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lori Sep 9th, 2000 07:38 PM

East or West, which is best????
We will be exchanging homes in Ireland for two weeks in the Summer of 2001. However, I am undecided as to which coast of Ireland to select. Which coast has the most one day car trips? I have to make my selection as soon as possible so I can start communicating with the home owners. I will probably select the choice with the most votes (This being an election year and all...)

Cathy Sep 10th, 2000 02:00 PM

Lori, <BR>First things first - what do you enjoy doing ? what type of day trips are you interested in - eg walking, sporty type activites or historic and ancient sites and shopping. If you could provide us with more detailed information on your likes and dislikes and age profile of family then I am sure everyone on the fourm will be able to help. <BR> <BR> <BR>Most people would advise you to choose the West Coast but where exactly on the West Coast and East Coast have you been offered a house. <BR> <BR>The West Coast has Galway and Mayo and scenery in Connemara and on the East Coast there are many of the ancient sites eg Book of Kells, Newgrange, Trim Castle, are on the East Coast. Both Coasts have nice beaches - but are you mad keen on swimming or just enjoying walking on the strand. So hit us with more information and we will give our 2 pence worth ( or 1 cent). Also remember the weather will vary too - West Coast gets more rain that the South East and East Coast. Finally where are you flying into ? <BR> <BR>Regards <BR> <BR> <BR>Cathy

debbie Sep 10th, 2000 08:31 PM

Lori <BR> I found a wonderful book that has 25 driving tours with all the information you could possibly need ( mileage/ road names/ stopping points. ) <BR> Check it out <BR> IRELAND'S BEST-LOVED DRIVING TOURS ( Frommers - 4th ed.) <BR> <BR>It has become my bible. ( I am not doing any of the tours as presented , but am using all the info to create my own tour , It is invaluable!)

Annie Sep 11th, 2000 04:40 AM

The country isn't all that big, so which coast isn't really a crucial issue. Granted, it takes time to drive from place to place on those little winding roads, but keep in mind that Ireland's only about about the size of Pennsylvania. <BR> <BR>By the way, I vote for the east coast. Dublin and Belfast, the Wicklow and Mourne Mountains--what more could you want?

Lori Sep 11th, 2000 08:02 PM

Cathy, <BR>To be more specific, there are four houses we are interested in. Two are in the Galway area, one 4 miles from the center of town (close to the gaeltacht), the other one is in Salthill, a suburb of Galway. The two other houses are one in Dalkey and the other one in Donabate village not too far from Dublin, I guess. <BR> <BR>We would like to see the historic and ancient sites as well as natural wonders. I like taking photos of beautiful scenery and interesting people. We enjoy walking in small towns, stopping to visit a shop or a pub (my husband like golf, music, beer and conversation I like shopping and handcrafts). <BR> <BR>We are "young" grandparents in our early 50's. We visited Ireland seven years ago, but spent most of our time in the south knowing full well we would return someday to see Dublin and the rest of your beautiful country. There is so much to see and we like to take our time at it. <BR> <BR>We will decide which airport to come in when we decide which coast to stay at.

CAthy Sep 12th, 2000 02:23 PM

Lori, <BR>The two houses in Galway sound like they are in the city - 4 miles from the centre is not far with the rate that Galway is growing. Salthill is a busy seaside restort town with lots of families and young kids and amusements etc and nightclubs and all that goes with nightclubs at night. The other one near the Gaeltacht (the Irish speaking area) could be interesting as it may be on the road out to Connemara. So while the West Coast will offer you lots of opportunity to take photos and see some beautiful scenery around Connemara and Mayo (but will require lots f driving) while the locations of the houses are very close to the city and ideal for shopping etc. Based on your likes I would go for Galway but my own personal preference would be for the East Coast - Dalkey is an exclusive suburb of Dublin - formally a village seperate from the city but now part of it nearly - it still retains a lot of its village atmosphere with a great pub called the Queens. But it is excellent for shopping and getting out of the city to the Wicklow Mts (Dalkey is on the southside). There are lots to do around Dublin in day trips on public transport as opposed to driving everyday, while Donabate is on the northside and a seaside coast town. So for me I would be looking at either the Galtacht (or near it) option or Dalkey. You could always take one and then opt to spent a few days on the other coast in a B&B - but for both you will need a car and you will have to travel outside of both to get into the countryside. Dalkey has public transport into the city centre and so you could avoid taking the car into the city while the other one near the Gaeltacht I am not sure. re Golf there are some good courses on the East Coast (Druids Glen in the Wicklow Mts amongs them) and on the West Coast (the Galway Bay Course designed by Christy O"Connor). <BR> <BR>Annie's comment about Ireland not being very big is true but the roads and their condition and their drivers and the traffic makes a short journey into a long and twisty one. So it may be best to plan your time between tours of the city or towns near you one day (without the car if possible) and then the next a drive into the surrounding countryside. <BR>Hope this helps you decide. <BR> <BR>Cathy <BR> <BR>PS Check out to get a feel for both regions - there are links to the east coast and the west coast regions from that web site.

Thyra Sep 12th, 2000 03:11 PM

Lori, you have been given very good info, but I would like to ASK you something. How did you arrange your home exchange? Was it through an established group and if so what group?

Lori Sep 14th, 2000 09:30 AM

Thyra, <BR>About a year ago while my husband was in the waiting room of his dentist there was an article in a magazine (I think it was Time Magazine) about HomeExchange.COM. We went to the site as soon as he got home and they give you a free preview, try it. It only cost $30 a year and it was well worth it. This year we have had two exchanges, one on the East Coast of Florida and another one in the outskirts of Paris. They were both very successful. I was a skeptic at first, mistrustful, but you have to remember most people are nice and honest. We rather exchange with families with older children because we have a swimming pool or retired couples like us. Both of our exchanges have developed into friendships, after all you have lots of communicating with these people before they actual exchange. It is such a great idea! Accomodations are usually the most expensive part of any vacation. We even traded automobiles! If you decide to join Email me or give them our name as reference and we'll get 6 mos free. Write if you want more information.

Lori Sep 14th, 2000 09:35 AM

Cathy, <BR> <BR>Thank you for your quick reply and opinion. Your suggestion are invaluable and as soon as we make a decision I will let you know. Like you said, stay in one coast and do B&Bs in the other is exactly what we planned to do. If you have any more ideas let me know. Keep up the good work we appreciate it.

Cathy Sep 14th, 2000 01:59 PM

Lori, <BR>Thanks for the compliment and appreciation, it is no problem. If you plan on doing one coast by B&B and stay in the exchange house on the other then I would strongly advise staying on the East Coast and B&Bing on the West as there are nicer places to stay on the West Coast than around Galway (although near the Galetachta is a bit vague) but Dalkey is very exclusive (Bono of U2, Neil Jordan (film producer) etc all live there). Have a great time and post if you need any more details or have any more questions, <BR> <BR>Cathy <BR> <BR>Check out for links to the different regions,

Thyra Sep 14th, 2000 02:29 PM

Lori, thanks for the info. We certainly will be joining them! We are just in the process of buying our first real first REAL money as it were. I have been really worried about the obvious impact to our wanderings. Then I heard about home exchange, my husband also like the idea so as soon as we get our house fixed up properly we plan to sign on with a group and I would be more then happy to use you as a reference.After all the house stuff calms down, I will email you directly. Have a terrific trip, I lived in Ireland as a student and I am sure you will love it no matter what coast you are on.

ann Sep 15th, 2000 12:30 AM

hi ... we are from belgium and have been exchanging our house for 6 years through - i can also recommend it ! <BR>

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