Ireland Journals

Green Hills and Rocky Shores

A January 2005 trip to Ireland by mooncross

Killarney National Park Photo, Killarney, Ireland More Photos
Quote: Ireland is a very beautiful country with a very diverse landscape. The weather isn't as bad as it's often made out to be, generally mostly a mixture of sunshine and the occasional shower that never lasts long. It makes for a very green countryside, set off with rocky shores.

Green Hills and Rocky Shores

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Overview

Glendalough Photo, Ireland, Europe
Quote:
Overview: Ireland is rife with history, from the Neolithic folks (and their graves "older than the pyramids," the Irish will tell you proudly) to the Celts to the Middle Ages all the way to the here and now. Blink, and you've missed another old church, ruined castle, megalithic tomb, or beautifully maintained manor house. Ireland is also filled with gently rolling hills (green, of course), stark cliffs, pretty waterfalls, and more wildlife than I am used to seeing back home.Quick Tips: Language: Ireland is bilingual. The Irish speak either their own language, Gaeltacht (and trust me, you don't want to even try pronounce the written words without extensive instructions beforehand...Read More

Crystal Springs B&B￿

Hotel | "Crystal Springs Bed & Breakfast"

Crystal Springs B&B Photo, Ireland, Europe
Quote:
Crystal Springs in Killarney offers the cliched (but true) home away from home. The breakfast options alone (lemon pancakes with fresh fruit, among other things) are worth a stay. The hostess, Mrs. Brosnan, is very helpful in finding things to do and can make reservations for tours or evening shows in the area. Crystal Springs is located about 1km from Killarney's center--an easy walk.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 1, 2006

Crystal Springs B&B￿
Ballycasheen Cross.
Killarney, Kerry
+353 (64) 33272

Newpark House

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Hotel

Newpark House Photo, Ireland, Europe
Quote:
Newpark House is a 300+-year-old house near Ennis, Co. Clare, that offers B&B accommodations. It is located in a quiet park not far from the town (though too far for walking). Because the house is so old, the floorboards are creaking, everything is crooked, and it smells a bit musty. That said, it is equipped with all modern comforts, beautifully decorated, and has a grand breakfast room. The Barrons, the hosts, are courteous and helpful. Because we stayed four nights, we got a discount, which nobody mentioned until it was time to check out, so that was a nice surprise, though I still feel that the price/quality ratio was a bit lopsided.We did have one somewhat funny experience with th...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on January 1, 2006

Newpark House
Roslevan.
Ennis, Ireland
+353 (65) 6821233

Killarney National Park

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Attraction

Killarney National Park Photo, Killarney, Ireland
Quote:
Killarney National Park is located along the famous Ring of Kerry. It is not a very large park, but has some of Ireland's best to offer.Not only will you find hiking trails that, despite the sometimes crowded park, will give you a feel of being far from the modern world, you can also visit the historic Muckross House.Entry and parking is free (but make sure you get there before 11am, or all spaces might be taken), but a visit to the house will require an admittance fee (around 5 euros).For the hiking trails, there are several options. Some are marked with numbered signs (though you have to pay attention as they might be half-hidden in the grass); for others, a t...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 1, 2006

Killarney National Park
County Kerry
Killarney, Kerry
353 (64) 6635960

Dolphinwatch

Attraction

Dolphinwatch Photo, Limerick, Ireland
Quote:
Carrigaholt Dolphin Watch offers the opportunity to see the bottlenosed dolphins that live in the mouth of the Shannon River. Reservations can be made on the morning of the tour you want to take, by calling after 8am to +353-65-905-8156.There is never a 100% guarantee that you will see what you came for on a wildlife tour. This element of the unexpected is part of the excitement.We sailed on a great day--warm and sunny. There was only one tour leaving that day, which turned out to be fortunate, as at first, luck was not really with us, and the dolphins were in hiding. But because there was nobody waiting for us to return, the captain decided to stay out a bit longer in hopes of...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 1, 2006

Dolphinwatch
Carrigaholt Dock
Limerick, Ireland
+353 (65) 905 8156

Poulnabrone Dolmen

Attraction

Poulnabrone Dolmen Photo, County Clare, Ireland
Quote:
Though Ireland is rife with megalithic tombs, and The Burren alone features over seventy of these ancient graves, the one at Poulnabrone is both the most accessible and the most photographed of them all.

It is located along route 480 and visible from the road. There is no parking available and during the tourist season it can be a bit crowded. Be careful driving past the site, as cars will be parked hither and tither on the shoulders. On the upside, it is totally free to visit.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 1, 2006

Poulnabrone Dolmen
R480, The Burren, County Clare
County Clare, Ireland

Bantry House

Attraction

Bantry House Photo, Cork, Ireland
Quote:
Bantry House is a historic house in the southwest of Ireland. It is the ancestral home of the Earl of Bantry. On display in the house is an extensive collection of antiques, tapestries, furniture, artefacts.

Surrounding the house are stately terraced gardens that offer a magnificent view across Bantry Bay.

On the Bantry House estate you will also find the French Armada center, where you can learn all about the (failed) invasion plans of 1796.

Visiting the house and gardens requires a fee (5 euros for just the gardens and the Armada center; 10 euros if you want to look around inside the house as well). It is well worth seeing and a perfect activity for a rainy day.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 1, 2006

Bantry House

Bantry, County Cork, Ireland
027 50047

Cliffs of Moher

Attraction

Cliffs of Moher Photo, County Clare, Ireland
Quote:
The Cliffs of Moher must be among the most famous shorelines of the world. And rightfully so! They are a sight to behold, especially in the light of the setting sun.In the past few years, the area around the Cliffs has been modified to handle the large amount of visitors that come gape at the sight each year. There is a large parking lot (for a fee), an information center and souvenir store, as well as a paved path leading up the hills toward the cliffs. It can be crowded, and even more importantly, it can be very windy, so be prepared by bringing a windbreaker, even on a nice day. Though it used to be possible to hike along the cliffs, it is no longer. For safety reas...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 1, 2006

Cliffs of Moher
Southwestern Edge of the Burren Region
County Clare, Ireland

Aran Islands

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Story/Tip

Cliffs Photo, Ireland, Europe
Quote:
The Aran Islands are a cluster of three islands in the Atlantic ocean, before the coast of Galway in the west of Ireland. Most people will visit only for a daytrip, take the ferry out in the morning and return to the 'mainland' (if you can call Ireland that) in the afternoon.But it is when the last ferry has left, the jaunting cars and mini-vans have returned home, and the rental bikes have been parked indoors that you can get a taste of how desolate life must have been here for the fishermen in the past.Inishmore, the biggest of the three, offers accommodations as well as several restaurants where overnight visitors can sleep and eat. During the day, one can take tours in a ja...Read More