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Ireland: Terrified of Driving: Suggestions?

Ireland: Terrified of Driving: Suggestions?

May 20th, 2007, 08:40 PM
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Ireland: Terrified of Driving: Suggestions?

My husband and I, with another couple wish to return to Ireland. I'm not sure just how long we will stay, but it has already been decided that we WILL NOT drive. "Been there, done that, and had near heart failure" and will not get behind the wheel again! Has anyone out there in Fodorland faced the same situation and if so, how did you resolve it? We're not at all interested in taking an organized tour. Is anyone who used trains and buses willing to share their detailed itinerary?
Who can help make this trip happen for us?
mkdiebold is offline  
May 20th, 2007, 08:53 PM
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Sorry - this may sound harsh - but for 4 adults to all be too "terrified" to drive in a civilized place like Ireland - you may be better off on an organized tour.

But if a tour isn't in the cards - then you really have to plan around staying in cities. Train service in the scenic W/SW is pretty bleak.
janisj is offline  
May 20th, 2007, 09:29 PM
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I must admit that i ECHO janisj. With no car you are extreemly limited in what you will see or can do. I assume you drive at home so what is so terrifying about over in Ireland, get an automatic and you will have one less thing to distract you. I personaly would not consider travellling there if I did not have a car.
blightyboy is offline  
May 20th, 2007, 09:47 PM
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Commiserations; and I am hoping that someone who feels the same will share with you and help you. We had a very courageous person here from Canada; she drives a truck for charity over there even. But when she tried a right hand drive car, she was traumatised and could not make the change. That was, by the way, an automatic.... We found her a small left hand drive and she slowly made the adjustment, with us driving ahead of her the first few times..It took a while of course.... We all have different abilities and a holiday should not be a trial. No shame in having this decision to make. Bus Eireann is a good service. And there are small local firms also as many Fodorites know...we are in Donegal and sometimes have to use the Bus, so we know how good a service it is.
anchoress is offline  
May 21st, 2007, 12:56 AM
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Why not hire a driver? Rent a van. Splitting the costs should make this an affordable option.
GSteed is offline  
May 21st, 2007, 01:18 AM
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I've been to Ireland several times and used trains and buses to get around. Trains are ideal for journeys like Dublin-Cork or Dublin-Galway, express buses cover many other routes such as Cork-Limerick-Galway, and local buses serve towns and villages. Basically, wherever you want to go, you'll be able to get there. Services are not frequent, so you'll need to study timetables, but services are reliable in my experience.
GeoffHamer is offline  
May 21st, 2007, 01:23 AM
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hi, mkdiebold,

sorry that none of you can pluck up courage in drive in ireland. fortunately you may be able to find a combination of bus and coach tours to take you to most places.

however, I suspect that an experienced driver would have few problems, especially in Ireland - every gentle place by comparison with mainland europe and the UK. after all, all brits who drive abroad have to get used to left-hand drive!

good luck with your planning,

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
May 21st, 2007, 03:48 AM
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I'm going to be VERY BLUNT about this:

the tone of your post with the implication that NONE OF YOU is interested in driving because ALL OF YOU are "terrified" does not bode well and prevents my suggesting, as someone did above, that you might try an "automatic."

Frankly, I think we could "help make this trip happen for {you]" if we thought you might be somewhat overreactive to this threat..and I think that you are and I guess that makes me "negative" etc.,

Is there ANY CHANCE whatsoever that you might reconsider driving and have you actually thought about the things that made the driving so bad in the past?

Have you driven IN IRELAND or was it somewhere else that is being recalled?

If no chance of self-drive exists and it is as hard to get to some of the places as people here seem to be implying then I would agree with looking into hiring a driver if you don't want an organized bus trek but still want to get to all those places you really want to see in the most efficient fashion.
Dukey is offline  
May 21st, 2007, 05:19 AM
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Dear Dukey,
Did you read my post, please?
anchoress is offline  
May 21st, 2007, 06:21 AM
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Folks don't pick on her please. I live here and if you are nervous about driving here to the point of dtress then don't drive. I hate how some people who are not up for it insist on driving and then there is an awful accident. Whats his name married to Sarah Jessica Parker (Matthew broderick?)hit a mother and daughter head on about 10-12 years ago up north I believe and I think they died. Can you live with killing or hurting a local bacause you are not up for driving and force yourself. Driving is tougher here, there are less motorways, and at night in the country little to no lighting unless on a major road. I would be happier if more poeple thought anout driving here and were more careful as we live with the consequences. My own father nearly wiped us out a few times as kids when we visited (I live here now)by forgetting and driving on the wrong side (maybe we were driving him mad and he was distracted??) but take it easy and do what suits you. You can get a bus and train to many areas. Enjoy

