14 days Ireland/Scotland Trip Report

Jun 24th, 2013, 04:10 PM
Join Date: Mar 2013
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Sounds great!

I'm curious. Did you try Irish whiskey and how did you like it compared to whisky in Scotland?

Glad you had such a terrific time!
Livinright is offline  
Jun 24th, 2013, 05:10 PM
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Great trip report. Planning an Ireland visit this fall. Is it possible to rent a left hand drive car or are they all on the right? How did you find the driving?
travelbug2000 is offline  
Jun 24th, 2013, 07:07 PM
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This is a great report! And now I'm off to look at your pictures!
Samsaf is offline  
Jun 24th, 2013, 07:26 PM
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Trust me, travelbug, you do not want to drive a left hand drive car on roads which require driving on the left. The only exception I can think of is our mail carriers who must sit on the "wrong" side of their little cars.

At my advanced age I find driving in Ireland quite easy. I just have to concentrate a bit more.
jaja is offline  
Jun 25th, 2013, 04:07 AM
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Love your report, we are going the last 2 weeks of Aug.
Nlingenfel is offline  
Jun 27th, 2013, 07:06 AM
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@ileen: I think I mentioned I'm a bit of a foodie... so I did quite a bit of reading before we left. We brought our own collapsible soft sided cooler and packed our own lunches from local produce almost everyday. In Ireland, we ate quite a bit of smoked salmon (oh my goodness, so good! try The Burren Smokehouse http://www.burrensmokehouse.ie/), fresh bread, local cheeses (http://www.st-tola.ie/ and http://www.thelittlecheeseshop.net/p/about-us.html), teeny-tiny local strawberries and the like. On the coast, we ate mostly seafood caught pretty much in front of us, and lamb. OH. And breakfast porridge IS SO GOOD, but it is not the substitute-for-oatmeal-healthy-option I thought it was.

In Scotland, we did the same for lunches, but we also went to that fancy-schmancy dinner on Skye and had everything that's traditional including black pudding, white pudding, cullen skink, haggis, venison, and the like. All of it was absolutely delicious.

As for souvenir shopping, we bought sweaters in Ireland from one of the Aran companies (I adore mine so much), and whisky in Scotland. I'm sure you can buy the sweaters we got online somewhere, but I think they'd be hard to track down, and the whiskies we bought can't be purchased in the states.

speaking of... @livinright: irish whiskey is pretty much all blends, and all triple distilled. Triple distilled means they are smoother (in general), blends means not all that unique (in general). If you drink your Guinness like a regular does, then it's probably with "craick" which means with a shot of whiskey. Scotch whisky is something different... yes, there are blends, and I'm sure people drink them, but I have no idea why you would do that when there are so many single malts to try instead. With a single malt, you get uniqueness that blends really lack... they are what they are, and not what the bottler creates in order to please the most palates possible. This means you'll hate some, some will be OK, and some will be just perfect for you. I guess what I would compare whisky to (no E for scotch whisky)is French wine. Which I suppose you probably already know because you asked about Irish whiskey! As you can tell, I enjoyed it, but it is not comparable to whisky in Scotland at all.

Finally, @travelbug2000: the driving was seriously fine. Really. They put arrows all over the bottom of the windshield pointing to the left, there are signs everywhere (stay to the left!!), and reminders at all the roundabouts. The manual was NOT a big deal. I mean, it's not like they put the pedals and gears in reverse order or anything. Yes, you shift with the other hand, but you won't forget that. What you will forget is to turn to look over your left shoulder when you back out of a parking spot, and you'll smack your forehead on the window instead. I really enjoyed walking through the lots at attractions looking for the tell-tale forehead streaks on the driver's side windows. It gave me a sense of kinship.

And no, there are no left-hand drive cars available. There are barely any automatics in Ireland at all.
Katiehab is offline  
Jun 27th, 2013, 07:49 AM
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Katiehab -- brilliantly organized report. Thank you for the valuable information. I've been to southern Scotland- not Isle of Skye or Ireland. I'm thinking I should plan a trip. What a lovely adventure you had!
susan001 is offline  
Jun 27th, 2013, 07:59 AM
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< Is it possible to rent a left hand drive car>

What would be the point when you are driving on the left? You can't opt to drive a right hand drive road.
Havana128 is offline  
Jul 7th, 2013, 11:07 AM
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The point, Havana, is familiarity.

Thanks, katiehab, for the info.
travelbug2000 is offline  
Jul 7th, 2013, 11:38 AM
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travelbug2000. >>Is it possible to rent a left hand drive car or are they all on the right? How did you find the driving?<<

>>The point, Havana, is familiarity. <<

Huh? Can you rent a right hand drive car in the States? Now, a very few people in the UK do own left hand drive cars - mainly collector US muscle cars and European visitors. But believe me - being on the 'wrong side of the road' sitting on the wrong side of the car is much MUCH more difficult than driving a RHD car. Could be deadly even . . .
janisj is offline  
Jul 7th, 2013, 11:50 AM
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Actually the point is staying alive.
Havana128 is offline  
Jul 7th, 2013, 12:36 PM
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Not sure how I missed this..Great report thanks
Tony2phones is offline  
Jul 31st, 2013, 08:16 PM
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Great trip report. Can you mention how you got to your starting points. What airport did you fly in to and where was your starting point?

1: The Burren and

7-9: Isle of Skye, via the Road to the Isles and the Mallaig Ferry
lsutclif is offline  
Aug 1st, 2013, 08:17 AM
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... that's just because all the hills in Edinburgh go in one direction: UP.

BigRuss, I've seen your note before and I laugh every time, probably because I love the associated memories. I quote you often to people who ask about my trips to Edinburgh I want this on a t-shirt!
scotlib is offline  
Aug 1st, 2013, 08:26 AM
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Question for you, Katiehab .. could you provide links for the rented apartments? Many thanks, and a terrific trip report! Thank you for writing it up.
scotlib is offline  
Aug 1st, 2013, 10:00 AM
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What a great trip report! We are planning our trip for 2014 and I will use a lot of your information. I am saving the photos for tonight!
willowjane is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2013, 07:21 AM
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lsutclif: We flew into Shannon from Boston, and it took about 45 minutes to make it to Lisdoonvarna from the airport. That's right on the edge of the Burren. I'd take naps before driving around after that!

We flew from Dublin to Glasgow. Two tickets, with the checked bags, was about $200 I think. We rented a car there, and took the Road to the Isles. From the airport to the ferry was in the 5 hour range, with a couple of stops. We did not go into Glasgow at all.

scotlib: DUBLIN: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/593990
EDINBURGH: http://www.edinburgh-vacation-apartm...uk/flat58.html
Katiehab is offline  
Sep 5th, 2013, 07:27 AM
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indiancouple is offline  
Feb 17th, 2014, 08:03 AM
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Thinking of an Ireland/Scotland combo for July 2014.
MiamiBeachMomma is offline  
Feb 18th, 2014, 02:02 PM
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Really enjoyed your review. Thank you for making it so user-friendly. As an avid fan of Ireland, reading your review has made me want to plan my next trip except this time I am going to include Scotland! You have whetted my appetite!
For anyone who hasn't been to Ireland yet. I would recommend Dingle and Killarney as must sees!
JamesLuke227 is offline  

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