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Ireland May 2022, Third try is a lucky charm

Ireland May 2022, Third try is a lucky charm

Old Feb 2nd, 2023, 11:45 PM
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Enjoying your report.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2023, 12:48 PM
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We had a great night's sleep at this peaceful hotel. The views are beautiful. The breakfast room is lovely and the owner and her daughter are serving a delicious, anything you want meal. This was included. They are very enthusiastic and accommodating. The clientele is definitely a retired age group. Doolin is interesting because it is small and there are a lot of basic accommodations in the middle of the action. I can see the appeal of this hotel being removed from that, that is why we chose it. This hotel gets good reviews and their higher end, elegant dinner restaurant seems unique here. We did have to pay for this hotel, $180, which is hard to justify after our last 2 locations. I think, I would recommend one night in Doolin. Hopefully, everything is fully open now. I think after all, I would stay in town.

We are heading for Galway. From this point on, we are setting ourselves up for meeting relatives. They extend from Galway to Westport. We set up our accommodations way before we had any concrete plans with anyone. We gave ourselves the opportunity of 3 nights, and 2 full days to meet with them. No one was available tonight, and so we took a 1 1/2 drive and turned it into a 4 hour one.

This was a wonderful day. The route we took was through Ballyvaugn and hugging the ocean. We enjoyed Corkscrew Hill, Dunguaire Castle, views of The Burren, ocean, and passing the cute charming tiny towns along the way. I hope I am not being too discouraging about the driving.You just have to be realistic about it and factor that into your plans. We love having a car and this was a fantastic day where we were able to relax and enjoy the scenery. We stopped a lot and I couldn't even tell you where. There are literally a hundred little turnoffs you can follow and where you can see beaches, cliff views, tiny towns, etc. We stopped somewhere charming for lunch, where, I don't recall, and had a relaxing view, but these are everywhere. We did notice again, that a lot was closed.

We arrived in Galway and headed to the Jameson Court Apartments, again, courtesy of points. We liked this place, because it had a washer and dryer, perfect timing! It is a 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom unit with free parking on the first floor. It has a full kitchen and a roomy living room. The view is 2 walls of windows, one facing the water and one facing the backside of the aquarium, with all of its massive tanks and pipes, pull that curtain, problem solved! This would be great place for a family, or 2 couples, if you didn't mind sharing a bathroom. There is an office on site to handle any questions or problems.

We are right near the center of everything but at the end by the water so it does seem like it will be peaceful. We pick up a few things for snacks and breakfast, and there is a fantastic bakery, so we can bring back a dessert for later.This is a larger city and we are aware of more tour buses and crowds. This does not seem as closed down. We wandered through some of the shops which were widely varied and enjoyed the interactions with the owners and the craftsmanship their products. We had asked at the office and they recommended 2 places for Italian food, which we thought we be a nice change. We scouted them both out so we would know where to head back later. Time for a nap for DH and laundry duty for me, also, nice to put my feet up enjoy a book and the view. We returned to La Collina which we really enjoyed. We each had a glass of wine, split a salad, a huge plate of pasta. $50. The shops did close up early so we headed back to enjoy our dessert. Galway is supposed to have fantastic Trad music, but tomorrow is a big day, so we need plenty of rest and our wits about us.
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Old Feb 6th, 2023, 05:37 PM
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We really didn't spend that much time in Galway, so I don't have that much advice. It has a pretty setting on the water and a nice energy. It is a city so it has a lot more options, in terms of hotels, shops, pubs and restaurants. It is definitely a great base for touring and has good train and bus connections. It was the most crowded destination we were in. We loved having an apartment with the washer and dryer and kitchen, it was nice to have breakfast in our pajamas looking at the water view. It was a perfect spot for us to launch our adventure.

We just had a light breakfast of the baked goods we picked up last night. We headed out to Ashford Castle for an early lunch. This was an easy 1 hour drive. We pulled to the guard station and waited behind 2 other cars. You know that thought floating around in your head that you forgot something? I forgot to make a reservation for lunch. At one time, you could pull up and go view the property for a small fee, but not anymore. If you don't have a reservation, for a room, a restaurant, or the Hawk Walk, you are not getting in. Nothing was available, so we had to sheepishly U turn. If this is on your dream list, plan accordingly!

