Just returned from Ireland, I had found these trip reports very helpful. My sister and I and our 3 adult daughters flew Aer Lingus boston to Dublin. no problems with aer lingus. I haven't had airline food in 20 years ad it was surprisingly good , both going and coming. would use aer lingus again.
We arrived in dublin at 4:40 am...unable to locate a phone store and when asked security about it, they told us it was back behind security, so we skipped it.
We were staying at O'neils on Pearce street. They already told us we couldn't get in until 9am, so what to do at 5 am in the dark with suitcases??? cab driver suggested brkfast at The Trinity Capital Hotel which was just a few steps away from O'neills.. What a fun and funky hotel... breakfast didn't start until 730 but they graciously let us wait in their lobby and even stored our luggage for us. At exactly 9 am O'neills opened up.
We immediatly dropped the bags and headed out. it was less than a 5 minute walk to entrance to Trinity college. I loved trinity college I expected Mr Chips or Harry Potter to appear. The Book of Kells was somewhat of a disappointment...not as big or as colorful as i expected, but still impressive. However, The long hall was worth the price of admission...wow..
We then picked up the hoho bus directly outside trinity, both the green and red bus were there. We stopped at Dublin Castle, but didn't go in. On to St Patrick's Cathederal...great stop, then on to Guiness, which is more of an avertising ploy that museum. It was great fun though and the skyview bar is spectacular. Guiness does in fact taste much better there!
From there we went to the kilhamain Goal. This should be a required stop. facinating and so informative. it was now late, we had not slept and we headed back to O'neills for dinner and bed.
Day 2 We picked up minivan automatic from Europcar, which is just a few steps from O'neills. No problems with car or Europcar. Took the super Cdw.
My daughter drove, with the other daughter being the navigator. They did great and we Headed out to Blarney. W e used a combo of maps, Gps and printed directions . Never got lost...it went well.
My daughter did great driving, just got in that car and drove thru the city, never having driven on the left before.
I know folks say Blarney castle is a tourist trap, But we really liked it and the little town. I should say, that climb to the top is not for the faint of heart.
From there we headed to Killorglin, which is outside killarney. We were there because of our family being there. We checked into the Biaconi, which is a guest house and restaurent. I can't say enough good thngs about the place.. rooms recently refurbished and are beautiful. The food is actually delicious and the folks there are very warm and welcoming.
We did alot aof family stuff here, but did take a tour of ring of Kerry with Deros tours...excellent. We toured Ross Castle, again, not for the faint of heart or non agile. We also saw Muckross house, which we really liked. My daughters went horse back riding and My sister, neice and I , did the Gap of Dunloe. Beware.. The pony trap drivers said we couldn t take the car. we parked and started the hike on foot. met another couple going down and they then passed going up in a car. Said the trp drivers shouldnt have told us we couldn t take the car. I guess I needed the exercise!!
From there , We went to Galway. We stayed at the Jury's Inn On Quay street. Couldn't beat the location... Jury's Inn was a typical hotel. We (sister and I) daughters opted out, a Galway Tour company tour of Connamarra. This tour had unbelievable scenery...but so much of it it , it started to all blend in. The highlight to us was the Kylemore Abby...Loved it.
We left Galway and headed to Malahide, visited the Castle, which we all liked. We stayed At Castle Inn. This was our last nite in Ireland... Malahide is a little, kinda contemporary upscale seaside town. We found Gibney Pub...had great fun there and ate at Giovanni's. which was excellent.
It rained or drizzled every day we were there.
Things I learned.
Ireland and it's people are wonderful.
there is lots of scenery
Don't let the hedge on the side of the road fool you, there is a stone wall inside it!
No matter wht you do, your hair is a mess.
there are plenty of ATM's everywhere.
No problem using Credit cards or Debit cards.
Never bought a phone, bought a calling card, there were plenty of pay phones everywhere. This was much cheaper also.
wear comfortable shoes, alot of walking.
pack very light...elevators are rare, and you need to carry that suicase up the stairs!
Dress is universally casual, everywhere we went.
Layers is the key and a good raincoat. Hope this helps...It was a wonderful trip