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elliew Dec 8th, 2003 11:58 AM

dublin for five days
 
I am taking my mom to Ireland in March for a suprise trip. We are staying in Dublin at the Westin, but I really want to take day trips and see the country. I need advice. 1) Is driving dangerous? 2) Could we make it to Galway? 3) How long would it take us to get to Blarney. I need to stay in Dublin, reservation are set. Any reccomendations would be greatly appreciated.

martina Dec 8th, 2003 12:34 PM

It's too far to trave to either Galway or Blarney for a day trip. Galway is approx. 180 miles from Dublin and Blarney would be even further, about 200. You should stick with County Dublin/Co. Wicklow/Co. Kildare/Co. Meath for day trips.

waffle18 Dec 8th, 2003 01:05 PM

Ellie,

Have to agree with Martina on this one. You could drive back and forth from Dublin to Galway but that would pretty much be your day. Even with good traffic you are looking at 6 hours in the car for a round trip dash. Much better to keep to the East of Ireland. You won't be disappointed as there is puh-len-tee to do there.

One site you should not miss is Newgrange & Knowth. Get there early as the tours fill up fast even in the 'off season'. Another which is near by is the castle of Trim (though it's probably not open in March) and the Hll of Tara. Other places to go is Powerscourt and Glendalough in Co. Wicklow. Just driving around Wicklow is happiness itself. I also greatly enjoy the National Stud and Japanese Garden in Co Kildare. Of course you also have the entire city of Dublin to see. Take in the musuems, especially the National Museum. Great for a rainy afternoon, lunch in their cafeteria is pretty good, too.

Driving in Dublin will be your greatest challange due to the volume of buses, cars, trucks, pedestrians, taxis, etc plus all the construstion going on. If you can avoid driving in Dublin town then do it! But renting a car and touring the country nearby is well worth your first few moments of panic when you hit that first round about. Take your time, yield right, look left and be sure to drive on the left. You'll pick it up quickly!

Have a great time! Your mom is SO lucky!

Cheers,
Wendy

wojazz3 Dec 9th, 2003 10:34 AM

Though I'm not a big fan of tour buses, you would probably be better off not renting a car. There is plenty to see in Dublin for 2-3 days and all or most of the places Wendy suggests can be reached through local tour companies. Some car rental companies in Ireland won't rent for less than three days and you'd have to deal with getting in and out of Dublin, which is not impossible, but may not be much fun or worth the trouble.

I agree that Blarney and Glaway are too much, though the distances are a little less than quoted. Galway is about 130 and Blarney is about 170, but the drive time to Galway is a little over 4 hours if you know what you are doing and don't stop. Blarney is just not worth the trip. If you want to see a nice castle, check out Trim. There may also be tours that go as far as the Rock of Cashel which would be a full day.

Have fun!

Bill

dixon Dec 9th, 2003 11:12 AM

The Irish rail system, Iarnród Éireann, does offer day tours, some overnight. You can make day tours to Blarney and Galway, but some of the day trips are long, like 14 hours by the time you leave and return to Dublin.
Also, if all the trains are like the Sligo - Dublin line, the equipment needs washing and scrubbing.

You can see the rail tour details at this site:
http://www.railtours.ie/

I took an escorted/directed bus tour of Ireland last September because, for personal reasons, I was reluctant to drive. After 6 days on the bus, I was ready for it to end.

The objection I had was that I never had enough time anywhere good and too much time where I had no interest.

I did better after we freelanced a trip to Sligo. There was more uncertainty that way, but we had fun negotiating our own way.

At least by taking the bus trip I was introduced to Hotel Crazy Horse, aka The Earl of Desmond, in Tralee. It is the only place I have ever been where the toilet handle was located in the shower and dinner guests were limited to one cup of tea. Took a few seconds to find the handle, but after seeing no electronic sensor, no pedal, no button, no chain, and no handle in the normal places, I started a tile by tile search. And lo, there it was -- in the shower. Nice ceramic handle, too. Perhaps that is normal in Ireland, but I saw no other handles in that position elsewhere.


jor Dec 9th, 2003 11:29 AM

elliew, yes driving in ireland is dangerous. crossing streets in dublin is also dangerous. i love ireland and the irish but they drive really bad!

elliew Dec 10th, 2003 05:31 AM

thanks to everyone who replied.
Dixon....the irish rail info was very helpful.
There are great trips. Now I just have to decide on one!
Anyone else with suggestions?
Thank you!
Ellie

elliew Dec 10th, 2003 10:02 AM

ttt


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