Luckily, Cong was very nearby, and so we headed over. This town is where they filmed the movie The Quiet Man with John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara in 1952 and the whole area was so thrilled. Oh my gosh, this was a ghost town. Almost every shop and restaurant and the museum were closed. There were a few carloads of people who hopped out and then quickly left. We found one restaurant open with a few tables of customers and no employees or food in sight. We went by one table, and a man looked at us and silently shook his head like, "no, don't do it." Someone finally came out, frazzled and without food. We did leave. Luckily, there was a small market nearby so we just grabbed a sandwich.

We continued on to Kylemore Abbey, this was one of our favorite stops. You have to park about 2 blocks away, but it is perfect because it allows you to see this idyllic setting in full. You view the Castle across the lake, it is magnificent! This is a current Benedictine nunnery. They have their own private rooms and residences. The Castle was built in 1868, and the original house is restored to its Victorian era, there is a lot of original furniture and wardrobe. It has a beautiful walled garden, a gothic church and incredible grounds and walking paths. We spent an hour there but could have easily spent two.

We are now heading to Westport and our first meeting. I am very excited but also anxious, we are strangers. We are meeting at our hotel, the Westport Plaza at 2:00. Even though these are my Mother's first cousins, they are our age. The uncles all married a lot later in life and married a bride who was a lot younger, so this makes it easier that we are contemporaries. In my Grandfather's family, there were 7 children, all sons except one daughter. Three of the sons died at much different ages, The oldest son, daughter and my Grandfather left for the U.S so we are meeting the daughter of the only son who stayed, and since he only had daughters, she got the farm. It is a friendly, easy meeting and they take us to their home. It is wonderful to tour it all, see their pictures, hear their history and memories. And they had an elaborate spread of pie, cookies, and tea, they are so fun and engaging. Before we knew it, it was approaching dinnertime, and they called for reservations at Madden's restaurant. I wonder if they waited on that decision to make sure we were all clicking. This is a lovely restaurant, that we would highly recommend, and we follow their lead and ordered a steak dinner, they have made it clear, it is their treat. About halfway through the night, they look at each other and say, isn't it nice to eat out again? They explain that the last time they ate out was in 2019, between helping their son through his cancer treatment and Covid, this is their first time to venture out. To be with us and to treat us, it was humbling.

We could have talked for hours more, they dropped us off at our hotel and said what time are you meeting your your Grandmother's family tomorrow? They were coming at 10:30, so they said OK we will be here at 8:30, there is more we would like to show you. Talk about feeling embraced!


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Old Feb 11th, 2023, 01:27 PM
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The Westport Plaza is a nice hotel. It is large and caters to business conferences and weddings. They have a spa on site. They have a wide variety of room types and suites, so it would work well for a family or a group. A full breakfast is included. We had a very spacious king room that was very updated, clean and had wonderful linens. Our room was, (repeat after me) free with points but would cost about $175.

Westport is a delightful town! In the middle of town, it has a beautiful old stone bridge over the river. The buildings are colorful and captivating. It is full of shops, restaurants and pubs. It has outdoor recreation possibilities galore, with the lakes, hiking, horseback riding, biking, and more. It is not as quaint as Dingle but it is more charming than Galway.

We had a delicious breakfast and are eager to continue our visit. They arrive at 8:30 and take us to one more cemetery. Then we continue on to Clew Bay. This is magnificent! Croagh Patrick is a gorgeous backdrop. Then we continue on to the access parking lot, where many hikers are already heading out to climb it. We are going to see the Famine Memorial which is right there, also. This is a huge sculpture representing the ships that took the Irish immigrants who were fleeing the famine. They were nicknamed the coffin ships because about 30% of the people who boarded, died enroute. From a distance it looks like just wood planks, but as you approach, you can see a lot of it is skeletons. I am always in awe of artists who can silently evoke such strong emotions.This was one of those moments, it was very sobering.

