Ireland Journals

Cead Mile Failte - Irish Traveler's Overview

An October 2002 trip to Ireland by Carmen

Wacky road sign Photo, Ireland, Europe More Photos
Quote: My travel friend and I took a trip to Ireland in October of 2002, and really enjoyed the Emerald Isle. We learned some tips that I thought would be helpful for other first-time travelers, as well as info on our tour company, rental car company, etc.

Cead Mile Failte - Irish Traveler's Overview

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Overview

View from the car ferry Photo, Ireland, Europe
Quote:
Someone gave me the advice of "see Ireland with the intention of coming back to see what you missed." Good advice. Unless you spend several weeks, you can't see it all. We didn't even make it into the north. Anyway, here are my highlights. 1. Kissing the Blarney Stone in County Cork. A must-do! Fun fun fun! 2. Lunch in Kinsale -- the gourmet capital of Ireland, for a good reason. 3. Staying in Drumoland Castle So what that it wasn't a "real," old castle. It was rebuilt from an old castle, and it was quite luxurious. 4. *****The Dingle Peninsula**** -- Quite possibly my favorite place in all of Ireland. Beautiful countryside, and exactly what you...Read More
Quote:
When you shop throughout Ireland, many places offer duty-free purchases. In these cases, they'll either remove the tax at the time of purchase, or you'll have to submit to have the money returned to you when you leave Ireland. In that case, you'll receive a tax form -KEEP TRACK OF THEM. You'll need them to receive your refund. You can either turn these forms in at the airport and receive a check or a refund on your credit card, or you can mail them back, which takes about 6 weeks. I don't know about you, but I chose the airport/instant option. Make sure to plan time for that when heading to the airport. It took us about 20 minutes just to find the duty-free window, then we stood in the wrong li...Read More
Quote:
God forbid it should happen to you, but it happened to me. I caught the cold bug of a lifetime while in Ireland, and it was the Irish chemist that was my saving grace. Day two of our trip, I came down with a sore throat. I blame the germs on the much-kissed Blarney Stone, but my friend says it had been harboring itself longer than that. Whatever. My story sounds better. :) Anyway, we found the national sign for a pharmacy, a green cross in some little town whose name I can't remember on our trip to Galway. The chemist heard my 1-900 sexy voice and immediately felt sorry for me. I told him that in the States, I usually have a nose spray decongestant and some Nyquill. He knew exactly wh...Read More
Quote:
In looking for a good deal for our trip to Ireland, we came across - Sceptre Irelandwww. sceptreireland.com. Phone 516-255-9800. They offered some pre-arranged tours, but nothing fit our needs. However, they were willing to work with us to customize our fly/drive tour. They set up everything. All we had to do was decide what we wanted to see and get ourselves there. Here's what was included in our tour through Sceptre. 1. Connecting flights from National Airport to JFK 2. Round trip airfare on Aer Lingus. We flew into Shannon and out of Dublin. 3. Our first night hotel stay in Drumoland Castle, about 10 miles from Shanno...Read More

Staying in B&Bs￿

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Story/Tip

Quote:
I highly recommend booking your B&B in advance. The vouchers we got through the tour company were valid in more than 2000 B&Bs across Ireland; however, in the more trafficed areas, like Dublin, I found it difficult to find an opening, and this was a month in advance. I found it nice to know at least where we were staying, and then we could be flexible in what we saw around that area that day. We did meet up with a couple that were just "winging it" and with all the B&Bs that we saw I'm sure they managed to find rooms each day. However, I would prefer to use that time seeing the sights rather than going from B&B to find a vacancy. That's just my two cents of advice. :) In addition, w...Read More

Driving in Irleand - Roundabouts and All

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Story/Tip

Wacky road sign Photo, Ireland, Europe
Quote:
I had heard some horror stories before going, and I was really worried about driving in Ireland. However, once we made it through the first roundabout, nearly killing ourselves, it was pretty easy. It's better to have a driver and a navigator, so the navigator can look for the miniscule - and often absent - road signs, while yelling "Stay left, look right!" to the driver, in case she forgets. We agreed that the most thrilling part of driving in Ireland was on the part of the passenger. You always think (being on the left side of the car while driving on the left side of the road) that you're going to hit something on the side of the rather narrow Irish roads. And the roads are very nar...Read More

All Other Ireland Journals

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Story/Tip

Quote:
Other than my overview, check out these journals from my trip. County Clare, Ireland This journal tells all about my exploits in Doolin, the home of Irish music -- which includes our first Irish pub experience in O'Connors pub. There is also a journal describing the majestic Cliffs of Moher, that plummet 700 feet into the Atlantic Ocean. I also talk about two accommodations, ...Read More