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Post Info TOPIC: 2019 Visit in the Works!


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2019 Visit in the Works!


Just 'Pulled the trigger' on air tickets for our up-coming 2019 visit (this coming May)!  It's gonna be a strange / different one, though.  Bringing along another couple that have traveled with us many times before (3 times, to Ireland), but we are 'Expanding our Horizons' QUITE a bit, this go 'round.

Flying into Brussels on 2 May for 3 nights.  Train to Berlin for an over-night (6 May) and then, onward, to Prague (also by train) for another 3 nights.  Leaving Prague for an over-night in Auschwitz (Poland) on 10 May and then taking an early morning train back to Prague Airport, for a late afternoon flight into Dublin, on 11 May.  We will depart DUB on 18 May to return to our respective homes via ATL.

So far, the plan is to spend two nights (12 & 13 May) in Midelton, visit Knock Shrine (at SOME point) and end up in Dublin area for the night of 17 May.  Our flight on 18 May departs at 11:00 AM, so haven't decided if an airport hotel (Premier Inn, usually) will factor in, or not.   confuse   confuse 

One of the ladies joining us has had a rough few years -- She's an only child and lost both her parents after years of caring for them  -- and, then, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Chemo was particularly rough sledding, but she's weathered that, now and been given an excellent prognosis.  Still, this trip will be focusing on HER 'must see', so I don't have much of a clue (YET!) as to how our Ireland time will 'settle out'.

I'll be adding to this as the planning progresses, though -- as I'm always 'up' for a good suggestion or three!  biggrin



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What an interesting combo trip. Sounds like your friends input will be most important. I would still do the airport hotel on your last night as you will need to be at the airport by 8 am.

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Well you'll be in Prague the same time as my wife and me. We are arriving there on the 6th by bus from Nuremburg after spending a few days in Bamberg, Germany (my other home away from home in addition to Westport Co. Mayo). We're in Prague from the 6th to the 10th. I've really come to love Prague. Naturally I would since I'm such a beer lover and Prague has a legitimate claim to be one of the best beer cities in the world. I have also done that flight from Prague to Dublin on the way back home. I found it very convenient and Prague airport pretty easy to deal with.

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Good to know.  The ladies DO love a good beer! biggrin  biggrin

We're renting a 2 bedroom apartment near the Main Train Station and Wenceslas Square from 6 - 11 March, but will be spending an overnight in Auschwitz on the night of 9 March.

We've decided to drop the train trip (and, the over-night in Berlin) though, in favor of a 1 1/2 hour flight directly from Brussels to Prague.  Even my wife (who HATES flying) thought that a two-day train trip and 1/2 day trying to tour Berlin was too  much time and effort for too little.  confuse  We'll still have the train travel to / from Auschwitz (about 5 - 6 hours each way!) to satisfy her interests, though. 

We'll arrive in Dublin about 18:20 om 11 May and spend the night.  The next morning, we'll pick up the rental car (likely a Passat / Mondeo Class) and head to Midleton for two nights.  On the morning of 14 May, I'll drive to Sligo, with a stop off at Knock.  That gives us two nights to spend in Northern Ireland, before we need to be in Dublin, on 17 May for our noon flight home on 18 May.  Haven't decided how (or where) to break those two nights up, yet -- but wanted to show them the coast twixt Derry and Ballycastle, for sure -- Dunluce, Carrick-a-Rede, Bushmills and Giant's Causeway.

STILL a 'work in progress'!  biggrin  confuse  biggrin



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Prague is not the easiest city to get to in Europe but well worth it. Even from Munich you cannot really get a good train connection to there. I've found the best way to get there (if you're not renting a car - and even if you are it's not the easiest city to drive into) is to fly directly in (as you are planning to do) or if you happen to be in southern Germany you can take a fairly long but direct bus ride (3 hours 45 minutes) from Nuremburg or Munich. But it always does require some planning.

I've never been to Auschwitz but would love to some day since WWII history is one of my other passions.

If the ladies do love a good beer they should be very happy with Prague. There are so many great places to choose from. The trouble is knowing what places are the real tourist traps with just average beer vs. the really good places. Here is a very good and accurate guide written by someone who is a friend of mine and really knows what he's talking about. He also has written a similar guide for Dublin btw. The thing I like about these guides are: he keeps them up to date, they're free, and they are nicely organized by neighborhood.

www.beerguideprg.com/browse.php


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Thanks!  The Illegal Beer Pub is only a block from our apartment!  I see a couple of other well-rated ones nearby, as well.

Any 'picks' for Brussels or Bruge?

We're only renting a car for the Ireland segment of our trip.  I just booked the Riverside Hotel in Sligo for the night of 14 May.  Still looking for the last two destinations (excluding Dublin on 11 and 17 May).



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Illegal Beer Bar is a nice little place. Fairly new. I went there around the time it first opened up a couple of years ago. Definitely more of a small craft beer bar rather than a traditional Czech type place. So if anyone is hankering for an IPA it's a good stop although they will always have one traditional style Czech lager on tap too. But it's a nice place to stop for a beer away from the crowds. And yes there are a lot of other great places nearby. In fact you're in walking distance of my favorite neighborhood in Prague (Vinohrady) where there are a slew of nice parks and scenery, great pubs and restaurants including my favorite brewery (and good restaurant too) in the city called Vinohradsky Pivovar: www.vinohradskypivovar.cz/. Anyhow such a great city to explore.

In some ways I find the beer culture similar to Dublin in the sense that it amazing how well it blends the new age brewing with tradition. Just like in Dublin you've got your classic, old school pubs that serve the traditional beers (Pilsener Urguell, Budvar, etc.) such as U Fleku, U Zlateho Tygra, U Hrocha, U Rotundy, etc. but then there are a slew of modern craft breweries and bars that have popped up over the past 10 years and some of those new breweries are doing an amazing job of brewing traditional styles that tasted even better than what the older mainstays are producing. Vinhoradsky Pivovar is one example of this.

