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« on: January 18, 2012, 10:22:50 AM »
So my parents and I are going to Ireland next May.  (Yes, we plan early.)  We have two weeks, and will be flying in and out of Dublin.

So far the loose plan is a couple of days in Dublin (Book of Kells here I come!), an overnight stop at the Rock of Cashel, another overnight stop somewhere (I think maybe Cork), and renting a cottage for a week near the Ring of Kerry.  Mainly we want to relax, soak in the scenery, and see the occassional castle.  And woolen mills.  Lots of woolen mills.   :D  (The perils of traveling with two knitters.)

Anyplace along the way EHellions would recommend?  How hard is driving over there?  Dad did okay driving in England, but admittedly that was nearly 20 years ago.  We're breaking it up into small chunks to make sure my dad the driver has a good time too. 
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Re: Ireland!
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2012, 10:33:33 AM »
Would definitly recommend a bus tour of Dublin city. There's a "hop on, hop off" one that you can get a day ticket for. That brings you all around the city, taking in sites and giving you a little bit of history. EG: You can get off at Trinity College, see the book of Kells and explore the grounds, then get on another Hop on bus and it will continue the journey. You could then stop off at Kilmainhaim hospital for a while and take in the modern art museum. It's a really great way to take in multiple sites without getting lost/going miles out of your way.

The road from Dublin to Cork has been much improved in the last few years. It should only take you a couple of hours. Cork city is lovely. I'd also recommend visiting Kinsale village. You can walk round there, go on a boat ride, take in the old fort, and there are LOTS of great seafood restaurants there. LOTS. I'm salivating just thinking about it :D

Re driving - the main routes should be well signposted, but you might want to check with the car hire place if you can get an *up to date* map or SatNav. And emphasise the up to date, as there have been a lot of changes in the last few years.
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Re: Ireland!
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2012, 11:07:38 AM »
I was hoping you'd post, Irishkitty!   :D

I know we were planning to do the hop on hop off bus.  We're staying fairly close to Trinity College in Dublin thanks to CC points.  My dad is planning on getting the Ireland chip/card/whatever for his GPS, but I've also told him we need a good map.  Since I end up being the navigator overseas.

One question I keep having...what are the "must have" foods?  (Besides Guinness....none of us drink.  LOL.)
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Re: Ireland!
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2012, 11:15:39 AM »
Oh... food. Well seafood since a lot of Ireland is by the sea.

Get the dart (train) to Blackrock or Dalkey and go to "Ouzo's". It's a great fish place, there's a branch of the restaurant in both villages and both are nice places to visit, especialy Dalkey.

Stroll over to Talbot street and try "Le Bon Crubeen", it's European I think, but nice.

Irish Breakfast - a fry up - is a must. If you decide to stay locally in Kinsale there's a B&B called the Lord Kingsale which does a great breakfast.

Coddle (a sausage and potato stew) is a tradional Dublin meal, not sure where you'd get a good one though.

Shepperds pie I like (a lot of Irish make it with Minced Beef, not lamb).

We have great lamb and beef.

There's a real mix of all types of restaurants here, The Pigs Ear is great and close to Trinity.

I'll have a think about some more recommendations :D

« Last Edit: January 18, 2012, 11:17:24 AM by Irishkitty »
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Re: Ireland!
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2012, 12:37:20 PM »
I'm quoting a post I made before because I'm too lazy to type a new one;

I live in Dublin so pm me if you have any questions.

Most of the museums are free, the best one is michael collins baracks, alot of school trips leave it out for some reason and  the natural history museum.

Don't shop on grafton street-too expensive. Henry st is the shopping street, it's the street across from the spike (don't worry you'll know the spike when you see it  ;D )

Georges arcade market is worth a look, on george st near the Olympia theatre.

You'll need correct change to ride the buses and you don't get change back so it's a good idea to get a rambler card (most newsagents sell them).

Get a hot chocolate from butler's cafe, there's one next to the spike.

When you're going through the arch in trinity college, please don't block it. Students have to use it too.

There's alot of places to eat in temple bar- don't be tempted to go into the 'orish' pubs for food, they'll fleece you. But if you must... I've heard good things about The Boxty House (21 Temple Bar) even if it is a tourist trap. Here's a list of nice places to eat. I know you're only staying in Dublin for a couple of days but I don't know what type of food you like so you can pick  ;)

Burger: The Counter (Near pizza hut 20 Suffolk Street and Dundrum),Gourmet Burger Kitchen (5 South Anne Street)
Sandwiches: Munchies, Cafe Irie (11 Fownes street)
Normal: Fallon & Byrnes (17 Exchequer Street)
Fancy: Chapter one (18 Parnell Square North), Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud (21 Upper Merrion Street)
Pizza: Gotham cafe (Anne st)
Chicken: Crackbird (34 South William Street)
Breakfast: Honest to Goodness (Georges Arcade)
Brunch Odessa (13-14 Dames court)
Italain: Carluccios (52 Dawson Street), Toscan (Dame Street(opposite Dublin Castle)), Steps of Rome
French: Green hen (Exchequer st), Chez Max (next to Dublin castle), L’Gueleton (1 Fade St off georges st), La Cave (28 South Anne Street),
Tapas: Salamanca (Dame st & St Andrews st)
Japanese: Yamamori (71-72 south great georges st)
Dim sum: Good World chinese restaurant (18 south great georges st)
Chinese: Manna Chinese Restaurant (Parnell st),
Chinese and Korean: Hilan (45 Capel St)
Noddles: Wagamana, Diep Noddle bar (Mortons, Hatch st)
Thai: Koh (Millieium centre)
Cajun/Creole: Zante Zoe (Crow st)
Persian: Zaytoon (Parliament st)
Greek: Corfu (Parliament st), Steps of Rome (1 Chatham St)
Moroccan: DaDa (45 South William Street)
Crepes: Fafie’s Creperie (Kevin St)
Milkshake: Shakes (15 College Green)
Sunday Roast: The Exchequer (3-5 Exchequer Street)
Vegetarian: Cafe Fresh (Powerscourt)

