Ireland Trip Report Just Returned

Oct 25th, 2006, 08:51 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 130
Ireland Trip Report Just Returned

Day 1 My husband and I arrived at Shannon Airport and picked up Hertz rental car. Got a great Saab automatic for $293E for the week using our AMEX discount code. Drove to the Cliffs of Moher absolutely beautiful. Beautiful weather very clear and sunny. Drove onto Adare and checked out the town. Very cute. Stayed at the Carrabawn Guest House. Small room but very clean. Nice breakfast. Dinner at the Wild Geese was fantastic www.thewild-geese.com ! Some of the best bruschetta I have ever tasted.

Day 2 Drove to Dingle. Again great weather. Checked into the Castlewood House which was awesome. Huge room and big bathroom with separate shower and tub. Breakfasts here were the best! Try the oatmeal with fresh cream and a splash of Baileys! Yummy. After checking in walked to town to check it out. What a darling place! My favorite town in Ireland at least so farļ Had the most amazing Calamari and Chips at a little pub. That evening we had dinner at Out of the Blue! So good! We then went to John Benny Moriaty Pub for some awesome Traditional Irish Music and Guinness!

Day 3 Drove the Dingle Peninsula. Personally I thought this was more beautiful than the Ring of Kerry and much shorter. Took tons of pictures and visited all the sites that Rick Steves recommended along the way in his guide book (if you don¡¦t have this book buy it!) Spent most of the day here and again incredible weather! Windy but sunny and mild. We shopped till we dropped once we got back to town. Dinner that night at the Chart House www.charthousedingle.com Fabulous meal once again! Did a little pub hopping and ended up again at John Bennys for the great music.

Day 4 Drove from Dingle and did the Ring of Kerry. Very beautiful drive and great weather again. Two highlights would be the Staigue Fort and this amazing abandoned ruin of a castle called Ballyboragh. We were able to explore the castle totally on our own with no one else there as it was basically in a field at the end of a dirt road. We found it using the Ordnance Survey map that lists ruins and historic sites. This was one of the highlights of our trip. Arrived in Kenmare for the evening. Stayed at the Lodge at Kenmare. Fabulous place. Big room and bath and the most wonderful king size bed! Great breakfast. Dinner that evening at the Limetree www.limetreerestaurant.com. So amazing. Probably my favorite meal on the entire trip.

Day 5 Finished the Ring of Kerry drive up through Killarney National Park, very pretty and good weather again. See Torc Falls for a nice little stroll and stretch of your legs. Lots of sheep in the road so very fun! Next we drove onto Cahir Castle which was really cool. We were able to explore pretty much on our own. Next onto the Rock of Cashel. This is a must see! One of the best historic sites on the trip. Overnighted in Kilkenny at O¡¦Malleys B&B. This was the worst place we stayed on the entire trip. Very small room and bath. It¡¦s only redeeming value was that is was close to everything and fairly cheap. Worst breakfast as well. Would not really recommend it. Dinner that evening at Rinuccini www.rinuccini.com Decent Italian food but not up to all the rants and raves we had heard.

Day 6 Our first taste of Irish rain. Spent the morning and early afternoon seeing all the sites in Kilkenny including the Castle, Black Abbey and St. Canice. I would definitely recommend the tour of the Castle. Very informative and the castle has been restored and is beautiful. Drove onto Durrow that afternoon for our stay at the Castle Durrow. This place was incredible! I felt like we were in a movie. Our room and bathroom were gigantic! Big 4 poster draped bed with fireplace and overlooking the most beautiful garden and grounds. Very similar to the place they used in Dangerous Liaisons if you have ever seen that movie. We explored the incredible gardens and castle that afternoon as the rain let up and the sun came out. Dinner was included and in the most elaborate dining room! Chandeliers, Toile wallpaper, 20 ft. ceilings! Food was so good. Breakfast the following morning was great as well. Would highly recommend staying here.

Day 7 Drove onto Newgrange to see the Bru Na Boinne burial site. Unreal! We had no idea there was something older than the pyramids in Ireland. This is a must see!
Drove onto Dublin and dropped the car at the airport and then grabbed a taxi to the Westin. Great hotel and awesome location! Did some sites that afternoon including Christ Church Cathedral. Very nice. Dinner that night at Jacob¡¦s Ladder was good but overhyped and overpriced. The Quays Pub in Temple Bar very fun and good music!

Day 8 Rained today. Book of Kells and the Long Room was the highlight of the day. Other sites included the National Museum of History, St. Pat¡¦s Cathedral, Grafton Street, Temple Bar again. Lunch at the Kilkenny Kitchen was really good and inexpensive. We also found a great place for beautiful Celtic jewelry on Nassau Street called Celtic Crafts. Dinner that evening at Peploes www.peploes.com. Wonderful and adventurous menu! Probably my 2nd favorite meal. Great wine list. Some pub hopping in Temple Bar.

Day 9 Fantastic weather, almost 70F. National Gallery, St. Stephens Green Park, Merrion Square, O¡¦Connell Street. Great Fish and Chips for lunch at Sheehan¡¦s Pub. Left Dublin on the 5:05 train to Limerick. Spent the evening at the Clarion Suites in Limerick. Lots of room but not close to town. Dinner at Luigi Malones. Very hip place, good menu and prices.

Day 10 Shannon to home! All in all a fabulous trip! Loved Ireland and will definitely go back!
travel_princess is offline  
Oct 25th, 2006, 09:07 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 76
Travel Princess,
Thanks for the really great report! Sounds like you had a fantastic time. We are going in June so your specifics are really helpful, especially what you liked best vs ok, and the links. Thanks for taking the time.
Luna1 is offline  
Oct 25th, 2006, 09:33 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 2,850
Very good trip report - lot's of great information.

Plus, maybe adding Bailey's to oatmeal would make even me like it! I'll have to try that (although I'm sure it also had something to do with the fresh cream )
LCBoniti is offline  
Oct 25th, 2006, 09:50 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,146
travel-princess
Thanks for your report. It sounds as if you had a great trip. I found Dingle more beautiful than ROK. I too enjoyed staying at The Lodge in Kenmare. Castle Durrow looks super.
Welcome back, Joan
chatham is offline  
Oct 25th, 2006, 10:12 AM
  #5  
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Thanks for the feedback! I am making Baileys only a weekend add though
travel_princess is offline  
Oct 25th, 2006, 02:40 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Thanks for the post. I have not seen the transportation option previously that you describe - car from Shannon to Dub and then train. We will be honeymooning in Ireland in the summer and would like to do a similar trip.
coldwar27 is offline  
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