Of course, I knew about the potato famine. Blight attacked the potato crop and devastated it for years. I guess in the back of my mind, I ignorantly thought that is was a shame they didn't grow anything else. Well of course, they did. They grew wheat, barley, oats and corn. They planted, tended, and harvested those crops and watched the English landowner"s carts haul it away to export it. Once, a foreign ship captain in port, commented that is was unfathomable the amount of grain, butter and bacon that was being loaded onto ships when such a vast number were starving to death. Over a million died and over a million left. Heartbreaking.

They return us to our hotel, and hugs and kisses all around. What a wonderful experience, they were so kind and generous. We feel lucky that they are our family.




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Old Feb 11th, 2023, 02:01 PM
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Coral22, how nice for you that you were able to meet family in Ireland for the first time. And thanks for including such interesting information about the potato famine and the Famine Memorial.
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Old Feb 11th, 2023, 06:04 PM
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Thanks so much Karen, you are so sweet. I have enjoyed so many of your reports and photography. I am happy to give you a glimpse of Ireland.

Here is the monument
Ireland May 2022,  Third try is a lucky charm-famine_ship.jpg
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Old Feb 11th, 2023, 07:23 PM
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We are eagerly awaiting round 2. This is my Grandmother's side of the family. Two sisters are meeting us at the hotel. They are the daughters of the oldest son who inherited the farm, where they grew up. One is so sweet and quiet, one is a fireball. Fasten your seatbelts! First they take us to Westport House, a gorgeous home, built by the Browne family on the site of the O'Malley castle, where the Pirate Queen, Grace O'Malley was born. It is a fabulous estate on a lake with swans! It has accommodations and extensive grounds, a place worth visiting. We continued on, chattering a mile a minute and headed to my Grandmother's homestead.

Her house still stands, but is now only used for farm equipment storage. It has a stone floor, a huge central fireplace/kitchen.and an upstairs loft where 10 children lived, 3 boys and 7 girls.It is amazing to me, that our two host sisters lived in this same home, also with 10 children, until 1959, with no electricity or plumbing, when they finally built a new house. We visit the new house, where another brother and sister are waiting to welcome us, another easy, delightful visit. They take us to the old train station depot building, and made us walk up and stand in a certain spot. Okaaay??? Now look left, and you can barely see the porch of her house. When my Grandmother and her sister left for the U.S. they could see their mother there, waving a white handkerchief goodbye. She couldn't bear to go to the train station, because she thought she would never see them again. She was right. I swear I felt the emotions of both of them in that moment.

We went to a delightful lunch, who knows where, it was hard to keep track of the directions and distance between the stories, the laughter and the enveloping warmth. Next we are visiting my Grandmother's mother's family farm. The family farm was inherited by the oldest son, now his oldest son is managing it. They had us in for tea, and who knows who all was there, with their delightful stories and successful determination to make us feel welcome. One cousin delighted in telling us about a special day there. This dairy farm and a few nearby, had a contract with Ashford Castle. Their truck would show up and collect the milk. One day the driver approached with another rider. Apparently, he was a guest staying at the hotel for an extensive stay and was a little stir crazy, and wanted a change of experience. He hopped out with the driver and gladly came in for tea. It was John Wayne, there filming the Quiet Man. He gave my cousin a silver dollar, I am sure it was like a million dollars to him.
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Old Feb 18th, 2023, 05:36 PM
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Whew! We just make it back to the hotel in time. We have another group meeting us there. We really needed to freshen up and change our clothes. These relatives are my Mother's first cousins, on my Grandmother's side. My Grandmother was one of the younger children and their father was the child born right before her, and they were very close. There are 7 children in this family. Meeting us is one of the sons and his wife, one of the daughters and her husband, and another daughter who can only stay for a drink. All of them drove an hour one way to get there, and insisted on meeting at our hotel, to make it easier on us. Plus, they have to work the next day. Wow!

