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IRISH Honeymoon -- What To DO??

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decodelighted

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So ... it''s Ireland in May for the belated Deco-moon. A week ... flying into Shannon, flying out of Dublin.

Any advice would be mega-welcome ... as the guides have left us more confused than inspired! We''d mostly like to just chill & enjoy the Irish lifestyle & scenery but also wanna make sure we don''t miss the TOP TEN TO DO''s. (Or at least the TOP FIVE.)

HELP!!!
 

TravelingGal

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Oh my god Deco...where do I start. Ireland is one of my fav countries in the world.

From Shannon, I drove straight to Galway. Crash course in driving on the left and roundabouts all at the same time. Galway is a bigger city, but a fun place to start before getting into the smaller towns with more quaint charm.

Doolin is a great jumping point for the Cliffs of Moher. I wasn''t totally awe''d by them, being from California (as we have great coastal scenery here) but it''s probably on a list of top 10s for most who visit Ireland.

Doolin is a tiny town. The famed Gus O''Connors pub is there, and probably is a tourist trap, but I had a ball there anyway.

I chose Dingle and Slea head drive over the Ring of Kerry. The reason is the tour buses cannot do slea had drive. The ring is filled with buses and you will find the roads are narrow in Ireland. Rent a car...I think it''s a must. Also a Michelin''s map, and know that it will take 3 times longer to get somewhere than you think. You can do Connor''s pass into Dingle for a real hair raising drive (road it narrow and nothing to hinder a very deep plunge off a cliff). In Dingle, there was a lovely b&b called Greenmount House that had awesome breafkasts. Heaton House is also well reviewed. Check tripadvisor for the latest reviews.

Lots of people love towns on the Ring, like Killarney and such.

In the south, Kinsale was nice.

Other notable places are Dromoland castle where you can stay. Kissing the blarney stone is a tourist thing (I didn''t go there). I chose to concentrate on the west/southwest so I didn''t go to Dublin, but I hear that the Guinness tour is overrated as you don''t get to actually see the brewery. I hear the waterford tour is cool and Jamesons as well.

You''ll have to drink Guinness of course, but Smithwick''s (pronounced "smiddicks" or something like that) is also good. Soda bread. Mussels. Yum.

Lots of great craic to be had in Ireland. Slainte!!!
 

TravelingGal

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Date: 4/21/2007 9:55:43 PM
Author:decodelighted
So ... it''s Ireland in May for the belated Deco-moon. A week ... flying into Shannon, flying out of Dublin.

Any advice would be mega-welcome ... as the guides have left us more confused than inspired! We''d mostly like to just chill & enjoy the Irish lifestyle & scenery but also wanna make sure we don''t miss the TOP TEN TO DO''s. (Or at least the TOP FIVE.)

HELP!!!
Shoot Deco...only a week?????? I spent two weeks only doing the west and southwest. Eek...
 

decodelighted

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WHOO HOOO ... I was HOPING you had the scoop, Travelinggal!!

I told Decoshub it''s probably a good plan to just do whatever you say! HA! We''re so in over our head on this one! One Bobby Flay Food Network special does not an Irish expert make!
 

poptart

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I''m so excited for you Deco! DH and I are saving up to go to Europe in a few years, so I will be watching this thread closely...


*M*
 

TravelingGal

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Date: 4/21/2007 10:26:04 PM
Author: decodelighted
WHOO HOOO ... I was HOPING you had the scoop, Travelinggal!!

I told Decoshub it''s probably a good plan to just do whatever you say! HA! We''re so in over our head on this one! One Bobby Flay Food Network special does not an Irish expert make!
Ha...I think there are PSers who live there, so you should get better help than I can give. I am limited in the area that I visited.

There are a few major roads, and I think heading either from Shannon (or maybe Galway) to Dublin is one if them. Much of my itinerary were dictated by roads and time.

So what do you picture when you see Ireland? I know you said lifestyle and scenery, but do you want city lifestyle or more country? Do you imagine yourself in fun B&Bs? Ireland has become quite expensive since I''ve been.

Much of Ireland is slow, lovely and just easy going. To me Ireland was all about the people. I loved the ones I met. If you''d like, I can post some of my pics, or send you my travelogue (written in Ireland as I was going along since I was traveling alone and took my laptop to send stories back home). It gives you a good feel of what I experienced there. Mara has my email addy and I know you have hers, so we can probably connect somewhere in between.

