Touring Ireland Land of the Celts

This was my second coach tour with the Globus company. A fabulous way to see the country, with a knowledgable guide, and professional driver. No luggage worries... or concerns about getting lost. Like traveling with friends.. sure beats going alone.

Touring Ireland Land of the Celts

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by Queen Maeve on November 2, 2000

The Irish countryside is beautiful. Some of my roots are from Ireland... so I enjoyed sniffing the air for any scent of my ancestors. Just walking the streets where they might have walked. I had done considerable reading about the great famine prior to my trip, and was fascinated by visiting towns that were mentioned in the literature. I highly recommend 'The Great Famine'. Gives a great historical perspective on the politics surrounding the famine, and also of the tensions that have existed between Ireland and Great Britain for 400 years.
The cliffs of Moher are breath-taking, but don't step over the flagstones. A german woman fell 700 feet to her death last year. I loved Glendalough, a monestary dating from 600AD!!! The jaunting cars in Killarney to the Muckross house were suprising fun. We attended a ceile at Bunratty Folk Park. It was a small intimate venue, and the irish step dancing was super!! Also recommended is the Siamsi Tire folk theatre rendition of King Lir's Children.${QuickSuggestions} I think a coach tour like Globus is a great way to go. The roads in Ireland are fairly narrow, twisting and fast. I wouldn't drive, but I'm a wus. Two towns I would have liked to stopped in were Clifden and Westport. Galway was a favorite of our group. Knowth and Newgrange burial cairns were interesting. Older than the pyramids! The Waterford tour is well worth it, but it's better to buy Waterford from other shops. You get it faster and same price. Interesting to know, there are patterns they sell that can only be purchased in Ireland. Recommend stopping for scones and tea at some of the cute little wayside tearooms. Yum.
For packing, the best thing I ever did was to purchase a couple of cute sweat suits that I wore almost the entire trip. They're light weight and comfortable for traveling. What I should have brought was a pair of water proof shoes. ${BestWay} Around Dublin.. we stayed at a hotel near the Customs House, which was very handy to most things of interest. Walking distance to Grafton steet, many restaurants, Trinity college, etc. Most towns are small enough to walk where you want to go. Taxis were reasonable.. at least for short distances.

Jury's Customs House and others around the country

Member Rating 2 out of 5 by Queen Maeve on November 2, 2000

Not that nice of a hotel. The only reason I would recommend it is due to location. It is walking distance to where you want to be. There was construction going on outside the hotel till 10:00PM. JACKHAMMERS!!! The rooms were adequate, but not exceptional. Globus is not going to be using this hotel after this year they said.
Jurys Inn Custom House
Dublin, Ireland
353 1 6075000

Kissing the Blarney Stone

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Queen Maeve on December 14, 2000

There was a small very motivated group of us on the tour who were determined to kiss the blarney stone. As our bus pulled into the parking lot at the nearby Blarney Woolen Mills, there were numerous other buses disgorging hoards of tourists. We popped off the bus and took off for the castle at a half run. Luckily when we got up there, there was only a short line. Getting to where the stone is requires climbing up a narrow, winding, stone stairway. Older people can do it, if in good health, but if you're easily winded or unstable, I'd settle for "kissing the stone by proxy (ie. kiss someone else who just kissed it). There isn't much time to loiter, as there are alot of people trying to get to the stone. There's a paid helper, who has a blanket for you to sit on. He will assist you in leaning over backwards to assume the required position for the "kiss". You get to smack a quick one on it, while another helper snaps a quick photo and then you're up and on your way. You can also have a friend take a photo on your own camera. The stone in all honesty is a little bit damp looking...but so is the whole castle. So they say, they do clean the stone at regular intervals. Personally if you don't have open sores on your mouth, I'd guess you'll probably survive. It's been three months since I kissed the stone, and I haven't broken out in any wierd rashes or fevers. You get a terrific veiw from the castle. The grounds are beautiful. It was lucky for us that we scampered up there as quickly as we did too. By the time we were on our way down, the line went down the castle stairs and out the door. It looked like a probably hour and a half wait at that point. The Blarney Woolen Mills has nice shopping. Everything from Waterford, to sweaters. Also a decent lunch room. It IS crowded, and I found the clerks there short tempered and quite rude. I'd prefer to make my purchases from someone a little less surly.. but did buy some Waterford there, as it was one of the last stops where I thought I'd have a chance. Incidently... when the Waterford showed up at home, I only got half of what I ordered, as they were back ordered on it. (It did show up a couple of weeks later.)
Blarney Castle/Blarney Stone
Blarney Village Near the River Martin
Cork, Ireland
+353 21 438 5252

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