advice for Ireland trip

Old Mar 13th, 2005, 10:22 AM
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Hailbuzzy; we've actually change the itinerary a bit and are going to be staying in Dingle now so maybe we'll get a chance to check out your husbands favorite pub.

We seem to be doing pretty well with lists of possible b&b's for the first four nights thru Doolin. When we leave there on our way to Castlrea by Friday morning latest we are running into a bit of a snag. We're not really sure which area around Galway we'd be best staying in. Any suggestions for that area, accomodations & best points of interest, would be appreciated.
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Old Mar 13th, 2005, 01:05 PM
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pbjhhunt: are you going to Castlerea in Co. Roscommon? My mom lives just a few miles from there in Ballaghaderreen....I'll be going to visit her in late April and again probably in September....I don't often see anyone going to "my neck of the woods".
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Old Mar 13th, 2005, 04:40 PM
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yes Shadow - we are. I had actually posted an earlier message in Jan. when we first started planning and you had responded then. I had to take a break on the trip for awhile though-i get obsessive (sp?) and needed to do college work and regular work and son stuff. But, I appreciated the responses we received then also. My grandfather is from Castlerea and my parents visited there quite a few years ago and my mother still keeps in touch. we're hoping to see them and have sent off a letter letting them know when we'll be there if it's convenient for us to visit.

to all of you who recommended not doing the vouchers - well you got your way I sent about 25 emails between yesterday and today to various b&b's for our first 4 nights and have gotten a terrific response already. I also realized we'll probably do a combination of triples and two rooms and that wouldn't work with the vouchers at all. We'll probably have the first few nights booked long before we leave and with two nights already set in dublin we'll only have 3 or so to do while we're there. As I mentioned in a previous post though we'd definitely like some input on the Galway area. Thanks to all.
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Old Mar 13th, 2005, 04:54 PM
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When we are in Galway, we like to stay in the Salthill area. It's an easy bus ride into Galway from there. Michele Erdvig (Irelandyes) recommends Marless House, and we haven't gone wrong with her recs yet! (We stayed in two different B&Bs there and couldn't enthusiastically recommend either one.)
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Old Mar 13th, 2005, 06:46 PM
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I know we have all been plugging B&Bs, but when I go to Galway, I like to stay at the Jury's Inn. You can not beat the location by the Spanish Arch, nxt to the Wolfe Tone Bridge over the River Corrib, and views of Galway Bay, while literally sitting on Quay Street in the Heart of the Spanish Quarter.
Not a particularly new or remarkable hotel, but it is pretty cheap as hotels go (even when you factor in parking at the connected parking garage) and did I mention the location??? It is loterally just SECONDS by foot to the Quays Pub, the Claddaugh Museum and just around the corner from a little shop that sells PANCAKES (albeit, with Maple flavored ice cream topping, but hey, after a week of traditional breakfasts - it tasted pretty darn good!). If it is the weekend, book early. Have your son bring his driver's license and/or passport to the pubs. He'll LOVE the Quays. Live music, a young crowd (Galway is a College Town) and five bars -- one, a former pulpit.
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Old Mar 14th, 2005, 04:30 PM
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allisonm - the salthill area sounds nice from what i read - i'll keep lookingand see what works for us - thanks.

italian_chauffer - i checked jury's but they don't have anything available the night we'll be there but thanks. i'll make sure "the child" keeps his license with him for when we (or just he) go into pubs etc. from the description and what I've read i think he will like galway. i know i need to do more reading on the area. i spent so much time on where we'll be the first few days i'm a little behind on the rest.

speaking of which - both of the boys want to go to the belfast area after we're in dublin on sat & sun - any particular suggestions or input will be researched and considered. northern ireland is an area i haven't spent any time on at all. thanks again to all!
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Old Mar 14th, 2005, 05:02 PM
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My wife and were in Ireland a few years ago as an older couple. You may get other responses but I think you are stretching yourselves too much, especially thinking of Belfast. Do yourselves a favor and enjoy more of Dublin according to your interests.

As for pub music, yes we loved it, too, and it is found in lots of places. You will want to venture to the West but a shame you aren't flying out of Shannon.
Or arriving there. Oh well.

Good luck...the planning is part of the fun, unless you get into a fight!
Bill in Missouri
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Old Mar 15th, 2005, 06:47 PM
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I know we're probably stretching ourselves and no definite plans will be made regarding it. we may decide to stay anyways but we'll have to wait and see. there's just so much we want to see and we already know we won't see it all but it's hard not to plan too much. As to flying in or out of Shannon we would've liked to do that but plane fair would've been ridiculous so that's that.
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Old Mar 17th, 2005, 04:10 PM
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pbjhunt,

Please be sure to post a trip report when you get back. We're going in June with our 15 yr old son and 18 yr old daughter for 11 nights so I'm really interested to hear your experiences.

I also booked a Renault Laguna, or it might be a Renault Scenic. I'm not sure what the difference is. They look to be small hatchback station wagons. I was also concerned about size, but with four of us plus luggage, my husband felt we would need something like this. He thinks they are not really wider than small cars, only longer. I went with Avis although I also talked to Dan Dooley. Both had this car classified as group E or E2. Anyway, let us know how it goes, including the driving in the Renault.

Thanks!
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Old Mar 19th, 2005, 12:41 PM
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A king must have a castle, but a lady might prefer a manor house. Since you've given up the voucher idea, you might want to check out this website: www.hiddenireland.com
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Old Mar 25th, 2005, 07:54 PM
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I will make sure we post a report on our trip bucky and about the driving. retired teacher - I will check out the site you mention.

