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Just back from Ireland. Happy to answer any questions!

Just back from Ireland. Happy to answer any questions!

Oct 7th, 2000, 03:29 PM
  #1  
John
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Just back from Ireland. Happy to answer any questions!

Toured Dingle, Doolin, Galway and spent quality
Time in the West Cork area
 
Oct 7th, 2000, 03:31 PM
  #2  
MAC
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What did you like most about Dingle I will be there in January for a short time (brrrr)
 
Oct 8th, 2000, 02:29 AM
  #3  
John
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Hi Mac:
Three things:
Great small town feel. Nice pubs!
Slea head driv: Much, Much better than "Ring". Use Ricks Guide to the stops along the way!
Connor Pass: Awesome!!
John
 
Oct 8th, 2000, 08:54 AM
  #4  
edie
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John,
we're going in February...
where did you stay in each place,
any great food experiences?
thanks!
edie
 
Oct 8th, 2000, 05:48 PM
  #5  
dana
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family of 4 going in april,2 kids,ages 15 and 12. any helpful suggestions on areas to visit and places to stay would be great.
thanks
 
Oct 9th, 2000, 06:49 AM
  #6  
John
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Hi Edie and Dana:

Edie: I stayed at one B&B up in Liscannor (2 km from Cliffs of Moher) Great accomodations. Wonderful host, Mary (You can probably say that about most Irish B&B's!!) I have the name and address in my back in my car, I will get it for yhou if you need it! Great location for touring Burren, Galway and Doolin!) The rest of the trip I had a house rental in West Cork (Clonakility)
Food!! Ha. Ha. The best meal I had in Ireland was on the PLANE!! Now I know why the Irish drink! ( I am Irish descent!) All kidding aside, the food was not the reason to go to Ireland. You have a better shot if you like seafood, which dont.

Dana: I highly recommend the house we had in West Cork. It is great for touring areas below Limerick, a bit tough to get to Dingle and Ring in one day but I managed it! Beautiful setting on the south coast. They have a website which was how I found it! Drop me an EMAIL if you want the address!

My favorite places were:
Burren (contrasting beauty)
Dingle (slea head drive)
Cliffs of Moher
Kinsale (nice sea town)
Doolin (felt like Ireland here!)
Galway (best of the bigger towns)
JOHN
 
Oct 9th, 2000, 09:21 AM
  #7  
debbie
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John,
who did you use for a car rental? any problems?
Did you do both the ring of kerry & dingle? what is the difference?

I leave in a month for 9 days in Ireland ( Galway / Waterford/ Killarney / Bunratty)

thanks
Debbie
 
Oct 9th, 2000, 12:04 PM
  #8  
John
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Hi Debbie:
I usually use Autoeurope but needed a large auto wagon which they did not have. I used Dan Dooley this trip. Paid for the full package (Insurance collision, etc) Did not have a Platnium Mastercard which might have saved money on the CDW. Dan Dooley was the only car company that had any action at the counter? I am not sure why? I think autoeurope would be fine for a regular car need. I had mixed review from Dan Dooley. The car that I paid dearly for was not ready for use. It had a flat tire and had a few dents (which I think most cars in Dan's fleet had!) I asked for another type of car that I had saw in the lot and with a small bit of haggling, got the upgraded car for the same price. I had a friend visit me with an auroeurope rental and he had no problems..so...I am not sure what to say...just shop around (car service in Shannon was: Dan, Auto, Hertz, Avis, Sixt, Bunratty Payless, Eurocar) The roads are very narrow in Ireland. Get the smallest car that you can fit in!!

I did both the ring and Dingle. My own opinion....Dingle gave me more Bang! The slea head drive is doable in 2 hrs max!, Ring takes a full day and has a lot of dead time! I thought the Skelligs was the only facinating on the ring. Dingle is a great town and the "connor Pass" was awesome!