I hear Dublin is cool, but I made the decision to sacrifice Dublin and do country. Much of what you see photographed is in west/southwest Ireland. I''d actually love to go to Northern Ireland at some point, but I am assuming that since you are flying in and out of the Republic, that is what you want to see.

With your personality Deco, you are bound to have a great time!
 

TravelingGal

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Actually I did find a couple of pics to give you an idea how pretty Ireland is...

The first is me on a computer writing and kicking back on Slea Head Drive (from Dingle). Kind of funny but I was alone and it was a pretty spot to be inspired!

sleahead-writing1.JPG
 

TravelingGal

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And one more from the top of Connors (spelled Conors sometime). I just love this photo (mostly because you can't see my face, ha!)...it was after a rain and I took a self timed pic. Dingle is the city in the background (left side of the photo near the water)

heaven1.JPG
 

decodelighted

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Date: 4/21/2007 10:42:00 PM
Author: TravelingGal
So what do you picture when you see Ireland?
Hmmmmm...... green?
Okay -- green & beer! DH doesn't drink though so it can't be just one long pub crawl -- as much as *I* might enjoy that!

As far as country vs. city -- I guess we're thinking 75% country/ 25% city prolly -- but we're kinda forced to do Dublin as we're flying outta there!

** quick disclaimer: we ARE doing a rental car & have a bunch o' "coupons" for B&B's wherever we find openings (except for the 1st night which is pre-booked). We kinda have to book the B&B's soon - like early this week -- so getting a general agenda together is IMPORTANTE!

FIRST STAB AT ITINERARY (I can't tell you how helpful your suggestions have been in focusing us)

DAY 1 -- arrive SHANNON early am, visit LIMERICK, stay in NEWMARKET-ON-FERGUS (came w/our pkg)
DAY 2 -- drive to DINGLE, stay in DINGLE
DAY 3 -- drive to KILLARNEY & CORK (Blarney Stone meeeebbbeee), stay in CORK or KINSALE
DAY 4 -- drive to DOOLIN, see Cliffs of Moher, stay in DOOLIN
DAY 5 -- drive to DUBLIN (through SHANNON/LIMERICK?? main road??)
DAY 6 -- day in DUBLIN
DAY 7 -- depart DUBLIN - fly to U.S. of A.

This plan skips WATERFORD, which I just can't get amp'd about considering how long a drive it is from everywhere ELSE we wanna be. It also skips GALWAY - in favor of a day in DUBLIN.

Does it sound do-able?? Too ambitious?? Would you skip any of the things we're doing in order to do GALWAY or WATERFORD?? (Besides DUBLIN, which seems to be non-negotiable with DH).

I'll holla at Mara too!



ETA:: I just saw the PIX ... THANKS SO MUCH!! Those are adorable. Do I *have* to bring my laptop though?? Aiigh. Say I don't! Not on the *HONEYMOON* HA!!

THANKSS!!!!!!
 

Skippy123

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Those are some gorgeous pics TG!!!!
I would love to go to Ireland; how exciting Deco!!!!!
 

Linda W

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Oh Deco how lucky you are. My brother and Sil went last year for two weeks. They LOVED it there. They couldn''t get over how friendly the people were. At restaurants the Irish came up and talked to them and sat with them. They wanted to know about America. They love the Americans there.

My bro and sil stayed in a castle there. Wish you could stay two weeks.

DH and I would love to go there some day too. You will have a wonderful time.

Linda
 

bee*

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Date: 4/21/2007 11:23:47 PM
Author: decodelighted
Date: 4/21/2007 10:42:00 PM

Author: TravelingGal

So what do you picture when you see Ireland?

Hmmmmm...... green?
Okay -- green & beer! DH doesn''t drink though so it can''t be just one long pub crawl -- as much as *I* might enjoy that!


As far as country vs. city -- I guess we''re thinking 75% country/ 25% city prolly -- but we''re kinda forced to do Dublin as we''re flying outta there!


** quick disclaimer: we ARE doing a rental car & have a bunch o'' ''coupons'' for B&B''s wherever we find openings (except for the 1st night which is pre-booked). We kinda have to book the B&B''s soon - like early this week -- so getting a general agenda together is IMPORTANTE!


