Maybe I'm just a wimp..... Probably.
Just returned from Ireland and if you visit in September, it's windy and the rain is chilly.
Don't forget the raincoat, oh yeah and a- hat, a- scarf and- waterproof those shoes--now you're almost ready.........
Ten days in Ireland was not enough!
Hope you can take more days than we did! We'll be heading back for sure.
Before scooting down the page, I will mention the picture ABOVE.
These remains are the Tankardstown Copper Mining Ruins If you are driving in Waterford County, Ireland along the southern coast, not only is it historically impressive on its own, the view is fabulous! There is a pullover from the road.
Here is a picture of the sign at the Ruins and a website, at the bottom if you area interested.
Below is the map for our town route. Dublin > Doolin > Galway > Ennis > Mallow > Killarney > Dungarvan > Wexford > Dublin
We decided to fly into Dublin, rent a car at the airport for the duration of the trip-- WRONG! Renting at the airport was fine, but driving in Dublin, it was HELL!
Here is the low down on car rental: driving: insurance and exploring!
First, if you don't have it already, get the Chase Sapphire Visa Card and they will cover car insurance in Ireland, however its a good idea to check before you go.
Also make sure you have enough credit to cover the cost of the car, they will put that amount on your card for the duration of the trip. We used Avis and rented a mid size Peugeot. The "hold" amount on the charge card was $6,518.79, BUT The whole trip including a GPS ( for $15 a day was $297.31. A great deal!!
On the return trip to Ireland we will get a Sim card for a cell phone, that way will have Google Maps and internet.
To save money we rented a diesel and manual transmission. If you are comfortable driving a stick you'll save about $20.00. Remember too, you will be driving on the left hand side of the road, so whatever you feel comfortable with.
Gas is in litres. One Gallon equals = 3.79 Litres.
Okay, we're out the Avis Car Rental Parking Lot....
The republic of Ireland, the southern portion, including Dublin uses Euro's.
Notes are in 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500
Coins are in 1cent, 2cent, 5cent, 10cent, 20cent, 50cent and 1 and 2.
Okay, GET SOME CHANGE RIGHT AWAY, keep some coins available.
When we arrived, our first tour was with See Dublin by Bike tour ( we have the link and short video below) and the tour was for 3 hours, meters are 3 hours max, at least around the tour location.
When we ventured outside Dublin we encountered toll roads. Cars were 1.90 Euro and we just flew through the "no change" lane, with a 2.00 Euro coin. Good planning on their part, picking up those extra dimes adds up!
All restaurants, that we dined at, took charge cards, most of the tours we booked ahead- online and printed out vouchers. Most BARS want cash! So when your heading out to the 700+ bars in Dublin take- EUROS.
Speaking of Bars, below is the The Bernard Shaw... Info HERE
Beer _Music_ EatYard_ Meet-up_ Flea Market.
We found it very inexpensive to just get cash at the ATM's, just check with your bank on the fee, ours was low with Chase Bank. We took $700 in US cash, but didn't exchange any, next time we'll just take $200 next time for emergency money. You will find Atm's in the larger towns such as Cork, Killarney, Dublin. Smaller towns such as Doolin, do not have a ATM.
Now, You're Ready!
If you are driving ( for the first time in Dublin) take a hand held telescope.
Street signs are NOT always apparent, at least to tourists.
Next time we will get our car AFTER we leave Dublin.
I WILL SAY THIS, the drivers are extremely courteous! It was amazing what they put up with, tourists, tourists, tourists.
Excellent; Informative, even a Zombie can follow, a great tour to start with, when you have jet lag or NO sleep. Thank goodness for the GoPro, we were able to review the areas on the tour, and say "oh yeah" I kind of remember that! Below is the video. This is our first GoPro video, so no giggling, hope you like the tunes too! Here is the link for this tour: Cycle
Getting Out Of The City-For Just A Bit....
When we travel, we like to head away to a local park, for running, walking and maybe a little playground action.
We went St. Anne's Park.
A HUGE Park.
We were told we might find some HURLING ACTION. I didn't know what the heck Hurling was, but its the BIG sport in Ireland and considered the FASTEST GAME ON GRASS here's some info on the sport: HURLING
No Hurling to be found that day, but the park was lovely, including this impressive wooden sculpture by Tommy Craggs.
This piece of art reflects creatures in nature. What is also amazing is, he did not use any chisels, it was created in its entirety by a chainsaw! This is just one side, the carvings are "in the round".
Back To The City For The Teeling Distillery Tour.
Jon wanted to head to this one, it's the newest
Whiskey Distillery in Dublin.
The information area was GREAT, the guide was just "okay" the whiskey- HUH...
OUTSTANDING and yeah we bought a bottle.
It's worth taking the tour, just to taste this Oh-so-smoooooth Whiskey.
