is true.
Our hotel the Cassidy´s Hotel is very close to the Spire, a thin piece of metal rising to the sky, also visible at night and one of the newer monuments of this city, almost just opposite the famous post office where the revolution for Irish Independence broke out in 1916. The Spire has replaced the statute of Lord Nelson, victim of an IRA action in the 1980´s. The street (Upper O´ Connell Street), is adorned with the statues of the fathers of Irish independence.
Trinity College, the oldest University in Ireland houses the Book of Kells, one of the oldest handwritten Bibles from the 800s A.D.
Have in mind to go there early if you don´t want to queue for sometime as the place has many visitors due to the contents of the Old Library where the book is placed. A visit to the Library´s 1st floor is worth the visit as you can see some other significant examples of books from older periods.
There is a café inside the College garden where you can have the chance to take a break.
After the break one can visit the area adjacent to the University and see the bridges on river Liffy and the famous Ha´ Penny Bridge. Turn left from there and you’re about to enter the area of music and fun, called the Temple Bar, where you can visit Irish pubs with live music and crowded by young people from Ireland and from all over the world. Street lamps are decorated with flower containers where they have flowers of many colors watered by the City Council and that is all over Dublin.
In the evening one can drive outside town and visit pubs offering food, live Irish music and River dance, a great show and good value for money. One such venue attracting many visitors is the Merry Plough Boy.
If you want to see something more you can visit the Farmleigh House, a mansion owned by the Guinness family, now owned by the Irish state, a place for international visitors and heads of state visiting Ireland.
From Dublin we move on to the north towards the Boyne Valley and pay a visit to the Brú na Bóinne (pron. brinja Boine) Vistor Centre, where you can buy a ticket and visit the burial chambers of Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth, by bus. It is not allowed to walk or drive on your own in this area. The graves dating back to 6.000 BC, are amazing to see, but a proper visit inside is not possible. One can visit a room where you can see the entrance to the burial chamber and get an idea how the place looks like. (If you visit Mycenae in Greece, you have actually the chance to enter the actual grave chamber).
From here we move on to Kilkenny by chartered bus. A very nice countryside tour brings us to this wonderful town, where one can visit the town, Kilkenny castle and taste the world famous Kilkenny beer. A stroll in the town´s beautiful park just next to the castle offers a good chance to enjoy a view of the town. The visitor can take the visitor train to ride around the town. Live music till late night. A place to visit is the river strolling slowly through Kilkenny where you can have a glass. Interested in history? Visit and eat at the Kytlers Inn.
The tour goes on to Waterford, a nice little Viking town with very polite inhabitants, they say hello when you come across. There one can visit the Waterford glass exhibition centre. A visit to the Jameson Whisky Heritage Center, reveals the techniques of modern whisky making and you can become an expert in Irish whisky if you want to participate in the connoisseurs´ whisky tasting. A tour not to be missed if interested in the joys of pallet. It´s like you experience the Angel´s share and I don´t just mean the movie.
Now, let´s head towards Killarney where one can spend the night.
Killarney has many tourists and lots of live music places. Most of them are to be found along the pedestrian. From Killarney one can tour the Ring of Kerry and the Iveragh peninsula. A trip through nature and time shows you the mysteries of nature and you can experience some breathtaking views. Places to visit like the Bog or Glenbeigh village, Waterville and the town of Sneem where you can see a statue of Charlie Chaplin, a regular visitor of the area. Visit the Killarney lakes for great views.
Days 4 and 5.
We continue along the west coast and the rain is upon us. We drive through Adare, where many tourists stop to see the wooden straw covered dwellings. Then on to Bunratty Castle, where you can see a medieval fort and its development through time. The tour inside the castle is recommended, not the original furniture though, but many items from the region. There is a whole exhibition village around the castle, like an open air exhibition of buildings and sites. Nice hotels around the castle and good opportunities for eating out. For those who can, a visit to Dromorland castle hotel gives you the impression of a modern luxury hotel together with a retro atmosphere.
One can visit the Burren Plain, where you can encounter flora and fauna distinct for this area, not to mention the Cliffs of Moher, where you can walk around the paths at your own pace and experience the nature and the steep cliffs of the Atlantic coast. Thousands of seabirds are on the cliffs. The cliffs are best experienced by boat if you cannot afford the tiresome trail.
A couple of nights here adds some clean air into your lungs.
As about sun, it was a sunny trip indeed with plenty of music, song and smiling faces.
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