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Two week driving trip in Ireland in 2007

Two week driving trip in Ireland in 2007

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Posted Sun 29 Mar 2020 1:23 AM
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My wife and I had a wonderful driving trip to Ireland back in 2007. Seems like it's time for another trip. All of our accommodations were traditional Bed and Breakfast, years before AirBnB was around. We started in Dublin and enjoyed ourselves just walking around the neighbourhoods and shopping areas. We did a tour of Trinity College, which was student lead. Highly recommend that, if you are going to do any touristy thing. We also got a day pass on the bus and and sat on the upper level of the bus and just took it as far as it would go. That's also a great pass for your last day. You can take the bus to the airport, grab the shuttle to Bewleys Hotel, which I recommend because it is close to the airport, check in, take the shuttle back to the airport and then grab the bus back into town. Repeat in reverse on your trip back to the hotel. The shuttle will take you back to the airport in the morning. 
As far as the road trip, we didn't grab a car until our last day in Dublin. We then drove to Kilkenny and spent a few days there. We had a friend who was working at Toon Saloon animation studio and had dinner with him. There are some great pubs in Kilkenny. We visited the castle and walked all around the town taking in some historic sites. You may not notice, but there is a dog's grave on the grounds of the castle. One shop I fell in love with was Peter Wall's Men Shop. I bought two wool hats there. The store is totally packed with clothing, but they didn't have the size hat I needed in a particular colour. So, he sent someone to where ever he has more stock. It took a few minutes, not very long at all. However, Peter felt so bad that we had to wait, he gave us a "Kilkenny" bear. A stuffed toy bear that is wearing a blue knit sweater that says "Kilkenny" on it. 
From there it was off to Cork. Our brother in law has family there and we spent some time with them, and again just walked around town a lot. The B&B we stayed at was very close to the university and they had a pet dog that would walk the rounds with the postman every day. Pretty cute. 
 After Cork it was off to Dingle, our main objective. We spent most of our time there. 
We had a farm stay in Dingle. You could walk to town from there, but we did drive in. We had some very good food in Dingle, lamb is one of favourites. We also stumbled up the  An Droichead Beag pub, and Eoin Duignan was playing. Fantastic. I remember there were families in the pub, and was very much a community gathering. We bought some CDs that night and played them while we drove around the Dingle area. That really puts you into the Irish spirit. Another part of the trip that really stands out in my mind, was our night out at the local movie theatre. My wife and I were born in 1951 and this theatre was a return to the old style theatres, at least in North America. There was an elderly gentlemen who was the usher. He had a flashlight and would lead you to available seats. I haven't seen that for decades. I believe the movie was the second Harry Potter movie, if I am not mistaken. Just before the movie was about to start, someone opened up a bag of candy. Well, it must have been round shaped, hard candy, because it burst open and the contents rolled all the way down the sloped floor, pin balling to the bottom as it sounded like tinkling wind chimes as it bounced off the feet of the theatre seats. Everyone in the theatre burst into spontaneous laughter. Also, during the movie, the crowd was very responsive to the action on the screen, laughing and gasping at the appropriate times. You just don't see that kind of group reaction very often. It was endearing. 
We were fortunate enough to have good weather one day to travel to the Blasket Island. We spent the day just walking up and down the hillsides and found some sheep grazing. The last leg of the trip was back to Dublin.
On the way out of Dublin and the way back we did stop off at some historic sites, one of them was Rock Cashel. It's a great place to see how the architecture changed over the years. 
Hope you might get some travel ideas from our experience.

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Posted Mon 30 Mar 2020 9:49 AM
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Hi Paul,

Thanks so much for sharing your adventures on the island in 2007! It's great to read about the things you've seen and done while you were here, and I am sure our members will get lots of travel ideas and inspiration from your post. :) 

How was your experience staying in B&B's? Did you book your accommodation beforehand, or did find them as you travelled around? 

You've seen and done so much during your two weeks here, and I am happy you met so many nice people (and dogs). I especially loved the movie theatre story. 

Thanks again for sharing! :) 
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Posted Mon 30 Mar 2020 6:10 PM
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I planned all the B&B stays ahead of time. This was before AirBnB, so I used some of the sites that listed B&Bs, and read peoples' ratings on some of the travel sites. All the places we stayed at were excellent. The driving took a lot of concentration. I remember near Rock of Cashel there was a 5 way intersection and there was a moment of OMG. Also, when we entered a roundabout outside of Dublin I must have circled a half dozen times trying to find the correct road to exit onto. 




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Posted Wed 1 Apr 2020 1:53 PM
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That's wonderful, Paul! I can imagine the Irish roads, as well as driving on the left can take some getting used to, but it sounds like you had a wonderful adventure. 

I'm happy that you enjoyed staying in all of the B&B's as well. :) It really adds to the trip as your host or hostess can provide you with excellent tips on what to see and do in the area. 

Did you run into any hidden gems along the way, or are there any unplanned routes or stops you made along the way? 

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