We did hear the people raving about he Jamison Distillery Tour, so we'll hit that next time.
Here is a link for the Teeling Distillery TOUR
Jamison Distillery here: TOUR
Okay, we were toasted, in more ways than one, headed back to the Airbnb and crashed.
This was our first experience with Airbnb. Overall it was great!
If it makes a difference to you, you might check to see if you have a private room with private bathroom OR private, and share a bathroom. It was O K A Y to share, but we will search out the private bathroom next time.
We were off to Doolin with a stop at Leap Castle. We would be returning to Dublin at the end of our journey and we tried to S Q U E E Z E in everything in 3 1/2 days, but no way!
Before we move on, here is a couple of great sites for Dublin.
First: Dublin, Living; Working; Learning' What's On~ HERE
Next: Nightlife, Shopping; Tours; Yada Yada Yada ~ CLICK HERE
On The Way To Doolin- Leap Castle
Just knock, and he will open the door.
"We are here to see your castle"
"Oh, come on in" He said.
You can email him ahead and let him know your coming, but it's casual.
I encourage you to meet Sean Ryan, the Man who bought a castle. Interesting dude, incredible musician, just lovely to talk to.
Even though he has probably told his story hundreds of times, he is passionate about Ireland; music and his "CASTLE".
He will probably ask you what brings you Ireland and what your last name is.
If you're Irish or even a bit connected, he will tell you what he knows about your ancestors related to Ireland. It was fascinating!
Also ask him if he would mind playing his whistle, you will be amazed! We later found him in Galway.........READ ON.
Here is the link for Leap Castle. LEAP
On to Doolin.....
After we arrived, I already knew, one night was not enough.
We booked a room in Doolin, because it was close to our horseback ride, the following morning. We stayed in a splendid B&B with spectacular view. GREAT breakfast. We paid $84.
The host was perfect!
Here is a link to the B&B and a few pictures around Doolin. Including views of the shore, ruins of an Irish Catholic Cementery and just outside our room, we found a very content horse, snoring in a bed of lush green grass. Here is the link for you: Seascape b&b
We didn't catch the Cliffs of Moher or Aaron Islands this trip, but for your information, this would be a great place to stay. The Doolin harbour is just 2 kilometers away!
Here is some more information about the town of Doolin: LINK
Note: no ATM in Doolin.
We walked into town for dinner. The two main restaurants are McDermott's and McGann's Pubs, both have traditional Irish entertainment.
I use the word "Entertainment" because if you do wander into the bars with traditional Irish musicians, you will not only experience a "lively" night of upbeat music, dancing, clapping, group singing, but many of the locals may join in with Cappella ballad singing ( often referred to as Sean Nos) from their tables or bar stools.
These singers were mesmerizing, gave me C H I L L S, as I listened.
Hope you enjoy at least one night in a traditional Irish bar.
The next morning was chilly ( of course ), but not raining YET.
Time to Ride !
Mountain View Riding Centre is only 12 minutes from Doolin, located in another small town called Lisdoonvarna. We are experienced riders, but this riding centre invites ALL levels of riders, even if you have never been on a horse!
The ride was Superb!
These are Irish Cobb horses, mine was named Guinness and Jon's was Max ~~
Hey Take a Look at Max's mustache, the owner Peter, said Max was very proud his mustache, always happy to pose for picture!
It was a breezy, misty ride but when you've made that sweet canter connection with your horse, the weather doesn't matter.
You can choose from 4 different types of trail rides.
We chose the 3 hour Burren Trail Ride which takes past historical ruins of the 1840 Potato Famine.
Our butts were feel'in it, but it was time to move on north.............
GALWAY WAS CALLING
Everywhere we went, we heard the same comment about Galway, "Oh, you'll love it there"!
We had cycling lined up and was on the search for some Lively Irish Musicians! We found a crew of them at the Crane Bar.
But first, FOOD
We love fresh seafood, so our Airbnb dude suggested Oscars Seafood Bistro. It was a little over our price range when we travel, however we do usually splurge at least once. I would rate it cost wise $$-$$$, as far as their plates, well absolutely delectable! It is low keyed and romantic. You will need a reservation on the weekends. Here is a link to their website. SEAFOOD
There is plenty of shopping and bars everywhere, so you can easily stroll around and take your pick!
Below is a stunning building, The Treasure Chest Shop, just had to snap a picture of it!
Next, Bike Tour - Galway
Another splendid cycle tour, John Kennedy is a descendant of one of the Galway "Tribes", in other words, he knows his city! The name of the tour is Galway City Cycle Tours. We highly recommend it! Here are couple of pictures from the ride ( below). One is Blakes Castle, also called Menlo Castle. Interesting, Menlo Park in Silicone Valley is named after this castle. John will give the rich history at this stop.