The elevator door opens, and I see my Grandmother's face reflected back at me on the face of one of the cousins. They are so welcoming and enthusiastic and make sure to take a lot of pictures before the one cousin has to leave.The restaurant is nice and the food is good but it is not a destination spot. If you want somewhere that can accommodate a group, it is perfect. We sit down to dinner at 7:00. We share poignant stories, spirited banter, teasing and laughter. The energy is just like Thanksgiving dinner at my Grandparent's. We are very touched by their hospitality, and they insisted on treating us. The evening flies by and no one paid attention to the time, it is 10;30, and the restaurant closed at 10:00. The staff graciously provided service and attention the entire time. We have heartfelt hugs all around and all agree we did not have nearly enough time there. We are leaving in the morning.

This part of of trip, I do not recommend. We planned it this way to be open at the end of the trip for our relatives and any changes in the plans. But on this trip, DH had some places he definitely wanted to visit. We thought it would be a good idea to get through our list, and then leave from Westport. But, I was so happy that he loved meeting the relatives as much as I did. Luckily, we had a 2:15 pm flight from Dublin to Paris, so we had plenty of day to work with. It is projected to be a 3 hour drive to Dublin airport. so we left 6.5 hours before our flight. The dread and worry about this drive hung over DH the entire trip and we were very lucky it went pretty smoothly. One of the relatives suggested going through Galway, and that was a good call. With a bathroom break, filling up the car and grabbing a sandwich, it took 3:15. We arrived at the car rental return location and we had damage to our car from passenger side scratches. This added about 30 minutes to the process, with us having to leave a $1000 deposit until it was resolved. It is a short ride to the terminal, but the line for Air France is long, oh, no, not moving at all. It took about 45 minutes to check in. They only had 4 check in desks and we asked if it was because of personnel shortages and they said it was always like that. We weren't panicking because we still have over an hour before boarding. But give yourself more time than you think you need. We head to the lounge, again courtesy of the Chase Sapphire Card, and grab some soup and cheese and crackers to tide us over until dinner. We head to our gate. Off to Paris!

If you have Irish ancestry, this trip would be especially meaningful for you. If you can visit their county, good, their homestead, better, the family, jackpot! This is the best gift you can give yourself, you can't imagine how moving it is. I was lucky enough to grow up with my Grandparents within walking distance, but never knew all of the details of their challenging life.

We had many encounters with delightful, helpful, and precious people all throughout the trip. But after meeting one especially engaging fellow, DH said, "you must really be proud of your heritage." Of, course, I was so proud of my Grandparents and all that they had achieved, and I loved being around their siblings at our big Irish gatherings in Chicago. But that is family, you are surrounded by their love and support. But, you also were aware of the negative Irish stereotypes and I have had rude Irish jokes told in my presence. I was really taken aback, by his comment and when I could finally speak, I said " Wow, I really am." I was awash with pride.
We will be back.

I don't know how you could not enjoy Ireland, it truly restores the soul. The question is, for how long? When we first planned our trip, we went over our plans with some friends of ours, who had gone the year before. They went with another couple, who had Irish ancestry and wanted to stay longer, our friends did not, so they compromised on 10 days. Our friends made it very clear that was too long for them. I get that, it is a lot of the same flavor. I am a city gal but I still like to vacation with at least one destination with some city energy. I love art, museums, historical sites, and good food. Dublin is delightful, but it does not have the impact that a lot of other major European cities do. And Ireland does not have the museums and the major historical sites. But if you want glorious scenery, restful vistas, outdoor adventures and a place to rejuvenate, this is the place for you. You will feel safe and welcome. And make no doubt about it, the days of boiled meat and boiled potatoes are long gone. Even the simplest sandwich is so good. It is quite a foodie paradise now, that part will not disapoint.

My recommendation would be to make the Killarney area your priority. If you are flying to Dublin, power through to Galway, sleep there and pick up your car. It depends on your length of visit, but, see Doolin and Cliffs of Mother, head to the Killarney area, but then circle around south and end up in Dublin. It would also be an enjoyable short trip to fly in and out of Shannon.