FIRST STAB AT ITINERARY (I can''t tell you how helpful your suggestions have been in focusing us)


DAY 1 -- arrive SHANNON early am, visit LIMERICK, stay in NEWMARKET-ON-FERGUS (came w/our pkg)

DAY 2 -- drive to DINGLE, stay in DINGLE

DAY 3 -- drive to KILLARNEY & CORK (Blarney Stone meeeebbbeee), stay in CORK or KINSALE

DAY 4 -- drive to DOOLIN, see Cliffs of Moher, stay in DOOLIN

DAY 5 -- drive to DUBLIN (through SHANNON/LIMERICK?? main road??)

DAY 6 -- day in DUBLIN

DAY 7 -- depart DUBLIN - fly to U.S. of A.


This plan skips WATERFORD, which I just can''t get amp''d about considering how long a drive it is from everywhere ELSE we wanna be. It also skips GALWAY - in favor of a day in DUBLIN.


Does it sound do-able?? Too ambitious?? Would you skip any of the things we''re doing in order to do GALWAY or WATERFORD?? (Besides DUBLIN, which seems to be non-negotiable with DH).


I''ll holla at Mara too!




ETA:: I just saw the PIX ... THANKS SO MUCH!! Those are adorable. Do I *have* to bring my laptop though?? Aiigh. Say I don''t! Not on the *HONEYMOON* HA!!


THANKSS!!!!!!

Hey Deco-sorry only saw this now. I live in Dublin, so can give you a bit of advice. On the day you land, to be honest, I wouldnt stay around Limerick too much, Its an alright city but not an amazing place to start your hols. It actually has the nickname "stab city" over here as its where a lot of Irelands crime seems to be centred. You could drive through it just to see it, but if I were you, I would head straight to Galway and spend most of the day there. Its an amazing town with lots to see and do and is small enough to get around. If you are renting a car, there is a great car park which I think is €5 to park for the day. Its at the back of eyre square, as if you''re heading away from the town, take a left and just keep going straight and you''ll see it. You could then head onto your b&b in Newmarket-on-Fergus for the night.
I think your second day about driving to Dingle and staying there is good. Its absolutely amazing there and the views are to die for. If you are driving to Dingle you could actually drive through Killarney on the way to it, which would give you some extra time the next day. Any time we go to Dingle, we always stop in Killarney for lunch and a quick peak in the shops and then head on. Cork city is a lot like Dublin city, it has the same shops, there isnt that much to see in the actually city itself, so if you are coming to Dublin, I''d probably give it a miss. Kinsale is beautiful though and its a great place to have a walk around and take in the scenery.
Doolin is a great city, yes its a bit of a tourist trap, but I dont know anyone who''s been there and hasnt had fun. It is great. Seeing as you''re heading to Clare, maybe drive a bit further and go to Westport. Its one of the most beautiful places and the all around there is amazing. If you get the chance to go to Kylemore Abbey http://www.kylemoreabbey.com/
it is definitely worth going too. I went for the first time last summer and its just an amazing, quiet place with so much to see and do-and they do the most amazing cakes in the visitors centre-try the toffee apple one-to die for!
The drive to Dublin should take you about 3-4 hours the next day. They are after building a new toll road (I think its €3.50 for cars, but I cant remember 100%) and that has taken a good bit of time off the journey. It normallly takes us 2-3 hours and we know the roads, so just factor in a bit of time to get home. Normally the way we head home from the west is actually to head through Galway, then go up to Athlone and you''re home before you know it. You pass a few little towns on the way and its nice to stop for lunch in Tyrellstown Castle-they do an amazing lunch. I think that''s about the fourth or fifth town you pass after Galway.
In Dublin, I would definitely do Kilmainham Jail-out of every place Ive been in Dublin, it is by far the best tour. You can do the viking splash tours which is fun and teaches you a small bit of Dublin history, but it gets you around the city a bit and you dont have to walk which is a plus. Not sure what food you like, but if you''re treating yourselves on your last night, try fallon & Byrnes on Exchequer Street. We went there on Valentines Night and it was amazing food and the service was great. There are some nice restaurants on Georges Street also. Another idea might be to park the car someone and get the dart out to Dun Laoghaire, walk the pier and eat at some of the nice restaurants there. You could also drive out there too.
I wouldnt worry about skipping Waterford-its a nice city but nothing you aint seeing in any other city. Wexford would be a bit quainter than Waterford, but still not really worth going out of your way for if you can explore somewhere like Galway or anywhere in Mayo.
Your plan definitely seems doable though-but I''d definitely skip Limerick in favor of Galway. One thing to remember also is you can get one side of Ireland to the other in approx 4 hours, so if you do decide you want to see one more place, you can drive to it in an hour or so and still go back that evening to where you have to stay. Some of the country roads are really winding and can be hard to follow, but anyone will be helpful if you stop and ask them or directions. One other thing is our garda are out in force at the moment with speed checks and breathalysers so just be prepared to be stopped probably somewhere around the country. Other than that, I cant think of anything else but if you have any other questions just ask.
 

