Ireland Trip Report

Oct 12th, 2007, 06:10 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 758
Ireland Trip Report

First time on the island......

Sept. 30
Flew from Dulles Airport to Dublin Airport

Oct. 1
~Arrived Dublin in the a.m.
~Took Airlink bus to O'Connell Street and walked to Days Inn Talbot Street
-Bus was easy to use
-Days Inn was great (location, staff,
~Took the Hop on/Hop off Tour Bus (could have done without, it was just ok)
-I wasn't interested in many of the stops
~Dinner and pints at Messrs Maguire
~Walked around city center

Oct. 2
~Airlink bus back to airport to get rental car
-Irish Car Rental (tried to give us a piece of crap car at first)
~Drove north to Ballycastle
~Arrived Glenluce Guesthouse (Ballycastle)
~Bushmills Distillery tour, Whitebay Park Beach, Dunseverick Ruins, Coastal Casueway
~Pints and lunch at O'Conners in Ballycastle
~Late night fish and chips at Traditional Golden in Ballycastle

Oct. 3
~Coastal Causeway drive all the way to Portrush, Dunluce Castle, Giant's Causeway, various sights along the route.
~Lunch at Giant's Causeway (The Nook)
~Pints at (Antrim Arms)
~Late night fish & chips at Traditional Golden again
~Walked around Ballycastle harbour in the evening

Oct. 4
~Kinbane Ruins
~Carrick rope bridge
~Bonamargy Friary
~Drove Causeway Coast down to Carrickfergus Castle (closed) but took pictures and then headed through Belfast back to Dublin area.
~Lunch in Whitehead (Think it was called Mia's, it was on a golf course)
~Arrived: Ophira B & B (Dun Laoghaire)
~Pints and late dinner at The Eagle House

Oct. 5
~Stayed in Dun Laoghaire for the day because we were tired of driving
-Walked the city, harbour, pier
-Lunch and pints at Gastropub
-Dinner at Bits & Pizza
-Late night pints in Dun Laoghaire

Oct. 6
~Drove south of Dun Laoghaire
-Wicklow to see the Black Castle ruins (the place is a dump, not much left because of vandals and trash everywhere. Spoke with a local and he said on the weekends, there are 50-100 teenagers hanging around it drinking and that the garda do nothing about it)
-Macreddin Village to visit Macreddin Brewery (Acton's Pub)
-GlenMacnass waterfall
-Bray for pints and bar food at Porterhouse Brewing
~Last night of pints in Dun Laoghaire

Oct. 7
~Left for airport and back to Maryland

I'm sure I missed a few details and stops along the way. We enjoyed our stay in Ireland and were glad that we changed our initial plans of trying to drive the entire country. We loved the Northern part of the island the most.

We loved the places we stayed:
Days Inn: Great Location but noisy at night (just dealt with it). Great staff.
Glenluce: Host james was fantastic, great location. Our last night there, we ran into him on our fish & chips run and he gave us a ride back to the house. We all had our late night snack in his kitchen talking about travel and life. His cat Barney joined us.
Ophira: We had a complete mix-up and arrived in Dun Laoghaire a day early (still don't know how we did that). John form Ophira had no rooms that night to give away but called Mary at Windsor Lodge and she put us up for the night. Great Location.

Rental car was fine, no problems:
Irish Car Rental: only issue we had was their attempt to give us a "hunk of junk" at first.

Aer Lingus: was great, fantastic staff.

~Guinness was yummy, it was on nitro almost everywhere.
~The people were great.

**The U.S. Dollar was the worst part of our trip**
-By the time we got to Ireland, the dollar had dropped another 50 cents. In Northern Ireland, for every U.S. Dollar, we got 50 pence. We had to double everything we purchased. Expensive but what are you going to do.....not have a pint!
jedivader is offline  
Oct 12th, 2007, 07:33 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,313
Glad you had a great time, jedivader - and yes, you get tired of driving after awhile, even if you're an American who loves driving (as I do)
GreenDragon is offline  
Oct 12th, 2007, 07:50 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,118
Glad you enjoyed your trip. I'm surprised you stopped at the black castle in Wicklow - it wouldn't be a stop off point for many tourists on their first visit to Ireland. I think the problem with teenagers drinking at the weekend is a big one all over Ireland - they are too young to get into pubs and have nothing else to do. I guess that Gardai don't want to move them on in case they cause trouble - it's easier to leave them to it.

I think maybe a trip to Powerscourt or Glendalough would have been a bit better than Wicklow town - but you can check those out next time!
cailin is offline  
Oct 12th, 2007, 08:24 AM
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Posts: 758
Didn't know what to expect at the Black Castle, I like castle ruins so I wanted to check it out. Was really surprised that it was not protected by a Heritage Association and just left there to crumble.

Glendalough was way toooooooooo crowded. We stopped there to ask for directions to the glenmacnass waterfall.

Had plans to go to Powerscourt but ran out of time after driving around other parts of Co. Wicklow.

We did stop in Avoca, we found out that a show called "Ballykissangel" is based there.
jedivader is offline  
Oct 12th, 2007, 09:20 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,313
Yup, BallyK is a great little show - available on Netflix if you ever want to watch it

Too bad about Glendalough. I've been three times (each time I've gone to Ireland) and have luckily managed to find times to get there where it wasn't drowned in tourists - early morning seems best. It is truly a beautiful, serene spot at those times.
GreenDragon is offline  

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