And I implore you to keep an eye out for beers from this brewery: www.unetickypivovar.cz/en/. The brewery is well outside the city but they are available on tap in many places including a restaurant in walking distance from you called Putica where they not only have it on tap but they are the only outlet in the city that I know of that has it served from the Tankova system. It's the finest lager I think I've ever had.

I can't really help with Brussels or Brugge. Haven't been there yet. But you could just go to the Rate Beer site to see what pubs it recommends. I've found that a decent place to start for info: www.ratebeer.com/places/city/brugge/0/23/

Sounds like a really nice trip you have planned. In Prague we're staying at a hotel in the Old Town square because last time we were there my wife spotted it and made me pinky swear we'd stay there the next time. Normally I'd stay a bit more outside the center like you are doing but I had a moment of weakness. But we'll be wandering around quite a bit. Definitely will head over to Vinohrady at some point and high on my list of priorities is to check out this new brewery in Karlin neighborhood: www.facebook.com/dva.kohouti/ and visit Bar Napalme since they are an outlet for the aformentioned Uneticky beers: www.facebook.com/barnapalme/







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Bob, An old-timer here on the forum - Bill - was recently in Bruge. He is on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/liam.obeirne.3 He might have some advice since he is also into beer and pubs. 

 



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Are you looking for lodging info for Brugge? We were there post river cruise back in November.

We stayed at the Hotel The Peellaert for 3 nights, very nice, great breakfast and location in old town. There is a canal behind the building, beautiful for night time and early morning wandering before the tourists roll in.

The hot chocolate on a spoon is worth the Euro's. As is the canal boat ride.

Northern Ireland: Have you visited The Gobbins yet? I haven't, but definitely on my list.

Mussenden Temple is also very cool, hanging onto the cliffside as it does. We stopped here after visiting Giant's Causeway and Dunluce Castle. We parked by Castlerock Holiday Park, cutting through woods, not really sure what was here (I had focused on the first 2 stops, and kinda messed up finding this place, not much research, but it was one our map as a 'special attraction' so let's check it out...) To then see the Temple, with not much signage to say what it was, was quite a neat experience, as is the view to the beach below. Along with my 24 year old daughter falling off a log into the mud, with me having slime on my pants from a slip myself...a great day. All 3 convenient to visit from Derry, which I also enjoyed.

Have a great trip.

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When we visited Brugge in 2012, we stayed here:  https://www.ducdebourgogne.be/?lang=FR

This trip, we'll base in Brussels and do a day trip to Brugge.  Our hotel is close to the Brussels Midi train station, with direct access to both Brugge and the airport.   https://www.parkinn.com/hotel-brussels  

As to Northern Ireland, I'm not sure that all four of us are up for the hike . . .  aww    aww  

The Temple is definitely 'on my radar', though.  I would also love to revisit Grianan of Aileach  http://www.megalithicireland.com/Grianan%20of%20Aileach.html  in something OTHER than a driving rain!  biggrin  biggrin

 



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I've booked a Hyundai Tucson manual (or similar) from Europcar / Irish Car Rentals from 9 AM, 12 May until 9AM, 18 May at the Dublin Airport -- HOPEFULLY 'Waiving the insurances using my Chase Sapphire VISA card (see:  https://ireland.activeboard.com/t29313409/warning-car-rental-rip-offs-some-require-2000-15000-deposit-/   ).  

Price was 109.86 Euro with an initial deposit of 68.92 Euro and balance due of 45.94 Euro -- plus 5,000 Euro 'Hold' and Initial Fuel.  There is also a 30 Euro Fee for traveling in Northern Ireland, but we are re-thinking that portion of the trip and may not need that . . . 



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Good price. Hope there are not any hidden "extras".

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As we get closer to departure, I'll update our plans -- since I have made a few changes.  Touring the North has definitely been vetoed for this visit!  Too much to see and too little time to make it worthwhile.  hmm

Booked into Premier Inn, Dublin Airport on 11 May, as our Aer Lingus flight from Prague lands around 18:20.

Pick up the car around 9 AM and drive to Midleton (Cork) for two nights at Midleton Park Hotel -- Family visiting time!  biggrin  biggrin

I've booked us into Eviston House Hotel in Killarney for the night of 14 May.  I have a couple of donation items to drop off at the Museum in Millstreet and the ladies haven't ever spent any time IN Killarney during any of their previous visits.  Perhaps a brief visit with musician / friend Ciaran Wynne may factor in, as well.

Bay View Hotel in Kilkee will be our stop for the night of 15 May.  If the fairies don't mind, perhaps a brief 'detour' to Scattery Island MIGHT come into play????  confuse   Then, again, in light of previous experiences, I'll NOT be planning it to happen!  hmm  hmm  hmm

The night of 16 may will be spent at Riverside Hotel, in Sligo.  Only 'Must Do' requirement is a stop into Knock Shrine along the way.

I'll spend the day of 17 May driving back to Dublin Airport area (probably to Premier Inn again -- but waiting to hear if the ladies wish to spend our last night IN Dublin . . .).  I haven't settled on a route, yet.  Torn twixt routing via Enniskillen or Athlone.  It MAY come down to a 'decide on the day' selection.  biggrin   biggrin  

It's a too brief and too scattered Ireland trip, but it's what I was able to work with.  Thankfully, none of us 'Needs' to see the usual 'Tourist Hot Spots', like Rock of Cashel, Cahir, Blarney, the ROK, Cliffs of Moher, Galway, or Connemara, though.



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