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Off to Ireland again! Solo trip...

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Oct 29th, 2013, 11:08 AM
  #1
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Off to Ireland again! Solo trip...

I'm off on my fifth trip to Ireland. Like my first trip, this will be solo. It was originally going to have 9 of us! However, each traveling companion had to drop out due to cost, job, etc., so now it's just me! That's OK, that means I can go wherever I like.

I will be going for 16 days starting Nov 15, coming back Dec 2. It was easier to get time off during Thanksgiving, and the price was right - $650 round trip, one connection, PIT to DUB. I do carry-on only (the airlines have delayed my luggage too many times for me to trust them on the trip out any longer!). I will be renting a car, and staying 2-4 nights each in: Drogheda, Armagh, Cushendall, Gweedore, Westport, and Glasson.

Some of my activities planned: A full moon ceremony with the Irish Druids on the Hill of Tara, a Christy Moore concert, and hopefully seeing some Northern Lights! I will be visiting several spots where Game of Thrones was filmed. I will be visiting some new places, like Belfast, Monasterboice, Loughcrew, Armagh, Boa Island, and Athlone. I will be revisiting others, such as the Antrim Coast, Inishowen, and Achill Island.

The first couple nights I'm staying at my friend and publisher's house, as she lives near Drogheda. Then I head north, and wander to my heart's content! I know it will be cold and windy, I know the days will be short. I have a flashlight, a wool coat, and a GPS. Besides, how could I see Northern Lights if I go in when it's dark? I foresee many evenings hanging in the pub, though!

As always, I will have photos and an extensive trip report when I return.
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Oct 29th, 2013, 11:46 AM
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Northern lights in Ireland? You will need to be extremely lucky. Not only will you need clear nights, but a truly spectacular solar flare to give the lights that far south.
You have more chance in Pittsburgh.
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Oct 29th, 2013, 11:48 AM
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Yes I do know how far soth Pittsburgh is, but the magnetic north pole is in Canada so the auroral oval favours North America.
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Oct 29th, 2013, 12:01 PM
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Yes, but the lights in Pittsburgh make that near impossible I'm staying up in Donegal for four nights, and three on the Antrim Coast, where there is far less light pollution, so I know it will require luck, I'm just hoping I'll be lucky.
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Oct 30th, 2013, 02:27 AM
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Greendragon, good for you going solo in Ireland in off-season with such an interesting itinerary. Look forward to your report...
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Oct 30th, 2013, 10:48 AM
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A full moon ceremony with the Irish Druids on the Hill of Tara. Wow, I want a full report on that.

I think you will have a splendid time going solo. I am over the girlfriend trips for a while. Just taking the husband on the next one.
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Oct 30th, 2013, 01:40 PM
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I went solo my first trip in 1996 - I love the freedom of going where I want. I prefer to share it with someone, but in this day and age, I get to share my trip report and pics with everyone when I get back
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Oct 30th, 2013, 04:51 PM
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I wouldn't give a great deal of time to Armagh or to Athlone (Glasson is nice, however, and you should eat at the Wineport).

It's not impossibly far from Glasson to Clonmacnoise.

Drogheda has a pleasant museum at Millmount - good for a rainy afternoon.

If the latter-day Druidic charlatans had bothered to read the manual they would be on the Hill of Slane rather than Tara.

I'm willing to make a bet that you won't see the Northern Lights. Find other excuses for going out walking at night.
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Oct 30th, 2013, 05:06 PM
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Have a good trip and enjoy yourself. Be careful out there in the dark a couple of tourists got themselves lost in the dark and scwale, up Antrim last week. spent the night huddled behind a rock.. fortunately they had told their host where abouts they were heading and the Mountain rescue bods found them in the morning.
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Oct 31st, 2013, 05:28 AM
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There were northern lights all over Antrim and Donegal the last two nights, by the way

I read about that, Tony! I will have my iPhone compass AND a torch
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Oct 31st, 2013, 12:19 PM
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I've two nights in Armagh, mostly as a base to explore the surrounding areas. Three nights in Glasson, mostly because I have a Christy Moore concert to attend one of the nights, and I had to be in that area. I am planning a couple days of exploration around Clonmacnoise and a bit further south. We'll see!

The druids know that the Hill of Slane is important, as well,and Uisneach
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Oct 31st, 2013, 05:22 PM
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GreenDragon wrote: "There were northern lights all over Antrim and Donegal the last two nights..."

It's Hallowe'en: the lights were fireworks. They're done now.

If you're going exploring from Glasson, add Birr castle to the list of possibilities: http://www.birrcastle.com/.
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Oct 31st, 2013, 05:46 PM
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Give me a nod if you aim to get down to Birr, things are a bit hectic here at the mo but maybe catch a coffee in the Sunrise (pub) if your castle visit fits our shopping trip.
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Nov 1st, 2013, 04:30 AM
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Padraig, Stop being a spoil sport, it is Greendragon's adventure and I so hope she sees some Northern lights. I have fond memories of Athlone. That was before they put in the motorway and you couldn't bypass it. Love Clomacnoise, more people should stop and visit there.
Pádraigín
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Nov 1st, 2013, 05:54 AM
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I just saw some pics taken by Adam Rory at Malin Head the last couple nights - brilliant Northern Lights! And the KP was only about 3! He said it's not that uncommon, if the night is clear and you have a north coast view

I've visited Clonmacnoise once before, in 2011, so I'll be having a lovely second visit.

Tony, I'm planning a trip down to Birr and Lean one day from Glasson, which would be either Nov 30 or Dec 1. I would love to meet up for some chat!
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Nov 1st, 2013, 05:54 AM
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*Leap, not Lean!
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Feb 4th, 2014, 05:23 AM
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Just in case someone missed it, my trip report for this is done, with links to pics! http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...eland-2013.cfm
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Mar 13th, 2014, 12:58 PM
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I would like to connect with you as I want to travel to Ireland and you said you were going to review the last trip with the full moon ceremony etc. I would like to do a similar trip. Did you do a review? Where would I find this? Thank you kindly.
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Mar 26th, 2014, 06:20 AM
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http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...eland-2013.cfm

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Jun 25th, 2016, 09:08 AM
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I am planning my first trip to Ireland in October. I am traveling solo. I am taking notes from all the comments as my itinerary is open! Thanks everyone! GreenDragon, do you have any reports from your previous trips? I would love to read it all!
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