Another stop in the cycle tour, is the National University of Ireland, Galyway. John will give you some interesting tidbits, and show you around. Love the Ivy on the front entry. The link to the bike tour is
After the Tour
It was time to hit the Galway "strip" again. If you like Wine and a variety of cheeses, you will love Sheridans Cheesemongers, Here is a LINK
This "Tasty" beer is the Galway Hooker, you will have no problem finding it
in any bar around Galway.
It has nothing to do with the "ladies" of the night.
It's named after a unique boat, "Hookers". There are 4 different types of "Hookers" depending on the size.
The term "hooker" actually refers to hook and line fishing. We did see a few along the bay.
There is an impressive exhibit of these boats and much more at the Galway City Museum, really Outstanding Displays and
It's FREE! Here is a link to their site LINK
It is open Tuesday Thru Sunday.
Irish Music/ Crane Bar/ Sean! ( The guy that owns Leap Castle)
Hey, look on the wall behind the Zombie muscians, IT'S SEAN, THE lEAP CASTLE GUY! He had told us, he played his whistle all over the world and we believe it ! This is Crane Bar and as I mentioned, hopefully you can take in a WHOLE LOT of Traditional Irish Music. It was quite a night!!
On To ENNIS
Our road trip for the day was; the town of Ennis > to Mallow for see the Donkey Rescue > then onto Killarney for two nights!
Ennis, was another quaint town where we had a lovely brunch and walked around a bit, the rain was pounding down a bit, so it hampered our stay, but I would you encourage your to stop by, here is a couple of somewhat "dry" pictures.
NOW FOR THE SKINNY ON THE BACKROADS : Short Take...
Below is a narrow road you might encounter. THIS IS A TWO WAY ROAD Y'All!
Historically, these roads were used for cattle or maybe a horse and carriage. Many are not widened due to land/ownership issues.
We put the video to music, so you couldn't hear me "GASPING", I was on riding on the left.
Not all roads are this narrow through the country side, but many are.....Just Pull In The Side Mirrors!
As with the BagsandBones tradition, we decided to stop at two rescues/shelters for animals, here is the first in Mallow, Ireland. The Donkey Sanctuary. The grounds are lovely and it is a great organization throughout the UK. Amazingly, they have taken in over 2,500 donkeys.
You can donate; sit on the benches and enjoy the views of the donkeys and countryside; or sponsor a donkey! Here is the Link for the location: DONKEYS
Killarney Here We Come
We splurged on the accomodations here, why?
Because ALL the airbnb's were booked! HA!
It's okay, it was lovely, the bed was INCREDIBLE and the choices for breakfast were outstanding, including the Bailey's Porridge!
It is located on the river and the breakfast room faces the back garden and river.
Below is a picture of the front and our lovely bed. The B&B is called Chyrstal Springs B&B and if you only stay one night, they do prefer cash. They are just minutes from the main square.
Here is the link to the B&B: HERE
Killarney Bike Tour
This tour took us to the Killarney National Park, along with visits to the 15th Century Muckross Abbey, Ross Castle, the Torc waterfall and the surrounding lakes.
The mountain range called the Mcgillycuddy's Reeks and is the highest mountain range in Irealand. See below.
A Peek at the Killarney National Forest. The bike tour can be found at this LINK
Muckross Abbey above, wonderful to explore inside and out.
The streets are LIVELY in Killarney, plenty to See, to do, to eat, to drink!
Restored and OPENED IN 2016! A great tour; rich with history; now open to the public, FREE tour. Walking paths and garden ( see below).
We Chose The Coast
It was a splendid path, Our Coastal Drive Took Us To The Town Of Dungarvan.
We walked through the streets and came upon the ruins of St. Mary's Church and grave yard. A must see and beautiful view.
Back On The Road And A Stop In Wexford for ........
The Seal Rescue.
This little guy is next to his private; heated bathtub. The incredible
group of volunteers; marine biologists and vets work 24/7 to rehabilitate rescued and sick seals all over Ireland.
We are so glad we stopped! The short tour is free and they always need volunteers.
Here is more information about their efforts and information about what you can do if you find a sick or injured seal. SEAL INFO
And Next, This Was Our Favorite Place To Rest Our Bags And Bones....
We booked our last Airbnb at a Organic Sheep Farm and I REALLY wanted to stay longer here, we got there late, met the farmers, walked around and scared the poor sheep with our ponchos; 400 sheep; 140 Acres~ Spectacular!
Bars are packed on Sunday rainy nights, maybe every night?!? One of our last stops was the Brazenhead Bar
They have really great food, not bland, very tasty and of course Fresh Guinness, live music every evening!
It was a great trip and we brought back many memories along with this quote I saw in a Irish Bar:
"There are three types of people in this world: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and those who wonder what happened."
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