December 07, 2004
Erin Go Braugh
It is done.
Well, sort of.
I am absolutely, positively, there-are-no-excuses-this-time, going to go to Ireland in 2005. I've decided. I've been talking about going for years, and it's time to stop talking. Because in the immortal words of Andy Dufresne:
Get busy living, or get busy dying
That's goddamn right. So who's in? I'm looking at going sometime in October; that's the offseason, so flights/lodging will be cheaper, and there's both a film festival and a gourmet festival in Cork in the middle of the month. I don't plan on spending much time in Dublin other than flying in/out of the city. I'd rather spend the week in the south and southwest parts of the country, enjoying the view.
So I'm going. Now that I've said it, I can't take it back. The only thing that will keep me from going is death. Even then, I still might go. And I mean DEAD death, not near death. Even if I'm barely breathing and have to strap an oxygen tank to my back and haul it around everywhere, I'm still going. I should practice that today...
Now I just need someone to give me a satellite picture phone so I can update my site with photos every day while I'm there.
Posted by Highwaygirl on December 7, 2004 08:42 AM
to the category 101 in 1001
Cindy, if you're ever looking for a way to waste time at work, maybe you could e-mail me with some suggestions for what to do/see in Ireland? Any first hand accounts of traveling around the country would be great.
September is a gorgeous month to see Ireland! You'll get to see beautiful skies and GREEN as you've never seen it before...and then it will cloud over, and you'll experience an Irish rain on your face! If you're not fond of rain, wait 15 minutes, and you'll see the sun again.
We landed in Shannon. Went up the coast to Galway, which takes you to Bunratty castle, the Cliffs of Moher, Doolin (hot spot for trad music), Dunghaire castle, and then you can cut through The Burren to Galway. From Galway, we cut across to Kilkenny. Burned-out abbeys and castle ruins in everyone's backyard. Awesome! Kilkenny is beautiful, as is the castle, there. From Kilkenny to Dublin, Newgrange, Battle of the Boinne valley, Mound of Tara. Down to Wexford via the coast route. Ancient cemetarys you have to see to believe! If you stay in Wexford, I recommend "Dooley's B&B"...highly! Jack and Winnie make you feel so welcome, and the breakfast is incredible. In fact, I would recommend B&B's...the beds are better than the ones in the 4star hotels, by far, and at 1/3 the price. (I preferred putting my $$ in the hands of the wonderful locals, rather than hotel chains, anyway. But that's me) From Wexford, Waterford, Clonmel, Caher (castle), Tipperary, up to the Rock of Cashel, down to Cork (Blarney castle), Killarney, and then cried all the way back to Shannon airport. We covered about 15 counties in 8 1/2 days, and I personally took 599 digital pix during that time. (The only problem, they all came out great, so it's taking me a while to decide what to print, and what not to print...$$ being a factor.)
Speaking of money, I did some serious homework before I left, and invested in a moneybelt ($14)that I wore under my shirt with my cash, drivers license and passport in it. Dublin has a drug problem, and the pickpockets can strip you down to your undies without you even being aware of their presence. Also, $$ related...we booked a car to pick up @ Shannon airport, and one expense we hadn't counted on was the collision deposit of $800, which you get back when you turn in the car...but, just so you're aware.
WARNING: if you visit Limerick (which is LOVELY, and King John's castle is well worth seeing) be advised that it's nickname is "Stab City". So, keep in numbers if possible, and watch your back. We were briefly followed by a local, and as soon as we caught up with some other tourists at the Treaty of Limerick, he turned and went the other direction. I still can't imagine vacationing anywhere else!! (Scotland was incredible too, but on my next trip, I'll still homebase it in Ireland, and Air Ryan it over.)
Hope this was of help (lengthy as it was), and if there's anything else I can help you with, please don't hesitate to email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don't be concerned about driving on the other side of the road...within 10 minutes and your first turnabout, you should be in good stead!
This is a trip you will well remember for the rest of your life! The people, the food, and the scenery are all wonderful!! Cheers!
Donnaree, thank you so much for the recommendations! You mentioned a lot of things that I want to see (Newgrange, the Cliffs, the Burren). I hadn't thought too much about Galway, but I'm thinking about it now. I also hadn't considered flying into/out of Shannon.
I want to focus on the Southeast/Southwest of the country, so I plan to be spending some quality time in Counties Cork and Kerry. And we're definitely staying in B&Bs rather than hotels.
I will be e-mailing you, count on it!