Ireland Journals

Ireland on Tour 2002

Best of IgoUgo

An April 2002 trip to Ireland by tvordj

Rock of Cashel  Photo, Cashel, Ireland More Photos
Quote: This trip to Ireland included a few days in Cobh, a weekend in Dublin, a short bus tour around Ireland with a friend. It was bracketed at both ends with a visits to Manchester, UK because i was visiting friends so flying back to Canada from there.

Manchester

Starting off, Easter in Manchester

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Coroporation Street pedway Photo, Manchester, England
Quote:
The flight across the ocean was fine but the connection to Manchester from Heathrow sucked. The arm rests in the seats didn't fold up flush with the seat so it was digging in my back the whole way. Mercifully, the plane was only 25% full and the flight was only a half hour. The luggage Gods smiled once again and everything arrived with me. Most of this weekend was spent with many friends in the Manchester area, some of whom came from outside the area for a meal on Saturday night. We visited, we shopped, we thoroughly enjoyed each other's company. We ate twice in a Weatherspoon's pub, the Sedge Linn in Chorlton, we pub crawled our way around Chorlton and hit a few in the Manchester city cen...Read More

Royal Exchange

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "A Wonderful Theatre Experience in Manchester"

Royal Exchange Photo, Manchester, England
Quote:
The Royal ExchangeTh used to be just that, a stock exchange and financial institution in the centre of Manchester. It's in a magnificent building with gorgeous stonework and high plastered ceilings inside. It's now a theatre but one with a difference. When you enter the building, inside in the middle of the building there is a structure that looks a bit like a space pod. This is the theatre. It is in fact a theatre in the round. Inside, the stage is on the floor, surrounded by "banquettes", and the seats can be on the ground level or rise around it up into the seven sides of the steel and glass "pod". It can seat up to 700! They sometimes ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 20, 2009

Royal Exchange
St Ann's Square
Manchester, England M2 7DH
+44 161 833 9833

Woo Sang

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant | "Terrible Service at Woo Sang"

Quote:
This restaurant is up a flight of stairs so not easy to get to for anyone with mobility issues. I've been here with a very large group before (2000) and both the service and the food were excellent. This time around we were 10 at the table but the table seemed too small for us. The drinks orders were slow in coming and sometimes the wait staff forgot to ask everyone for reorders. The rest of the evening was one service disaster after another. They didn't provide us with a circular movable platform for the center of the table to make passing around the dishes easier and when someone finally complained loudly, we did get one. Which was broken and we had to gingerly turn the glass ourselves a...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on January 20, 2009

Woo Sang
19-21 George Street

Stockport Hat Works Museum

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Take your Hat off to this Musuem"

Stockport Hat Works Museum Photo, Manchester, England
Quote:
Hatworks MuseumThe day we visited was an appropriate day seeing as the signs there proclaimed this as National Hat Week! (Easter week, 2002) There is a conducted tour that starts with a film, some of which is rare footage from the 1930's of Battersby's Hat works. We were told how they were made, first by hand and later by machine. Hats made out of felt had shellac added for stiffness and were shaped over wooden forms to give the hat it's shape. There were only the 2 of us plus a woman and her granddaughter on the tour. Also there is a museum with all sorts of exhibits of hats of every kind, ceremonial, sporting, military, religious, dress, etc. There was...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 20, 2009

Stockport Hat Works Museum
Wellington Mill
Stockport, England SK3 0EU
+44 161 355 7770

Shopping in Manchester

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Food court area of the Trafford Centre Photo, Manchester, England
Quote:
Manchester is not always thought of as a major shopping destination but it has quite a lot to offer, if not quite as much as a city like London. Most shoppers will be more than satisfied with the selection available from markets to upscale stores like Selfridges and designer shops. Marks and Spencer has rebuilt it's city centre store after an IRA bomb leveled it in the 1990s. It's now one of the largest in the country and is considered it's flagship store. Other major stores in the same area include Selfridges, Debenhams and Kendalls. These stores are steps away from the renovated Arndale Shopping mall and a host of other good shops in the Royal Exchange/St. Anne's Square/King Street West ar...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 22, 2008

Cobh

Visting Cobh

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

View from the Bella Vista hotel upper room Photo, Cobh, Ireland
Quote:
Cobh is a small town on an island in Cork City's harbour, It used to be called Queenstown after Queen Victoria and was the embarkation point for thousands of Irish who emigrated during the Great Famine of the 1840's. There's also a Titanic connection as it was the last port of call before the liner headed off across the North Atlantic, ultimately meeting its icy cold fate. There's a Heritage Center called the Queenstown Story, a nearby wildlife preserve on Fota Island, and a lovely cathedral (all three have separate reviews in this journal) and lots of lovely shops, pubs and monuments scattered around the picturesque and sometimes *very* steep streets that are lined with brightly paint...Read More

