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Author: Dejaeeyore Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 20733  
Subject: Re: London and Ireland Date: 12/17/2004 7:30 PM
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Sound like a great trip. Here is some advice - there is NOTHING in Shannon. It is not worth 1 day. It is simply a town with an airport. Spend more time in Dublin. Dublin has a lot to see.

We didn't even drive through Shannon, although we saw a plane taking off as we drove past it. We only spent a day in Dublin - wish we'd spent another day there, but we were at the end of the trip, and tired out. We stayed in Dun Laoghaire (Sandycove, actually) and rode the DART in one day to go to Trinity College and the National Museum.

Dublin
Newgrange
Wicklow Mountains
Kilkenny
Rock of Cashel
Cork
Kinsale(the gourmet captial of Ireland)
Cliffs of Moher
Galway


Newgrange was very good, although their cafeteria didn't impress me as much as it impressed Rick Steves. $5 for a pre-made sandwich struck me as a little high. Of course, it was 2:30 when we had lunch, so my blood sugar was dropping and I was a little testy.

On the other hand, the National Heritage Park near Wexford had the best Irish stew we had the whole vacation, and portions large enough that we couldn't finish them, for ~$9.

The Wicklow Mtns are so different from the rest of the country. Free-range sheep, and no stone walls next to the road. Mellifont Abbey and Glendalough are also in the area, and I think Powerscourt is as well.

Kilkenny Castle was one of my favorites, along with Trim and Cahir. Blarney and Bunratty Castles didn't really do a lot for me, although the view from the top of Blarney was great. They don't have guided tours of those, so you don't really learn a lot about them.

Kinsale also didn't impress me, although Rick Steves raves about it endlessly. The town itself is a nightmare to drive in, and after three days there, I decided that "gourmet capital of Ireland" translated into "spend $10 for a plain burger, and think you ate cheap." There's a pretty good Chinese restaurant there, and Dino's Fish & Chips was also good. We did find a free car park on a hill just outside of town - it meant walking a good bit, but it was usually easier than dealing with parking in town.

However if you go to Kinsale, definitely go to Charlesfort, outside of town. The tour guide was outstanding. We spent two hours there, and only left because they were closing for the night. Can't remember which B&B we stayed in there.

My partner has been through the Ring of Kerry, and says it is beautiful.

The Ring of Kerry was beautiful, as was the Dingle Peninsula, even though it was pretty rainy when we were there. I don't have my notes to tell me which was where, but for sights along both, there's Gallarus Oratory, Drombeg Stone Circle, Staigue Fort, and Dunbeg promontory fort.

You can also go out to the Skellig Islands, if the weather's good. We didn't get to, as the sea was too rough. We did go to Inishmor one day, which is definitely worth the trip. You can take a minibus tour of the island for around 10 Euro, and the Dun Aonghasa ring fort is amazing.

If you do the Ring of Kerry, there's a great B&B, Derry East Farmhouse, in a town called Sneem, run by a very nice couple. Sneem's a very small town, but the river running through town is beautiful, and there's a restaurant that did the most awesome salmon - we ate there two nights in a row.

Deja Eeyore
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