TravelingGal

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Date: 4/21/2007 11:23:47 PM
Author: decodelighted


Date: 4/21/2007 10:42:00 PM
Author: TravelingGal
So what do you picture when you see Ireland?
Hmmmmm...... green?
Okay -- green & beer! DH doesn't drink though so it can't be just one long pub crawl -- as much as *I* might enjoy that!

As far as country vs. city -- I guess we're thinking 75% country/ 25% city prolly -- but we're kinda forced to do Dublin as we're flying outta there!

** quick disclaimer: we ARE doing a rental car & have a bunch o' 'coupons' for B&B's wherever we find openings (except for the 1st night which is pre-booked). We kinda have to book the B&B's soon - like early this week -- so getting a general agenda together is IMPORTANTE!

FIRST STAB AT ITINERARY (I can't tell you how helpful your suggestions have been in focusing us)

DAY 1 -- arrive SHANNON early am, visit LIMERICK, stay in NEWMARKET-ON-FERGUS (came w/our pkg)
DAY 2 -- drive to DINGLE, stay in DINGLE
DAY 3 -- drive to KILLARNEY & CORK (Blarney Stone meeeebbbeee), stay in CORK or KINSALE
DAY 4 -- drive to DOOLIN, see Cliffs of Moher, stay in DOOLIN
DAY 5 -- drive to DUBLIN (through SHANNON/LIMERICK?? main road??)
DAY 6 -- day in DUBLIN
DAY 7 -- depart DUBLIN - fly to U.S. of A.

This plan skips WATERFORD, which I just can't get amp'd about considering how long a drive it is from everywhere ELSE we wanna be. It also skips GALWAY - in favor of a day in DUBLIN.

Does it sound do-able?? Too ambitious?? Would you skip any of the things we're doing in order to do GALWAY or WATERFORD?? (Besides DUBLIN, which seems to be non-negotiable with DH).

I'll holla at Mara too!



ETA:: I just saw the PIX ... THANKS SO MUCH!! Those are adorable. Do I *have* to bring my laptop though?? Aiigh. Say I don't! Not on the *HONEYMOON* HA!!

THANKSS!!!!!!
I agree with bee, skip limerick. I drove through it and it's probably not what you are wanting to see a tourist.

Personally, I do think your itinerary is ambitious, but I like to park myself down for a few days. If you don't mind packing and running, then you should go for it.

As for drive times, you can make good time if you stay on the major roads. But IMO, the charm of Ireland is the country roads and scenic drives (often coastal). Also because you are tourists, I would imagine you may want to stop here and there, which adds to drive time. It's the biggest bit of advice I can give you...don't let the map and km fool you...it takes longer than you think. For example, the drive from Dingle to Kinsale (with a stop at inch beach) took me nearly 6 hours. There are lots of roads where you will be puttering along at 20-30 mph, and don't be surprised if you are stopped by a herd of cows or slowed down by a tractor. And then there's the possible (and probable) rain factor...although I did have amazing sunny weather for 95% of my trip.

Can you just skip your newmarket-on-fergus b&b and stay at your destination for the night? If you have never driven on the left before, you may want to save yourself from too much stress after you land. Another question is what time do you land? The nice thing is that the days will be longer compared to what I had when I went in October.

Also go to fodors message boards and type in your itinerary. There are tons of people over there who are Ireland travel experts and will know the drive times and give you their two cents. http://fodors.com/forums/threadselect.jsp?fid=2

Here would be my suggestion for your itinerary...

Day 1, land Shannon, drive to Galway. Have a walk around town and drink beer.
Day 2, Enjoy Galway in the morning or head out into the Connemara. See Kylemore Abbey. Afternoon head back down to Doolin. Definitely do a pub night here.
Day 3, Drive down to Dingle. See Cliffs of Moher along the way. Lovely coastal drive. Take the Killimer-Tarbert Ferry and do Connors pass down to Dingle. (Don't do it if you are afraid of heights.)
Day 4. Slea Head Drive. You can even visit Killarney. Stay in Dingle again.
Day 5, Dublin and continue the itinerary you had above.