Cobh Heritage Centre

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Cobh Heritage Center"

Cobh Heritage Centre Photo, Cork, Ireland
Quote:
The town of Cobh (pronounced "Cove") is an old fishing village that used to be called Queenstown for awhile. It was rename from Cove for Queen Victoria but took back it's Irish name and Irish spelling in the 20th century. Cobh was a major departure point for Irish immigrants leaving the country in the 19th century. There's actually statue of the woman who was the first immigrant to pass through Ellis Island in New York. The exhibits are set up in three eras. The first focuses on the convict transports and the second, the era of and explores the conditions on board. In the middle of the 19th c. the potato famine drove emigration into the millions. Between emigration and death, Ireland's pop...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 4, 2008

Cobh Heritage Centre

Cobh County, Cork

FOTA Wildlife Park

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

FOTA Wildlife Park Photo, Cobh, Ireland
Quote:
On a smaller island in Cork harbour, connected by causeway/bridge to the Great Island where Cobh is and the mainland where Cork is, you will find Fota Island. Fota Island has several attractions and a hotel. You can play a round of golf here, visit the Regency Fota House and the wildlife park as well. The house itself is elegant and has amazing plaster work and ceilings. The Victorian kitchen is very well appointed and there's a nice little tea room. It was originally owned by the Smith-Barry family built by architect Richard Morrison. The wildlife park has over 90 species of animals and birds over x acres. It's a registered charity and has been open since 1983. There's a tour trai...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 4, 2008

FOTA Wildlife Park

Cobh, Ireland

St. Colman's Cathedral Photo, Cobh, Ireland
Quote:
The Catholic cathedral is dedicated to St. Colman and was built between 1868 and 1925. The floor is parquet but up the aisles is a tile mosaic made to look like a Celtic knot runner carpet. Really nice! A couple of places, entranceways through to side chapels, have swastikas worked into and around the knotwork but back when the cathedral was built the swastika was considered a good luck symbol! The view from the Cathedral yard over the town and harbour was fabulous!

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 4, 2008

St. Colman's Cathedral
perched on the hillside
Cobh, Ireland

Dublin

Introduction to Dublin

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Christchurth Cathedral, Dublin Photo, Dublin, Ireland
Quote:
(Apr. 5-7 2002) Rose, Mal and I got to Dublin about 2:30 and took a cab to the Harcourt Hotel where I was meeting up with my friend Carole who's been in Dublin a couple of days on her own.The weather is warm, overcast. We are meeting up with some other friends who are arriving at various times, some here already. We set up a time to meet in the hotel pub for 7 tonight for drinks. Eoin, Carole and I headed out and down Harcourt Street to Grafton Street. We ended up in a cafe for lunch in the top floor of the St. Stephen's Green shopping center, a lovely glass roofed structure with lots of light streaming in. Grafton is a pedestrian shopping area with some lovely stores, and lo...Read More

Touring Dublin, Trinity College

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Trinity College campus, Dublin Photo, Dublin, Ireland
Quote:
April 7/2002: Most of us made it up for breakfast and then a few of us made our way around the corner to the antiques fair which was in the old gym of Newman House. We had seen a sign at the intersection all weekend advertising the sale for Sunday morning and we were not disappointed! Oooh it was lovely! Lots of linen, jewelry, china and other odds and sods of memorabilia packed into the two aisles and what looked like the stage area. I bought some old linen and a really interesting ring and Carole bought some jewelry as well.We all converged back at the bar in the hotel for 1 p.m. for a goodbye drink and a Show And Tell for our morning's purchases and activities. We had lots of laughs hu...Read More

Last Glimpse of Dublin and Howth

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Dublin is famous for the fancy doors  Photo, Dublin, Ireland
Quote:
April 13, 2002: We've done the tour and now, after a week of getting up early, we slept in just because we could! We lingered over breakfast, enjoying our pot of tea. It’s a sunny day and we decided to have a walk then take the DART out to Howth at the north end of the line. We walked to the little bridge across the Grand Canal and turned into Fitzwilliam Square where the house with the most elaborate door "lives". We admired it and walked on, looking for Merrion Square a few streets away. The attraction here is mainly the Oscar Wilde connection. We saw a few lovely old buildings turned into hotels and the American College on the corner. That’s the house where Wilde lived before moving t...Read More

Harcourt Hotel

Hotel | "Cozy Dublin hotel"

