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Tips from a first timer

michigan
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Tips from a first timer

We just returned from a first trip to Ireland. 10 days in SW and Dublin. Thanks so much for all the TA tips; they were so helpful. So here I go t offer any 'wisdom' to fellow first timers planning a getaway.

1) Yup, the Guinness tastes better in an Irish country pub...not even close to comparable of a Guinness in the States.

2) Driving: Yup, the roads are narrow, old, and befuddling. But what fun! Don't be afraid, or too afraid, of not renting a car. You see so much more than the bus tours and turning down an unplanned country road is part of the adventure. The trickiest part is not the left side of the road, but rather learning to stay close to the center with the wheel on the right. After the first day you'll get the hang of it. Just don't kill some poor chap on day one...and yes, when people on TA say buy the super CDW, listen to them! When you drive your first countrylane in Kerry with a bus headed at you and realize it's really a two lane road, you'll understand the rationale.

3) The Dingle TA controversy...someone on here says nasty things about Dingle as I recall. We thought it idyllic. Stayed at the Pax House and it was wonderful. O'Sullivan's had some of the better music of the trip, and the scenery is spectacular. Good eats about town too.

4) Loop Head/Kilkee should get more love on TA...a beautiful, uncrowded road with divine views. If you are in the area on a sunny day, defintiely take a ride down the coast.

5) Yup, Blarney Castle is overpriced, overrated, and overpopulated. An hour north in Cahir is a castle far more interesting and a fourth of the price.

6) Is all of Ireland on cholesterol medicine? Dear God, the Irish don't really eat breakfast like that every mornng do they?

7) Speaking of the Irish people, they were entirely polite, welcoming and accommodating. But they were not as cute as all the newborn lambs dotting the countryside!

8) Don't over plan. One of our fondest memories will be the side road we took through some fields on the way to Dingle to find the Minard castle. What a beautiful "find." Certainly not on any bus tour or even in many guidebooks, but an incredible location and sense of Ireland's past. Same for a diversion we took on Beara Peninsula at an old cemetary overlooking the sea. These places are some of the best memories we took away with us...

Again, thanks for all the advice the past year. For first timers, just enjoy the ride - you cannot help but enjoy the views. And the Guinness. And the Smithwicks. And the Bailey's....

Tennessee
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1. Re: Tips from a first timer

Great to read a report from a first timer! I'm going in a few months as a first timer as well. Thanks for the tips.

Morristown, New...
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2. Re: Tips from a first timer

What is CDW?

Ventry, Ireland
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for Dingle Peninsula
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3. Re: Tips from a first timer

What a lovely report and I am so glad that you enjoyed Dingle and its hinterland. Glad too that you found those little hidden spots on Beara and Minard. And no, most Irish people don't eat that breakfast every day. For our family at least it is a Saturday morning treat only - but boy is it relished

Ventry, Ireland
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for Dingle Peninsula
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4. Re: Tips from a first timer

Stella

CDW is collision damage waiver - insurance against damage to your rental car. This insurance is not usually comprehensive and you will be subject a copayment or excess. Super CDW is additional insurance to take care of this

Have a look at this thread

tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g186591-i88-k304…

Edited: 09 April 2013, 03:22
Ohio
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5. Re: Tips from a first timer

Thanks for the report! I'm a first-timer leaving this Saturday. I'll make sure to get "lost" a time or two. The unplanned always makes for the best memories!

Tralee, Ireland
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for Tralee
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6. Re: Tips from a first timer

Good report and sound advice. Even Obama noted the difference in the Guinness here!

Johannesburg, South...
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7. Re: Tips from a first timer

I had a similar experience when looking for Minard Castle. Approaching from the town of Dingle, I took a right turn a little too early and ended up totally lost among high walls and hedges, until I happened upon a local farmer on his tractor. I told him that I was looking for Minard, and he said: "Well, you're in Minard now, you are!. Turns out what I thought was just some fields with a few scattered buildings was actually the "town" that was shown on the map.

I still remember that incredulous response to my question vividly.

The farmer did realise that I was actually looking for the castle and proceeded to issue some clear directions to that very picturesque spot.

I also ended up at farmhouses a few other times in Ireland, while looking for some castle or other that I could see in the distance from the main road. The first time, I was somewhat hesitant to knock on a door and ask for directions, but after my first such inquiry received a very friendly and helpful response, I knocked on quite a few other doors around the Irish farmland and got a friendly response every time.

Western Ireland...
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for Loughrea, Southport, Clifden, Connemara
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8. Re: Tips from a first timer

The some one who says Dingle is no more special than other places around the Island was also one of the first on TA to promote Loop Head as an unspoiled alternative to Moher, Beara as the best of the south western peninsula's.. And He is pleased you had a great time. Thanks for the report.. Galway and North next time??

9. Re: Tips from a first timer

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Edited: 09 April 2013, 14:19
Arlington, Virginia
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10. Re: Tips from a first timer

I very much enjoyed your astute comments on visiting Ireland. Like you, we loved Kilkee and Loop Head and felt no need to spend our time and money at the "overhyped" Cliffs of Moher. We also enjoyed Cahir Castle very much as we pretty much had the place to ourselves one overcast April morning. And finally, our wandering around Beara Peninsula brought us to a farmer's field on which the farmer had mowed a path so visitors (we were the only ones) could walk to an ancient dolmen in the middle of his property.