www.euseirean.ie, www.irishrail.ie
SiobhanP is offline  
May 21st, 2007, 06:28 AM
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Amen, Siobhan; amen. Coming to Ireland is about peace and pleasure.
anchoress is offline  
May 21st, 2007, 10:00 AM
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Okay, I'm weighing in on your many responses to our situation. I must admit that my heart races when I think about our experience in Ireland some 3 years ago and neither my husband nor I wish to repeat it. Call us Wimps, Chickens, anal retentive, etc. but we will not drive in Ireland ever again. I know this limits our access to many scenic views and experiences, but quite honestly the folks we would travel with have never been to Ireland and probably won't have a great deal of time to spend anyway. My husband and I were there the better part of two weeks. We've seen and done a lot! We'd like to go back with our friends, but they are not willing to get behind the wheel either.

So, casting aside the feelings of shame some of you thrusted, and appreciating very much anchoress' and Siobhan P's support, I'll politely ask again: "Is anyone who used trains and buses willing to share their detailed itinerary?" Yes, that's a leaching question. Maybe there is a travel guide available that could make this a very nice trip, even if we don't have access to every wonderful nook and cranny on the western shore.

GeoffHammer, I'd be very interested in conversing with you about your trips. If I share my email with you, would you chat?

I'd appreciate any constructive help anyone is willing to share!

Kathy Diebold
mkdiebold is offline  
May 21st, 2007, 10:52 AM
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The answer is easy. Hire a chauffeur driven car. Since there are four of you the cost can be split and made more affordable. Still not cheap but a good way to see Ireland on your terms with someone else doing the driving.
IrishEyes is offline  
May 21st, 2007, 11:12 AM
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Thanks, Irish Eyes for understanding our situation. I'd like to explore your suggestion of "hiring a driver."

How does one go about doing that?

Are these drivers available say out of Galway? If we train or bus to a city, are drivers available to take us into the countryside?


mkdiebold is offline  
May 21st, 2007, 11:21 AM
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1) I would advise posting this question on Pat Preston's website. She is the Ireland expert!

2) Here is one company:
Bette is offline  
May 21st, 2007, 01:16 PM
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Kathy, There are always solutions to every problem. You can choose to hire a chauffeur driven car for your whole time in Ireland (same driver, same car) or you can "spot hire" a taxi for an agreed on fee up front either per trip or per hour.

Either way you will need to search the internet and do a lot of work before your trip so that it is successful. You can also access the Irish phone book to look for drivers: http://www.goldenpages.ie/ Happy hunting.
IrishEyes is offline  
May 21st, 2007, 03:51 PM
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You are NOT alone in your decision not to drive in Ireland.

Do a search for "nedsireland" and you'll see all of his advice on bus travel. All of the websites offered by thoughtful posters above are right on target.

Will give you one helpful tip: when we decided we didn't want to spend our allotted time according to a bus schedule or if we finally figured out that our timing wasn't meshing, we'd just walk to the local tourist office and ask if any of the local taxi drivers would be willing to drive point to point. 9/10 times this worked.

josephina is offline  
May 21st, 2007, 05:17 PM
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Thanks to Bette, IrishEyes, and Josephina for your suggestions and encouragment! Yes, there is usually a solution for every problem. I'm very glad to know that we can indeed, work out a reasonable itinerary without having to drive it ourselves.

I know it might be hard to believe, but when we left Ireland 3 years ago, my husband and I each stated that we'd NEVER go back to Ireland again. I mean, the trip was nearly ruined by the anxiety over having to drive the damn car everywhere! Now, longing for the "old sod" has resurfaced and we really do want to return for all the beauty, fun, and spirit of the Irish people.

Thanks again to everyone for your help!

mkdiebold is offline  
May 21st, 2007, 05:38 PM
Join Date: May 2007
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Totally agree with Siobhan. I LIVE here and am nervous to drive - I can't imagine being used to an automatic and driving on the other side of the road. We have enough road accidents here as it is. Good for you for realising it's too daunting to drive, I wish more people would.
IrishGrl is offline  
May 21st, 2007, 05:46 PM
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Hi Kathy,
we were able do do a lot in Ireland by using buses and trains.
My husband, who zooms around France and Italy with the best of them, will not drive on the "other side' of the road ( I have a vision problem, so I cannot do it)
When in Dublin, take the city train -DART to Howt and Sandy Cove on Dublin Bay. Only about 15-20 minutes and well worth it.

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