Now I've got a few things I need some major help on.
first - I had mentioned we're visiting relatives in Roscommon, I had contacted my mother's cousin (who I've only met once) and during email exchanges asked where we should stay in the area. she almost immediately (a couple hours) replied back that she had booked us into a hotel in Ballinlough - already pd for. This was an incredibly nice thing to do and so not necessary but it's done. Although I've already let her know that we want to take them out to dinner while we're there I really want to bring them something and I'm at a total loss on what to bring. any ideas or help would be appreciated. we're so floored by this generosity and I want to reciprocate in some way.

Secondly, we're pretty undecided about where to stay in Galway. I know one poster suggested Jury's and actually relatives here also enjoyed their stay there but that would put us in hotels, rather than B&B's, four nights in a row. My problem is we really want to stay in Galway city and I don't seem to be finding a b&b in the city. the reason we want to be right in the city is that we want to be sure that we balance all the historic and just beautiful sites we'll see that I think my son will enjoy with the more crowded, less scenic city stuff that I know he will. he's 18 and likes being around the action. Am I out of luck on a b&b there and should I just go with the hotel? Advice needed and appreciated.
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Old Mar 25th, 2005, 08:44 PM
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In reference to the generosity of your Irish relatives, I am not surprised. The first time we visited my wife's cousins, they were in the process of remodeling their house and arrainged for us to stay in a nearby B&B. While we were out and about, they "snuck in" and paid for our three rooms (there were six of us). We brought sweets and little toys for the children and a coffe table picture book of Florida (where we live), but what was REALLY appreciated, was a family photo albumn we made up (using copies)of our families. My daughter, who is handy in that regard calligraphyed(sp? (GOD, I WISH FODOR'S HAD 'SPELLCHECK - witness my screen name)) identying information under each picture. Some of the pix were forty, or more years old. They genuinely acted like it was the greatest gift that they had ever received.

As to Galway, you can stay in Salthill and it will be a ten to twenty minute walk into City Center (depending on which B&B). Any that have web sites will generally tell you how far they are from either the Spanish Arch or Eyre Square (currently closed for repairs, I believe). The Irish, however are generally quite remarkably as vague about distances as they are about time. Either that, or all native Irish walk a HELL of a lot faster, than I do. In my experience, if they say it is a 10 minute walk, a liesurely stroll will likely take twenty minutes.
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Old Mar 26th, 2005, 05:05 AM
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We stayed in the city in Galway at Adare Guesthouse, just a few minutes walk over the river past the Jury's Inn. Nice place, great breakfast. We stopped in at Jury's to see what it was like. It was a nice but sterile hotel. Adare was homey which we prefered. Click on my name for my trip report. I also posted review (with photos) on tripadvisor.com.
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Old Mar 26th, 2005, 05:12 AM
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Forgot to mention but since you were interested in pub music, Adare Guesthouse is about a block from Monroe's pub in Galway which has nightly sessions and also set dancing one night a week (photo link in my trip report).

Enjoy your trip!
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Old Mar 26th, 2005, 06:22 AM
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HAVE A REALLY MEMORABLE TRIP, AND BE SURE TO CHECK BACK IN WITH A TRIP REPORT.
WOO HOO! WE LEAVE JUNE 3rd!!!!
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Old Mar 26th, 2005, 01:24 PM
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A few months ago someone recommended this to me: www.thegrangegalway.com.
Not sure what your budget is, but this place is right in the thick of things! (We haven't been to Galway since I learned of it, so can't report firsthand!)

Itallian, all this time I thought you were misspelled intentionally!
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Old Mar 27th, 2005, 06:19 PM
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thanks for the responses. i'm going to check out both the adare guesthouse and the grange. we've really decided that as close to everything that jury's is we really don't want to spend four nights in a row in hotels so thanks.
itallian_chauffer (sorry, missed the misspelling the first time) - i know it will be memorable and after all the the great ideas and help i've received here i will definitely post a trip report - and probably before we go a few more questions. thanks to all
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Old Mar 28th, 2005, 10:02 AM
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allisonm:
No, I wish that I could claim some poetic, eseroteric subtlety, but the truth is sadly, much more mundane. Half-way through fourth grade, my family moved from a school that taught phonetic spelling, to one that did not. spelling has been my bane, ever since (though I suspect I wouldn't have been all that great anyway). There IS an interesting story behind the screen name though. I won't repeat it now, but if you if you are interested, or bored, one day, click on my name, and look for an old thread titled "HOW DID YOU CHOOSE YOUR SCREEN NAME?" or something similar.
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Old Mar 30th, 2005, 03:36 PM
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I wanted to suggest a very nice B and B in Doolin. It is called Ballyvara House and the young couple who own it are great. It is a very nice place, and close to many pubs that have traditional food and music.
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Old Mar 30th, 2005, 08:18 PM
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pbj...you are going to love Ireland!! Last year when I was planning our first trip there, I became obsessive about planning it all. But once there, I found it to be a worry-free country with warm, hospitable people. I made reservations for all nights, but that's just because I was most comfortable with that. We traveled no more than 3 hours each morning & found it to be a relaxed way to see the country. We tend to "ramble" the countryside & this suited us well in Ireland.

I wanted to rent the smallest car possible because I was so worried about navigating the narrow roads. But we ended up with a size or two larger which worked well for us. My husband was comfortable with driving on the other side within about 10 minutes. (it probably would have been about 5 minutes if I hadn't been stressing out so much While some roads are very narrow, drivers are very attentive & courteous & we never felt uncomfortable. Suggest you get a size comfortable for all of you.

I planned our routes from the Michelin website & we never got lost. Their maps & directions were right on the mark but their travel times were on the conservative side. Driving there is slow (as compared to the US interstates) but you see more!

Enjoy your trip!! You will love Ireland!
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