DO NOT drive after a long flight to Dublin. Fatigue, left side driving, and tiny poorly lit roads are not what you need to face. Also, it doesn't take long to adjust, but even though English is what is spoken, the national language of Ireland is Irish. The first line on every road sign is in Irish Gaelic, yipes. If you look at the bottom, it is English, but It is one more thing you don't need to be processing.Peppered all over the Irish highways are signs that state, driving fatigued is as deadly as driving intoxicated. I don't think they would invest in those if it wasn't an issue.

Make sure you have your car insurance in order. We took the time to research it and still didn't have it right. Get it in writing and to specifically state, the Republic of Ireland. We were happy we took the time at the airport before we got our car, we were happy to save the eventual $600 charge.

Make sure you pack sensibly. The weather can be a huge issue. We were extremely blessed with wonderful weather, but had a small taste of awful weather our first day. Waterproof walking shoes, wool blend socks, layers, lightweight fleece jacket, a full length raincoat, scarf, and gloves. In the wind, an umbrella is worthless, a rain hat would keep your hair and face protected. When we were at the Cliffs of Mother, it was sunny and about 55 degrees. The wind made it feel like 20 degrees cooler, the wind blew right through you. You are outside a lot, it can be very bone chilling by the end of the day.

Have a great time planning your life changing trip!
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Old Feb 18th, 2023, 06:10 PM
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Fabulous finale!
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Old Feb 19th, 2023, 07:38 AM
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This was a lovely report. We've been to Ireland many times from the very top to the very bottom, and your final itinerary recommendation was not off the mark for any first-time visitors. Your cautions about signs and car rentals and roads were absolutely correct. Like you, we have been delighted by our food options--fresh salmon, micro greens, hearty breads, lovely cheeses everywhere. What really hit home was your statement "I don't know how you could not enjoy Ireland, it truly restores the soul." As we say to others, "We don't have relatives in Ireland, we just have kindred souls." In so many ways, it's what we'd love the world to be.

Ironically, in what will probably be our last trip to Ireland, we'll be doing much of what you've done on this first trip. In June we'll LAND in Westport (new for us) from the UK, move down to Galway (a favorite), zip through the Burren and Cliffs, head to Dingle (new for us), stay a bit in Killarney (we've done Kenmare, but not Killarney), stay a bit in Cork (we've only done Kinsale), and then head back for a last night in Dublin. In other words, we'll be sharing a lot of your experiences, and I enjoyed and will use your recent insights. One of the big differences is that we will be doing it without a car--we are too old and we drink WAY too much at Trad Music sessions to endanger the lives of Irish citizens.

Enjoy Paris, one of the other "homes" of our lives.
AZ
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Old Feb 19th, 2023, 09:12 AM
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Thank you both for your kind words! Paris is one of our favorites! We have been there many times. We do not have a nonstop home from Dublin, but after European trips, we usually end up in Paris to take the delightful Air France nonstop home. Two nights in Paris, including a casual cafe dinner and a special meal, and a chance to visit some new sites from our endless list, is always a delight. That does satisfy our "city energy" component. This time, the added bonus of that flight was that it flew right over Ireland at a low enough altitude that you could make a lot below you. Another chance for a fond farewell!
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Old Feb 20th, 2023, 07:46 AM
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Coral22--I smiled when I read your last follow-up. That used to be us! No matter where we went in Europe, either our first or last (or both) pitstops were Paris. Our hitlists were exactly like yours: a new museum (or a revisit to a room or two in an old fave); a good casual restaurant and a good upscale try-out.
You've totally explained why Ireland's vibe did not have your museum needs.
And OMG, the low flyover topped the trip report.
Well done.
AZ
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Old Apr 10th, 2023, 12:27 PM
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Help please!

Leaving in May, arriving in Shannon, have 11days, not renting a car. We are 65+ never been to Ireland. We would like to visit: Dingle P, Aran Islands both prob by ferry; the Burren, Cork & Kenmare. Any advice on how to do this while relaxing as well as places to stay & how to get there?
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Old Apr 10th, 2023, 12:48 PM
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Now that you know….