Deco, since you are pressed for time, go get that map I told you about...the Michelin Great Britain and Ireland tourist and motoring atlas. Check out your itinerary and highlight it on the map. Your original itinerary has you going southwest to dingle, southeast to kinsale, back northwest over to doolin, and then east to Dublin. I haven't mapped out that itinerary as far as roads, but even it it were to be main roads and short drive times, I would emphasize again that a great part of the fun are country roads and enjoying scenery.

Once you have the b&bs booked, email all of them and ask them for the best directions from your previous accommodation. I know I sound like I'm probably giving you "duh" advice, but I can't tell you how many people I met were just using a map, and there are just too many road options, and not all of them well signed. I actually have my michelin map out now and my emails with directions are still in it.


Oh, and my last bit of advice to give you would be pack light. Rental cars aren't cheap, fuel is pricey so it's best to get a small car...which means you are limited in terms of trunk space. Since you seem like you want to be on the move a lot, it's not fun to unpack and pack over and over again into a lot of luggage. Also, if neither of you have never driven on the left, get an AUTOMATIC car. This is not a given...you have to request it. If I recall, in Ireland, it is common for rentals to be manuals, unlike here in the U.S. Also get full insurance through the rental car company. Check your credit card coverage, but I will almost guarantee that it won't cover Italy or Ireland...and with good reason. I lost a sideview mirror on one of the very narrow roads (it hit a shrub or something) and a lot of people blow out tires.

You are going to have so much fun!
 

TravelingGal

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P.S. Please don''t bring your laptop. I am a nerd and I was single at the time. Writing kept me entertained at night if I didn''t feel like hanging out at a pub.
 

bee*

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yep that''s right travelingal-nearly all of our cars over here are manual and our insurance is PRICEY! Also in terms of weather-you might be lucky! We havent had rain in nearly a month!! It has to be a record for over here-its been the nicest April we''ve ever had, so hopefully it keeps up for May too, cos everywhere looks so much nicer over here in the sun.
 

ladykemma

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skip waterford, work in glendalough in the wicklow mountains.
hill of tara too, and newgrange.
 

TravelingGal

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Date: 4/22/2007 1:15:12 PM
Author: bee*
yep that''s right travelingal-nearly all of our cars over here are manual and our insurance is PRICEY! Also in terms of weather-you might be lucky! We havent had rain in nearly a month!! It has to be a record for over here-its been the nicest April we''ve ever had, so hopefully it keeps up for May too, cos everywhere looks so much nicer over here in the sun.
Yup, you need the rain to make it green, but the sun shows off how gorgeous it is! When I went in October ''02, Ireland was coming off one of its driest Septembers in 100 years. The luck held out for two weeks in October while I was there and then it started pissin'' with rain after I left!
 

bee*

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Date: 4/22/2007 1:24:01 PM
Author: TravelingGal
Date: 4/22/2007 1:15:12 PM

Author: bee*

yep that''s right travelingal-nearly all of our cars over here are manual and our insurance is PRICEY! Also in terms of weather-you might be lucky! We havent had rain in nearly a month!! It has to be a record for over here-its been the nicest April we''ve ever had, so hopefully it keeps up for May too, cos everywhere looks so much nicer over here in the sun.
Yup, you need the rain to make it green, but the sun shows off how gorgeous it is! When I went in October ''02, Ireland was coming off one of its driest Septembers in 100 years. The luck held out for two weeks in October while I was there and then it started pissin'' with rain after I left!
You were lucky!! Its always bloody raining over here so its so unusual to have the sun coming into my bedroom like it is today! Long may it last!! Its still probably not boiling by American standards but to us, its roasting! Everyones out in the shorts and t-shirts!
 

TravelingGal

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Date: 4/22/2007 1:42:00 PM
Author: bee*


You were lucky!! Its always bloody raining over here so its so unusual to have the sun coming into my bedroom like it is today! Long may it last!! Its still probably not boiling by American standards but to us, its roasting! Everyones out in the shorts and t-shirts!
I can''t imagine living with constant overcast skies and rain. We get low clouds and fog here in socal every May and June (dubbed May Gray and June Gloom) and I get very grumpy during those two months - especially since it is nearing summer and should be warm!