Galway was great! Nice pedestrian mall area. Killarney is full of Americans but a nice town with nice shopping. Bunratty Woolin Mills is well worth the crowds. It is a "one-stop" shopping for all your gifts. Castle was full of tourist as well..but ya have to Kiss that stone!! Did not do Waterford. The Crystal is the same prices all over Ireland!!. Bunratty has a good selection of Waterford, Dingle ,Heritage, etc. I would do Kinsale instead of Waterford!

Have fun, I hope you get better weather than we had (rain, rain, brrrr!)
JOHN
 
Oct 10th, 2000, 08:18 AM
  #9  
Brian in Atlanta
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John, what route did you take between stops? Is Dingle a very long (and tiring) drive from Shannon airport?
 
Oct 10th, 2000, 11:11 AM
  #10  
John
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Hi Brian:

I went from Shannon up to Doolin. It was not that far, go thru Ennis and follow the country road thru Lisdoonvarna to Doolin. Dingle might be a bit of a haul! I tell ya, getting in that rental car for the first time is a trip!! You will get used to the "left side" driving after one day but I dont know about trying to drive too far on that first day. The roads are very narrow on Dingle, you will need all your senses!!

JOHN
 
Oct 10th, 2000, 02:21 PM
  #11  
judy
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Hi John, we are going to Ireland and Scotland for 2 weeks next Aug. Thought to fly into Shannon from Edinburgh, pick up a rental and then spend 2 nites somewhere near Dingle(not sure yet) then 2nites near Galway then ending up near Dublin for 3 nites. How does that sound to you? It looks doable, but I am not sure. Brian in Atlanta(me too),when are you going? John, what was wrong with the food? Pub grub or what? Thanks for your help. Judy p.s. I love seafood!
 
Oct 10th, 2000, 07:03 PM
  #12  
Linda
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Judy..We spent 11 days in Ireland this summer. Dingle is wonderful. The Slea Head drive will take your breath away. Dingle town is quaint...small. We stayed at a nice b&b and had a nice meal at the Smokehouse. Galway is very nice. A lot of pubs...The Quays is one to visit! Had a great meal at McSwiggans. I tried all kinds of food...seafood, chicken, Irish stew, chowder and had the best filet mignon in Killarney.
 
Oct 11th, 2000, 05:38 AM
  #13  
John
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Hi Judy:

That sounds doable. My suggestion is that since you have time, just do a search on Ireland on this site and read all the posts. I have my own opinion and you will get many other opinions. I just looked for the "repeat" threads (Dingle, Slea Head, Cliffs, Galway, etc) and figured that those were the gems! I love scenery and that was my focus for Ireland. FOOD: Pub food is what I used, but the problem I had is that most of my trip was on the coast, thus menus had mostly seafood in the pubs. The "English Breakfast" was way too greasy for me, thank the Lord that the variety had Toast, and Cereal and Porridge (Oatmeal) that filled the bill!
The Irish areas that I was in use a kind of "Fat" for cooking that had a distinct taste/smell! I just seemed to "taste" that in everything I ate! It is amazing that in a country that has some of the best Milk, Yogurt and Butter that they would use this "Cooking Lard". I do not want to sound like a snob, I am not a pickey eater (Hamburgers are Gormet to me!) but it was something that got to me! I tell ya , when we set up in the home we rented, we cooked our own breakfast and the Irish Bacon, Bread and yogurt was wonderful! One thing I did come away with was a taste for TEA! What a wonderful touch to have afternoon Tea on a blustry Irish day!
JOHN
 
Oct 15th, 2000, 06:39 PM
  #14  
judy
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Hi, Thanks John & Linda for the feedback. That is exactly what I am doing now...just doing a search for Ireland, and came across your replies. I do indeed have time and I just love to plan. I wish I were the type that could wing it; that makes me too nervous and uptight. And I think I have narrowed down the plans a bit: fly into Shannon, 2nites in Killareny(Dingle, ring? to the lakes of Killarney). Then a leisurely drive up to Galway with stops at Bunratty Castle, then 3nites in Galway(Cliffs, Burren) I like scenery also. Ending in Dublin for 2 nites....What would you change? Linda?
 