Leaving in 3 weeks, Shannon arrival for 11 days, no car 65+
where to go & how to get there?
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Old Apr 11th, 2023, 05:06 AM
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Rozi7--I suggest you start an entirely new thread with your request for advice, if you haven't already, so that you can get a lot of responses. Right now your question is buried in this conversation. I'll look for that post and respond.
AZ
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Old Apr 11th, 2023, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by AlessandraZoe
Rozi7--I suggest you start an entirely new thread with your request for advice, if you haven't already, so that you can get a lot of responses. Right now your question is buried in this conversation. I'll look for that post and respond.
AZ

Thank you AlessandraZoe!
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Old Apr 11th, 2023, 10:49 AM
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Congratulations on your trip, you will love it! Yes, I agree, you need to start your own thread, so others can address your exact needs and questions and SOON. I will not be much help since we did have a car.

Your logistics are pretty important to sort out. Do you want to have private drivers or join some single day group tours? The public transportation in Ireland isn't as extensive as other countries, so you might pull up Google maps and start plugging in locations and play with the directions of how to get there and work off of that. Good luck!
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Old Apr 13th, 2023, 03:07 AM
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Originally Posted by coral22
Whew! We just make it back to the hotel in time. We have another group meeting us there. We really needed to freshen up and change our clothes. These relatives are my Mother's first cousins, on my Grandmother's side. My Grandmother was one of the younger children and their father was the child born right before her, and they were very close. There are 7 children in this family. Meeting us is one of the sons and his wife, one of the daughters and her husband, and another daughter who can only stay for a drink. All of them drove an hour one way to get there, and insisted on meeting at our hotel, to make it easier on us. Plus, they have to work the next day. Wow!

The elevator door opens, and I see my Grandmother's face reflected back at me on the face of one of the cousins. They are so welcoming and enthusiastic and make sure to take a lot of pictures before the one cousin has to leave.The restaurant is nice and the food is good but it is not a destination spot. If you want somewhere that can accommodate a group, it is perfect. We sit down to dinner at 7:00. We share poignant stories, spirited banter, teasing and laughter. The energy is just like Thanksgiving dinner at my Grandparent's. We are very touched by their hospitality, and they insisted on treating us. The evening flies by and no one paid attention to the time, it is 10;30, and the restaurant closed at 10:00. The staff graciously provided service and attention the entire time. We have heartfelt hugs all around and all agree we did not have nearly enough time there. We are leaving in the morning.

This part of of trip, I do not recommend. We planned it this way to be open at the end of the trip for our relatives and any changes in the plans. But on this trip, DH had some places he definitely wanted to visit. We thought it would be a good idea to get through our list, and then leave from Westport. But, I was so happy that he loved meeting the relatives as much as I did. Luckily, we had a 2:15 pm flight from Dublin to Paris, so we had plenty of day to work with. It is projected to be a 3 hour drive to Dublin airport. so we left 6.5 hours before our flight. The dread and worry about this drive hung over DH the entire trip and we were very lucky it went pretty smoothly. One of the relatives suggested going through Galway, and that was a good call. With a bathroom break, filling up the car and grabbing a sandwich, it took 3:15. We arrived at the car rental return location and we had damage to our car from passenger side scratches. This added about 30 minutes to the process, with us having to leave a $1000 deposit until it was resolved. It is a short ride to the terminal, but the line for Air France is long, oh, no, not moving at all. It took about 45 minutes to check in. They only had 4 check in desks and we asked if it was because of personnel shortages and they said it was always like that. We weren't panicking because we still have over an hour before boarding. But give yourself more time than you think you need. We head to the lounge, again courtesy of the Chase Sapphire Card, and grab some soup and cheese and crackers to tide us over until dinner. We head to our gate. Off to Paris!