But yes, I remember how spectacular it was there when I went (you can see how pretty it was the day I drove around Slea Head based on that pic above...I was just wearing a t-shirt!). Everyone was just enjoying the sun...eating outdoors and having lots of picnics. While you don''t visit Ireland for the weather, I imagine I would have enjoyed it just a tad less had it rained the entire time I was there.
 

bee*

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Date: 4/22/2007 1:52:14 PM
Author: TravelingGal
Date: 4/22/2007 1:42:00 PM

Author: bee*



You were lucky!! Its always bloody raining over here so its so unusual to have the sun coming into my bedroom like it is today! Long may it last!! Its still probably not boiling by American standards but to us, its roasting! Everyones out in the shorts and t-shirts!
I can''t imagine living with constant overcast skies and rain. We get low clouds and fog here in socal every May and June (dubbed May Gray and June Gloom) and I get very grumpy during those two months - especially since it is nearing summer and should be warm!


But yes, I remember how spectacular it was there when I went (you can see how pretty it was the day I drove around Slea Head based on that pic above...I was just wearing a t-shirt!). Everyone was just enjoying the sun...eating outdoors and having lots of picnics. While you don''t visit Ireland for the weather, I imagine I would have enjoyed it just a tad less had it rained the entire time I was there.
I suppose you just get used to it! It makes us appreciate every little bit of sun we do get! Ive never lived anywhere else so Im just so used to having the grey skies and such. Its just so hard to plan things according to weather though as you can get rain all year round, so even if you plan something in July you can never guarantee the sun.

I agree Lady kemma about glendalough-its my favourite place to walk the dog. Was up there for four hours yesterday-heaven!
 

Delster

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Hi Deco!

I''m a longtime lurking LIW who hadn''t planned on posting just quite so soon but your post spurred me out of lurkdom! It''s lovely that you''re coming to Ireland for your honeymoon, and I''m sure you''ll have an amazing time here. I split my time between Dublin and Limerick (college is in the former but my heart is in the latter!); my BF is from Kerry and I used to live in Galway - so I felt I really ought to chime in and be helpful


I agree with Bee about skipping Limerick. Even though I spent 7 years here for uni/work, and I love the place, there isn''t so much tourist-wise to see. The river is pretty and the castle is a nice spot to visit but the city''s being redeveloped and it''s just one big construction site. Your first night''s accommodation is actually north of Shannon, and Limerick is south, so I Galway really might be a better option. You''d zip up to Galway in an hour from Shannon (there''s a new dual-carriageway). Alternatively, you could consider Ennis, which is pretty but a lot smaller, so my recommendation would be to go to Galway and enjoy the atmosphere - it''s great


I''d visit Doolin before travelling down to Cork or Kerry - it''s actually a bit of a drive to get out to west Clare and Doolin is much closer to Galway than it is to Limerick. Just an idea. I think it would be a lot of travelling to go from Newmarket down to Kinsale only to go back up again to Doolin. While the distances are short on the maps there are no dual-carriageways and no motorways in between those areas and you can plan on averaging about 40mph as you drive around there. That''s if you''re lucky and don''t meet any tractors or trucks!
As Bee said, Westport and Kylemore Abbey are beautiful. On the way up to Galway from Shannon you''ll also pass Dromoland, which is gorgeous - Bush stayed there on his visit to Ireland a while back. http://www.dromoland.ie/

To get to Dublin from Kerry/Cork your best bet is to drive to Limerick and there''s a beautiful coastal drive if you''re not rushing, it goes through Foynes where there''s a museum to the first non-stop transatlantic flight - Maureen O''Hara''s husband was the pilot - http://www.flyingboatmuseum.com/ Go around Limerick on the ring road (don''t go into it - traffic nightmare!), and just follow the signs for Dublin! Halfway there the road becomes a motorway, and I can go Limerick-Dublin in two and a half hours. You''ll need to add on another hour / hour and a half to get up to Limerick from Kerry/Cork.

In Kerry, definitely do the Connor Pass and the Sleigh Head drive - it''s nervewracking but sooo worth it. The Ring of Kerry is mobbed with tour buses and you''ll have a much more peaceful trip going the other routes. And the scenery is just out of this world. Kerry really is breathtaking, photos don''t do it justice.

