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Post Info TOPIC: Several Questions............
Anonymous

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Several Questions............


Several Questions............




Thank you for your response to the following questions as we will be heaqding to Ireland for 8 days in a few weeks.



Is it possible to use an American cell phone over there with a calling card - anyone have experience wwith that?



Want to bring some small presents over for relatives - is there anything that people ion Ireland like from the U.S. that they don't have over there?



Will most Bed and Breakfasts have occupancy where you can just drive up to get a room and to what time at night can you do this?  We are going to teh west of Ireland and it will be the offseason (end of Sept.)



We have rented a car and will try to see as much as possible of Clare, Galway, Kerry and Cork with teh possibility of Kilkenny.  Is there anywhere on the web that will give driving distances betweek specific towns?  Where is teh best place to get a really good road map?



What are some money saving advice when over there - in terms of eating out, etc. - is there any places taht have coupons or discounts on shopping, eating and sightseeing?



The Aran Islands - how long does a tour usually take and do you have to book it in advance?



 



Thank you for your help.



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Anonymous,


You need a very specialized cell phone (called mobile phone in Ireland) to be able to use it in Ireland. Call your phone provider and inquire about it of them. If it is too complicated you can rent a phone and get a discount on it by going to my Discount page (Click on IrelandYes Index on the forum main page and then on Discounts).


Almost everything you can think of is available in Ireland. You might want to take them items of local interest from the area you live in. If you do a search in the Archive you will find a couple of topics about this.


At the end of Sept. you generally don't have to make B&B reservations. However, you always need reservations in Dublin. Also, if there are any festivals on in the areas you are going to you may have problems finding a place, especially on a weekend. If you run into problems you can go into any tourist office and they will find a place for you (for a small fee). I would suggest trying to find a B&B before dark. Finding your way around Ireland in the dark is difficult.


Your car rental company will give you a free map of Ireland. If you want a more detailed one you can find them in most shops in Ireland.


Tourism Ireland has an online computer-generated driving distance service: http://www.ireland.ie/


You can also try these:


http://www.viamichelin.co.uk/viamichelin/gbr/tpl/hme/MaHomePage.htm


http://www.aaroadwatch.ie/routes/


Touring the Aran Islands usually takes most of the day. You go over by boat or plane in the morning and return in the late afternoon.


You will find money saving advice on my website if you will take the time to look. Check out the following pages from the IrelandYes Index: Dining, Tips & Tricks, Money & Discounts.


Heritage Ireland has discounts on some sightseeing: http://62.73.177.39/


My Discount page has many discount coupons available for shopping, sightseeing admissions, restaurants and more: http://www.irelandyes.com/discounts.html


Enjoy your trip to Ireland!


Michele





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"Ireland Expert"  Michele Erdvig

Click links for Michele's Book or Custom Ireland Itinerary

Visit Michele's Irish Shop for unique Irish gifts and beautiful photos of Ireland.

Anonymous

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Thank you very much for your responses - I appreciate it.

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A couple more answers:


On the phone, if you are not making a lot of calls, you are probably better off just getting a phone card for the phones there. The price is pretty high by the minute for mobile use. Much less in the UK by the way.


Michele is right that you can find most anything over there except ..... respectable Mexican food. Not sure you could bring an enchilada as a gift.


It's sort of an unofficial rule, but showing up at a B&B between 4-6PM is standard. If you don't have reservations, you might not find people home to accept you. It's also more polite when you have reservations. These are their homes and quite frankly, I don't see how they can do it for what they charge.


Something to keep in mind in Ireland as far as driving distances. 60 miles can't be driven in an hour. Plan on averaging no more than 35 MPH and your driving times will be pretty accurate.


Another option for getting to the Aran Islands is to fly. Consider spending a night there. The airport is in Inveran (or Inverin) about 45 minutes west of Galway. The flight takes 10 minutes and is pretty cool. Depending on where you leave from on the boat, it ranges from about 40 - 90 minutes by boat. It may sound romantic, but the seas can be kind of rough and with as much as 3 hours on the boat in the day, you might be better off with wings. The RT cost is E44, but if there are more than 4, I think it was 37, We had 9. The website for the "airline" is http://www.aerarannislands.ie/ It was a great option and really cut down the travel time. They flew a special flight just for us, arranged when to pick us up the next morning. We got an island tour, drop off at the B&B and pickup the next morning for E10 pp. Again, there were 9 of us.


Hope this helps.


Bill



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Anonymous

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Thank you - that definitely helps.  I guess we will pick a bunch of B&B's and call a night before we get there - we don't have a strict itinerary and would definitely like to be near the main towns to walk in. 


Aran Islands - we want to go but not sure about flying - esp. the small planes - really wanted to go for the day - is that possible by boat - even for about 4 hours there?


When thinking of taking over gifts it would more likley be something germain to the region we live - NJ/NY.  I know I would appreciate something like that - even if it were something small. 


Also, when staying at a B&B what is an acceptable time to come in anight if you were out at a pub or something?  Thank you again.


 


 



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Well, the small plane wasn't real frightening. You're in the air for such a short time. What I like about it is you can spend more time on the island and there is more flexibility on departure times. With that in mind, the longest boat trip is from Galway, 90 minutes. There are trips from Rossaveal and Doolin also. The are in the 30-40 minute range. The Doolin trip can get canceled because of winds and bad seas (it was canceled when we were there for 3 days) Rossaveal is not as likely for cancellations.


Yeah, the enchilada thing was a joke. North easterners sometimes like to bring pure maple syrup. I've heard that a few times. Just because it's available doesn't make it a bad gift.


There usually isn't a curfew at B&Bs. I've come back plenty late and they will usually give you a key to the front door. You should certainly be very quiet as you com in if it is terribly late. Another thing to keep in mind is that breakfast is usually served no earlier than 8:00 AM. If you have breakfast it is unlikely that you'll get started before 9:00.


Bill



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Anonymous,


Bill has given you some excellent info (as always) though he should have put a winky  next to the enchilada joke! I will add that if you are staying at a B&B that you really like and know where you plan on spending the next night ask them for a recommendation. They have their own little circle of B&B friends who generally have the same standards. They may even offer to make your ongoing reservation for you.


Do take a look at my Lodgings page for some good places to stay. It doesn't hurt to have ideas about that in advance of your trip. Finding B&Bs on the fly is fine but it does take time and you might rather be sightseeing than ringing doorbells! You might find my book to be of benefit to you since it is full of great places to stay. You can read a bit more about it to see if it suits your needs: http://www.irelandyes.com/book.html You can also get the Town & Country Book free from Tourism Ireland: 1-800-223-6470.


You can certainly take a boat to the Aran Islands for several hours. You might want to let the weather determine it. I have links to the various ferries on my Transport page.


Michele


 



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"Ireland Expert"  Michele Erdvig

Click links for Michele's Book or Custom Ireland Itinerary

Visit Michele's Irish Shop for unique Irish gifts and beautiful photos of Ireland.



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Answering your question about a map.  We found one at our local Borders bookstore and took that with us.  It was very detailed and had a very nice sturdy cover that made folding it easy.  We figured if the maps in Ireland were in Gaelic, we could lay them side by side.  Most signs were in English anyway, so that didn't matter. 


The roads were much better between Ennis & Kilkee than 7 years ago.  A little dissappointing tho, more windmills and less thatched cottages.  A big interstate is going in around Ennis, you still need to drive through on tiny roads, but it seems like progress has taken over.  Darn.  I loved the quaintness of it all then.  That only means you need to drive a little farther and get lost a little more to find the country charm.  Definitely get lost in County Clare west of the Cliffs of Moher.



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