If you have Irish ancestry, this trip would be especially meaningful for you. If you can visit their county, good, their homestead, better, the family, jackpot! This is the best gift you can give yourself, you can't imagine how moving it is. I was lucky enough to grow up with my Grandparents within walking distance, but never knew all of the details of their challenging life.

We had many encounters with delightful, helpful, and precious people all throughout the trip. But after meeting one especially engaging fellow, DH said, "you must really be proud of your heritage." Of, course, I was so proud of my Grandparents and all that they had achieved, and I loved being around their siblings at our big Irish gatherings in Chicago. But that is family, you are surrounded by their love and support. But, you also were aware of the negative Irish stereotypes and I have had rude Irish jokes told in my presence. I was really taken aback, by his comment and when I could finally speak, I said " Wow, I really am." I was awash with pride.
We will be back.

I don't know how you could not enjoy Ireland, it truly restores the soul. The question is, for how long? When we first planned our trip, we went over our plans with some friends of ours, who had gone the year before. They went with another couple, who had Irish ancestry and wanted to stay longer, our friends did not, so they compromised on 10 days. Our friends made it very clear that was too long for them. I get that, it is a lot of the same flavor. I am a city gal but I still like to vacation with at least one destination with some city energy. I love art, museums, historical sites, and good food. Dublin is delightful, but it does not have the impact that a lot of other major European cities do. And Ireland does not have the museums and the major historical sites. But if you want glorious scenery, restful vistas, outdoor adventures and a place to rejuvenate, this is the place for you. You will feel safe and welcome. And make no doubt about it, the days of boiled meat and boiled potatoes are long gone. Even the simplest sandwich is so good. It is quite a foodie paradise now, that part will not disapoint.

My recommendation would be to make the Killarney area your priority. If you are flying to Dublin, power through to Galway, sleep there and pick up your car. It depends on your length of visit, but, see Doolin and Cliffs of Mother, head to the Killarney area, but then circle around south and end up in Dublin. It would also be an enjoyable short trip to fly in and out of Shannon.

DO NOT drive after a long flight to Dublin. Fatigue, left side driving, and tiny poorly lit roads are not what you need to face. Also, it doesn't take long to adjust, but even though English is what is spoken, the national language of Ireland is Irish. The first line on every road sign is in Irish Gaelic, yipes. If you look at the bottom, it is English, but It is one more thing you don't need to be processing. Peppered all over the Irish highways are signs that state, driving fatigued is as deadly as driving intoxicated. I don't think they would invest in those if it wasn't an issue.

Make sure you have your car insurance in order. We took the time to research it and still didn't have it right. Get it in writing and to specifically state, the Republic of Ireland. We were happy we took the time at the airport before we got our car, we were happy to save the eventual $600 charge.

Make sure you pack sensibly. The weather can be a huge issue. We were extremely blessed with wonderful weather, but had a small taste of awful weather our first day. Waterproof walking shoes, wool blend socks, layers, lightweight fleece jacket, a full length raincoat, scarf, and gloves. In the wind, an umbrella is worthless, a rain hat would keep your hair and face protected. When we were at the Cliffs of Mother, it was sunny and about 55 degrees. The wind made it feel like 20 degrees cooler, the wind blew right through you. You are outside a lot, it can be very bone chilling by the end of the day.

Have a great time planning your life changing trip!
Wow, it sounds like you had quite an adventure in Ireland! Meeting your Mother's first cousins on your Grandmother's side must have been such a special experience. It's always great to connect with family and learn more about your ancestry. It sounds like you had a lot of fun sharing stories and enjoying good food with them.

I'm glad to hear that the drive to Dublin went smoothly, even with the added stress of the car damage. And it's great that you were able to take advantage of the Chase Sapphire Card and relax in the lounge before your flight.

I agree with you, Ireland seems like such a wonderful place to visit. The scenery alone is breathtaking, and I'm sure the people are just as delightful as you've described. I can understand why some people might feel that 10 days is too long to stay in one place, but it sounds like you made the most of your time there. I hope you get the chance to go back and explore even more!
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Old Apr 16th, 2023, 05:08 AM
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Good Morning! Did you already make this trip?
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