To get an idea on how long it''ll take you to get places, and on the routes to take, check out http://www.aaroadwatch.ie/routes/ Just add at least half an hour onto whatever this site tells you as it doesn''t account for traffic.

I''ve never done the Guinness tour but the Jameson one is fun :) I''ve heard great things about Kilmainham and on everything else Dublin related I bow to Bee''s superior knowledge! Ladykemma mentioned Tara and Newgrange, that''s where I grew up so if you want any information on that just ask...


You''ll have such a great time!


~ Delster

P.S. Bee, have you ever been yelled at by those Viking Splash tour buses? Oh my God on my first week in college they got me bad, I had no idea what was going on and jumped about six feet!!!
 

bee*

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 14, 2006
Messages
12,170
Date: 4/22/2007 2:14:08 PM
Author: Delster
Hi Deco!


I''m a longtime lurking LIW who hadn''t planned on posting just quite so soon but your post spurred me out of lurkdom! It''s lovely that you''re coming to Ireland for your honeymoon, and I''m sure you''ll have an amazing time here. I split my time between Dublin and Limerick (college is in the former but my heart is in the latter!); my BF is from Kerry and I used to live in Galway - so I felt I really ought to chime in and be helpful



I agree with Bee about skipping Limerick. Even though I spent 7 years here for uni/work, and I love the place, there isn''t so much tourist-wise to see. The river is pretty and the castle is a nice spot to visit but the city''s being redeveloped and it''s just one big construction site. Your first night''s accommodation is actually north of Shannon, and Limerick is south, so I Galway really might be a better option. You''d zip up to Galway in an hour from Shannon (there''s a new dual-carriageway). Alternatively, you could consider Ennis, which is pretty but a lot smaller, so my recommendation would be to go to Galway and enjoy the atmosphere - it''s great



I''d visit Doolin before travelling down to Cork or Kerry - it''s actually a bit of a drive to get out to west Clare and Doolin is much closer to Galway than it is to Limerick. Just an idea. I think it would be a lot of travelling to go from Newmarket down to Kinsale only to go back up again to Doolin. While the distances are short on the maps there are no dual-carriageways and no motorways in between those areas and you can plan on averaging about 40mph as you drive around there. That''s if you''re lucky and don''t meet any tractors or trucks!
As Bee said, Westport and Kylemore Abbey are beautiful. On the way up to Galway from Shannon you''ll also pass Dromoland, which is gorgeous - Bush stayed there on his visit to Ireland a while back. http://www.dromoland.ie/


To get to Dublin from Kerry/Cork your best bet is to drive to Limerick and there''s a beautiful coastal drive if you''re not rushing, it goes through Foynes where there''s a museum to the first non-stop transatlantic flight - Maureen O''Hara''s husband was the pilot - http://www.flyingboatmuseum.com/ Go around Limerick on the ring road (don''t go into it - traffic nightmare!), and just follow the signs for Dublin! Halfway there the road becomes a motorway, and I can go Limerick-Dublin in two and a half hours. You''ll need to add on another hour / hour and a half to get up to Limerick from Kerry/Cork.


In Kerry, definitely do the Connor Pass and the Sleigh Head drive - it''s nervewracking but sooo worth it. The Ring of Kerry is mobbed with tour buses and you''ll have a much more peaceful trip going the other routes. And the scenery is just out of this world. Kerry really is breathtaking, photos don''t do it justice.


To get an idea on how long it''ll take you to get places, and on the routes to take, check out http://www.aaroadwatch.ie/routes/ Just add at least half an hour onto whatever this site tells you as it doesn''t account for traffic.


I''ve never done the Guinness tour but the Jameson one is fun :) I''ve heard great things about Kilmainham and on everything else Dublin related I bow to Bee''s superior knowledge! Ladykemma mentioned Tara and Newgrange, that''s where I grew up so if you want any information on that just ask...



You''ll have such a great time!



~ Delster


P.S. Bee, have you ever been yelled at by those Viking Splash tour buses? Oh my God on my first week in college they got me bad, I had no idea what was going on and jumped about six feet!!!
haha!! No I was the one doing the yelling!!! We had been at the pub for a few hours before we decided to go on it, I think we outroared all the kids on it! Great fun-I''d highly recommend it! So nice to see another Irish person on here!!