Quote:
I've only stayed at the Harcourt Hotel once, and that was in 2002 so bear that in mind. The location is on Harcourt Street, about a 10 minute walk from St. Stephen's Green and Grafton Street. The location might not be dead center but it's very good. The hotel takes up several townhouses that have George Bernard Shaw associations. There is an elevator in the hotel and there is a restaurant, nightclub and a very cozy after hours bar called Barneys where you could find trad Irish musicians dropping in for a jam session after the pubs have closed like we did. The nightclub can be a bit noisy but you can ask for rooms in the second building rather than the main one. They have doubles, singles and twins but...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 6, 2008

Harcourt Hotel
60 HARCOURT STREET
Dublin, Ireland
353 1 4783677

Tour of Ireland

From Dublin to Ennis via Cashel

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Rock of Cashel  Photo, Cashel, Ireland
Quote:
On the road again....And bloody early! 6 a.m. came too soon! The day's activities include a stop in Kildare at the Irish National Stud, then a stop to "view" the Rock of Cashel (that means a photo stop), and a drive west to Ennis, where we stay for two nights. The National Stud is on the site of old Black Abbey, where the monks bred horses for the Crusades, huge, muscled beasts. Horse breeding in this area of the country is an old tradition and Irish thoroughbreds command some of the highest stud fees in the world. The Irish National Stud is run by the government though there are lots of private farms around as well. There are an enormous amount of regulations to the breeding of horses. Ar...Read More

Bunratty Castle and Folk Park

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Tourist Trap in Shannon"

Bunratty Castle and Folk Park Photo, County Clare, Ireland
Quote:
This is a purpose built attraction to draw in the tourists that land or are leaving from the Shannon international airport, not far away. The castle itself is real enough, and the cottages were brought from other parts of the country so they are authentic. Many people might think it pretty much a tourist trap and it's true, it does cater to busloads of tourists, with two sittings of the banquet a night. It's more of a "show" and it feels very much like a Disney version but it is quite popular. There's even an old pub that has traditional entertainers. I can't tell from any website if you can visit the site without a banquet but I think perhaps you can. The food was ok, the entertainment was chorus of ...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on January 21, 2009

Bunratty Castle and Folk Park
Bunratty Village
County Clare, Ireland

Loop around the Burren and Galway

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Various types of Connemara marble Photo, Connemara, Ireland
Quote:
We had breakfast with a lovely couple from Alabama. The bus left a little late, all day it seemed. There was always someone that kept us waiting and invariably one of the group of women traveling together from NYC. They work together in a hospital and they were astonishing shoppers! That's usually why they were late! We drove west towards the Atlantic coast under sunny skies. Really lucky because the view of the 600' high Cliffs of Moher on Liscannon Bay would have been disappointing under cloudy foggy skies. We were the first bus there, even before the visitor center was open so it wasn't crowded at all. The cliffs are a spectacular sight, with the rock formations carved by millennia of w...Read More

Ring of Kerry to Blarney

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Blarney Castle Photo, Cork, Ireland
Quote:
It was a bit gloomy this morning and all day it was hazy with the sun breaking through now and then which was a pity for the views around the Ring of Kerry but it wasn't too bad. We caught the 9 a.m.ferry across the Shannon estuary. We drove into North Kerry from where the landscape was flat, boggy and uninspiring. Or perhaps it was the weather. The western part of the Kerry Mountains is called the McGillicuddy Reeks and we drove up into the beginning of the range on the way to our first stop, Tralee. We were due to go to the Kerry County museum complete with a medieval sight, sound and smell effects only the staff are on strike! We were taken to a local windmill instead in Blennerville....Read More

To Waterford

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Canal through Waterford Photo, Waterford, Ireland
Quote:
After our stop at Blarney we headed north. Our included visit this afternoon was to the Waterford Crystal factory where we will get a tour. This was actually a very interesting stop. We were shown a short video. The presentation ended with a replica of the Millenium crystal ball from NYC descending in front of a black screen with a city skyline behind it. Impressive with the lights flashing in patterns and colours and ending in full brilliance. We then headed into the factory proper. Here then is a condensed version of Waterford Crystal: It was founded in 1783 by brothers George and William Penrose. The factory has been at the present location, on the edge of town since 1971 and employs 1...Read More

Avoca and Spiritual Glendalough

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Bridge leading into Avoca, Ireland Photo, Ireland, Europe
Quote:
Our last day on the bus. Breakfast wasn’t great. No choice. They slapped down a plate of egg, bacon, etc., were late with the toast and it felt very like a conveyer belt to us. Let’s get going. We drove through the old part of Waterford past Reginald’s Tower, which was built originally by the Vikings. The city center of Waterford looks very much like most Irish cities architecturally. We headed out into the country county roads of County Wexford, past lots of yellow gorse brush streaking the green hills. We heard about rebellion in 1798 led by Father Murphy, an insurrection by the Catholics trying to gain rights inspired by the French Revolution 20 years before that. Didn’t work. The rebellion was bru...Read More