Oct 15th, 2000, 08:44 PM
  #15  
Char
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Judy, Hi
Have you heard of CIE Tours out of New
Jersey? We hadn't either. Saw a deal of the week in the LA Times. Our travel agent said they were reputable. They specialize in Ireland. We bought a fly drive vacation with lodging vouchers for a VERY reasonable price. It was awesome and gives you lots of B&B/farmhouse/hotel choices. We were able to be flexible and still not sweat finding a good place to stay. We only stayed in B&B's and loved every one of them. They all include the Irish breakfast. I agree with all that's been said by the others regarding the places to see. Do Dingle. Forget the Ring. Be patient driving. We flew into Shannon, drove to Galway then back down to the Dingle. It was fun for us to take a car ferry and cut off a lot of driving on the way.We flew out of Dublin. Take the get on, get off city tour. The Irish tour drivers are a hoot. Get Rick Steve's book on Ireland. It's great. CIE tours web is www.cietours.com. The people in Ireland are the most gracious in the world. You'll love them all.
 
Oct 15th, 2000, 11:14 PM
  #16  
Taylor
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Hello!

I am looking for some decent restaurants in Doolin and Dublin, any advice?

Thanks!
 
Oct 16th, 2000, 07:53 AM
  #17  
Sandra
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Taylor,

Just outside of Doolin is a small fishing village of Ventry, there is a great French restaurant called The Skipper. Lovely little restaurant with wonderful food, specializing in fresh seafood. The owners husband is the Skipper who catches the fish. We loved it. We sat upstairs with the view out the windows overlooking the fushia hedges in front of Ventry Bay. Good food and good service, but we found the food and service outstanding all over Ireland.
Enjoy your trip.
 
Oct 18th, 2000, 07:07 PM
  #18  
Linda
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Judy, Your agenda seems right. The trip from Shannon to Killarney will take 1.5 to 2 hours. I like Killarney. The Flesk was a nice place to eat in town. We enjoyed touring Muckross House and grounds. The ring of Kerry drive will take you several hours. If you are limited with time the Dingle peninsula is an hours drive away and you can drive the Slea head drive easily in two hours. The scenery is wonderful. Galway is nice. You will love the contrast of the trip up there....the Cliffs of Moher, then the Burren, each beautiful in completely different ways. Galway was a fun town...many places to eat,drink and listen to music. Enjoy your time there.
 
Oct 19th, 2000, 12:59 PM
  #19  
dana
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dear john/and or linda, will be arriving in dublin on the 10of april and leaving out of shannon on the 15 of april. 2 adults and 2 kids ages 12 and 15. thought 2nites in dublin then kilkenny to see the castle, then to cork staying in cork the night, then to see the blarney stone, spending the next night in killarney then do the dingle peninsula then work our way up to the shannon area for our flight home the next day. of cause we would stop along the way at any that was interesting. from your experience does this seem like a good itinerary
 
Oct 19th, 2000, 03:30 PM
  #20  
Cathy
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Dana,
Check out the official site of the Irish Tourist Board - www.ireland.travel.com.

You might be interested in investing in a Heritage Family Card see
www.heritageireland.com for information on heritage cards which allow access to most sites.

For accommodation see www.ireland.travel.ie
www.townandcountry.ie
www.irishfarmholidays.com
www.hidden-ireland.com,

The kids (and no doubt you) might find the ancient passage graves in Meath interesting - see
www.loughcrew.com,
www.meathtourism.com

The other place that you might to take in on your trip from Kilkenny to Cork is the Rock of Cashel in Tipperary. I would skip the Balrney Stone and instead visit the heritage centre in Cobh - just outside Cork city - it is the story of the port town of Cobh and all the ships that left from it including Famine Ships and luxury ships including the Titantic. It is def worth a stop - the Stone is usually crowded with tourists. Bunratty Castle and Folk Park beside Shannon airport is also a must for the kids.

You ae crowding a lot into your few days, enjoy yourself,

Cathy


 

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