Dublin is a bit like new york, don't stop in the middle of the street when it's busy.

American tourist stick out like a sore thumb because they generally talk fairly loud and as such are a favourite target for pickpockets. Of course not all American's talk loud but the Irish are more reserved. Also Dublin city is very centralised, nearly everything is within walking distance. It's not a good idea to take out a map in the middle of the street, look at one before you leave but if you get lost just ask for directions.

The viking river tour is meant to be good but I haven't done it so i'm not sure on that one.

Don't attempt an Irish accent that sounds like the leprechaun from the lucky charms ad, you're likely to be slapped.  ;D lol

Irish alcohol has a higher percentage than in America, so even if you see something you recognise like bud keep in mind it's not the same percentage.

Thats all I can think of for the moment.

Edit: knew I forgot something, tipping is optional. you only tip for good service and only really in restaurants and cafe's. it's generally 10%, 15% for someone who really went above and beyond.

The trend is here if you want to take a look at it

I know nothing about Cork as I have never been but I 'think' there's a toll bridge on the motorway so remember to bring change.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2012, 12:40:29 PM by Nibsey »
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Re: Ireland!
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2012, 12:49:35 PM »
Oh, thanks for mentioning the toll bridge. Some have barriers, and are manned, so you can drive up and pay, you can get change if you don't have exact change. Often there's very few signs to see which are which until you're almost on top of them. But!!! M50 motorway has an open drive though toll on one side (near blanchardstown), it's signposted, so you'll know if you pass it. But the toll can only be paid in certain shops or online @ it's 3euro each way. And it has to be by 8pm the next day I think.

The Viking Splash tour is good fun, but totally cheesy :) They will try and make you wear Viking Helmets and cheer at people on the street.

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Re: Ireland!
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2012, 03:01:30 PM »
I was in Ireland around 12 or so years ago -- fantastic holiday! I only went for Cork, around the Beara Peninsula, and on to Dingle. Amazing scenery, great food. The pubs along the coast served the most wonderful crab sandwiches on brown bread.

One thing I recommend is to find a proper, local pub with music in the evening. It was absolutely magical sitting there listening to the fiddle and the flute and the wonderful singing.


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Re: Ireland!
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2012, 03:59:07 AM »
You should think about hiring the car after your visit to Dublin and not from the airport itself if you're staying in a city centre location.  You can walk everywhere in the city or get the dart (train) out to Howth for the day (a nice harbour village with lovely walking routes, good restaurants and a great market on Sundays).

Going to Cork from the city centre you shouldn't go throught the M50 toll but there's a toll at Fermoy (manned and around €1.90).  There may be another and I should know because I was only in Cork a few weeks ago.  Cashel is quite small but nice enough, I wouldn't spend too long there though especially if you're not drinkers.

Most of Dublin nightlife revolves around the pub but you should try to take in a comedy show.  There's always something on in The International Bar, The halfpenny Inn or Bankers. 

A really nice restaurant that has good "Irish" food is The Millstone on Dame street

For shows have a look at and see what's on in The Grand Canal or The O2.


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Re: Ireland!
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2012, 12:56:36 PM »
Just an add on about the Lord Kinsale - we stayed there a couple of months back and it was great. Comfie beds, great hosts, and the breakfast was...well even thinking about it I still drool!
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Re: Ireland!
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2012, 01:51:37 PM »
I just came back from Ireland.  Definately get the map chip for your GPS.  There is a remarkable lack of street signs once you get off the major highways and into towns.  I can state from personal experience that it doesn't help to have a map if you have no idea what street you are on. (It also doesn't help if the street that your B&B is on isn't on the little town map in your guide book.)  It will help considerably that you have someone driving and someone navigating; I was by myself trying to do both.

The highways are so new that there isn't much in the way of gas stations and restaurants nearby.  So plan your pit stops accordingly.  Midleton (sp.?) just outside Cork has a distillery tour that is a great excuse for lunch and a toilet break or two.  Since you get a free sample of Jamesons at the end of the tour, lunch for the designated driver is a very good idea.  :)  Waterford to Dublin took about 2 hours.  I'm thinking Cork to Waterford was about 2 hours, but that distillery tour kind of threw my sense of time off.

I do recommend taking a bus tour for the Ring of Kerry.  I stayed in Kenmare for several days, and used the N-71 to Killarney several times.  The only thing scarier than driving the N-71 on a rainy evening is driving the N-71 on a sunny afternoon.  There are several spots on the Ring that are barely big enough for two small cars.  If a tour bus is involved, the car has to back up to a wide spot to enable the bus to pass.