I did the guinness tour a couple of years ago and I enjoyed it-cant stand guinness though so bf was delighted that he got my pint as well. It was fun and informative and if you have time, its a nice way to spend a few hours. The only tourist site that I was so disappointed in was dublinia. Waste of money and it was rubbish. Explore Christchurch and St Patricks Cathedral by yourself.
 

musey

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 30, 2006
Messages
11,242
You must be so excited!!!!! I don''t have any tips or advice since, I''ve been hardly ANYwhere, but I just wanted to wish you well for your trip! (And share lots of pics when you get back
)
 

TravelingGal

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2004
Messages
17,193
Delster, nice of you to come out of lurkdom to help! Welcome to Pricescope!


I think Delster pretty much has confirmed what I said in my previous posts, and it''s good to know about the new carriageway from Shannon-Galway. Deco, armed with the new info on travel times, I would think it would be a good thing to rethink your original itinerary. Unless you have your heart set on Kinsale, I would stay in County Kerry (Dingle) and just hang out and enjoy it. I liked Kinsale, but think I would have explored the area around Kerry more if I had to redo it.
 

Delster

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 22, 2007
Messages
2,231
Date: 4/22/2007 3:06:12 PM
Author: bee*

haha!! No I was the one doing the yelling!!! We had been at the pub for a few hours before we decided to go on it, I think we outroared all the kids on it! Great fun-I''d highly recommend it! So nice to see another Irish person on here!!


I did the guinness tour a couple of years ago and I enjoyed it-cant stand guinness though so bf was delighted that he got my pint as well. It was fun and informative and if you have time, its a nice way to spend a few hours. The only tourist site that I was so disappointed in was dublinia. Waste of money and it was rubbish. Explore Christchurch and St Patricks Cathedral by yourself.
I must do the Viking Splash tour... gotta get to be on the other side of all that yelling!!!


Deco, I just remembered that part of the Sleigh Head drive collapsed into the sea a couple of weeks ago! The local authority says the road is open again and safe to drive (article about it here: http://www.the-kingdom.ie/news/story.asp?j=23890) but it''s probably worth being aware of it just in case the road gets closed off again! There''ll be alternative routes and all but just giving you a ''heads-up''. Your B&B will be able to tell you the current state of affairs - such are the thrills of driving in Kerry!


On that note, the advice about getting directions from each B&B owner about how to get to them is a really excellent tip. Sign posts can be few and far between in smaller places!
 

decodelighted

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
11,534
I so
you guys!! BEE, TGAL, LADYKEMMA, & DELSTER (Welcome BTW!) -- amazing specific much appreciated advice. Since I've been away from the computer all day it's gonna take me some time to absorb & refigure the route accordingly. Can't believe we were headed straight for "STAB CITY" and didn't know it.
Can't be *too* stabby if Delster's heart is there - can it??


The Pricescope peeps always deliver! Searching for a car, planning a wedding, or touring parts unknown ...

THANK YOU ALL!!!!

Will report back with the revised plan & probably: more questions.


ps: TG--we actually already had a Michelin MAP, it was the first thing DH grabbed at the bookstore...but not the ATLAS yet. Thankfully, we've booked an automatic car (with GPS & insurance) -- but the tip to ask the B&B's for directions is SAH-weet! Will do.
 

bee*

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 14, 2006
Messages
12,170
No prob-hate to be the one to say it also, but the damn irish weather has returned! Where''s the sun gone!!
 

diamondfan

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 17, 2005
Messages
11,016
I do not have much to add since I have never been but would love to go. I am part Irish and hubby loves golf so it seems like a good place to go! I love th UK in general, so I am just waiting for a chance to go! Have a blast!
 

bee*

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 14, 2006
Messages
12,170
If your husband loves golf, then its definitely the place to go! I dont play myself, but a couple of my friends do and there are some amazing courses around
 

NYCsparkle

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 23, 2006
Messages
1,371
Date: 4/21/2007 9:55:43 PM
Author:decodelighted
So ... it''s Ireland in May for the belated Deco-moon. A week ... flying into Shannon, flying out of Dublin.

Any advice would be mega-welcome ... as the guides have left us more confused than inspired! We''d mostly like to just chill & enjoy the Irish lifestyle & scenery but also wanna make sure we don''t miss the TOP TEN TO DO''s. (Or at least the TOP FIVE.)

HELP!!!
well it is your honeymoon...#1 would be do the deed in a patch of 4 leaf clovers. lol jk
....kiss the blarney stone and tour the countryside...its beautiful.
 
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