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Information and Itinerary Overload by Ambrielle Cerese
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Ambrielle Cerese
Registered User
Posts: 1
(6/6/05 10:23 pm)

Information and Itinerary Overload


Hello Michele and everyone else. :D

I have been reading threads on this board for days.

Researching Ireland to plan our trip is fun and exciting. However, my head is spinning. :rollin I feel overwhelmed and just plain scared. :x

We arrive in Dublin June 23rd at 8:45 AM and depart June 29th at 2:45 PM.

Like many others, I am sure I have crammed too much into my limited time in Ireland. I want to see everything!!! :eek

This is my first time traveling to another country. In addition, I have never drawn up an itinerary before. So...
the following may be totally absurd. :o

06/23: Arrive in Dublin at 8:45: AM. We plan on sleeping on the plane so we can get started on our adventure right away. Dublin - Powerscourt -Glendalough

Stay overnight in Dublin area or drive to Kilkenny and stay overnight there. 2 hrs from Dublin?

06/24: Kilkenny - Cashel - Blarney

Stay overnight in Kinsale.

06/25: Killarney (Ring of Kerry, Killarney National Park, Lakes of Killarney)

Stay overnight in Killarney or Kenmare.

06/26: Dingle (Peninsula Tour)

Stay overnight in Limerick or somewhere near.

06/27: Bunratty - The Burren - Cliffs of Moher

Stay overnight in Galway.

06/28: Galway - Connemara

Drive the long trip back to Dublin and stay overnight in the Dublin area. Or maybe stop somewhere half way that is nice?

06/29: Depart Dublin at 2:45 PM.

Thank you in advance for your time and feedback. I will be ordering your book so I will be more prepared for our next trip.

I would have started planning earlier if I knew how involved this is. I had no clue.

Have an OUTSTANDING day!!! 8)








Edited by: Ambrielle Cerese at: 6/6/05 11:11 pm


Anita
Unregistered User
(6/7/05 7:42 pm)

 AAAAAHHHHH!!!!


There's just no way you will ever SEE anything other than a 'green blur' if you attmept this. With so few days I would suggest you pick one town besides Dublin to base yourself out of and do day trips from. You can't count on getting any sleep on the flight over as you just can't predict what will happen (you may end up sitting next to somebody with six kids!) so it's best not to plan much for the first day. Personally, with so few days I would spend half in Dublin, and half in Galway or Killarney. There are several day trips you can do from all of these places, and staying put means you don't have to keep packing, checking into a new place, and learning the lay of the land. From Dublin you can do a day trip to Powerscourt/Glendalough, or Kilkenny, but don't attempt both in the same day. You could also do a day trip to Newgrange, Monasterboice, Hill of Tara (you can accomplish all this in one day). You could also spend a day seeing Dublin. From Galway you can see the Cliffs/Burren, Connemara/Kylemore Abbey, Aran Islands. From Killarney (which is further by car than Galway I think) you can do a tour of the park (Gap of Dunloe for instance), the Ring of Kerry, Dingle Peninsula, but you do need time to get back to Dublin for your flight home so you will lose time due to that so I think you basically have five whole days in between to work with. If you spend your first day seeing the sights of Dublin, then one or two day trips, then head to Galway and do the same there I think you will enjoy your trip much more.



Michele Erdvig
Administrator
Posts: 3174
(6/7/05 11:21 pm)

 Re: Information and Itinerary Overload


Ambrielle,

You have already received some wise advice from Anita. From your posting I suspect that you already know you are trying to cram too much in. Remember, in Ireland "less is more". That means cutting things out. You also mention near the end of your posting that you will probably be making another trip to Ireland. If you are like many of the members here on the forum, that will be a reality.

You need to plan this trip as if you will return again. Since you are arriving and departing from Dublin, consider sticking closer to that area. It will cut out multiple cross-country drives. You want time for sightseeing not just driving by. Also, some of the days outlined in your post are just impossible. I realize Ireland looks very small on the map but it takes many hours to get anywhere. Rethink your itinerary. We will be happy to comment on any new one you come up with.

Michele




Ambrielle Cerese
Registered User
Posts: 2
(6/8/05 10:28 am)

 Re: Information and Itinerary Overload


Thank you Anita and Michele for your feedback.
I knew you would say it was too much.

So many people say that planning the itinerary is half the fun. I wish I felt that way. I am learning so much about Ireland and feel like I know many of the places already. In addition, I am very excited. However, planning this trip is such a challenge and I am experiencing anxiety, frustration, etc.

Do you think if I cut out the Galway part of the trip, including Connemara, Bunratty, The Burren, Cliffs of Moher
and Limerick that I could see the rest?

I was thinking of seeing Powerscourt, Glendalough, and Dublin the day we arrive, staying overnight in Dublin and then move on the next morning.

My idea is to head toward Kinsale and spend some time at least in Kilkenny on the way. Then go to Killarney and spend 2 days there to see the Dingle Peninsula, Killarney National Park, and Kenmare. Lastly, we would make the long trip back to Dublin from Killarney.

I will post a new itinerary when I figure which destinations to cut out and how to make this work. Any input in the meantime is appreciated because I am going CRAZY! :hat Not driven to smoke yet, but close.:lol



yesiree100
Registered User
Posts: 35
(6/8/05 12:30 pm)

 Re: Information and Itinerary Overload


You've got a tough task ahead of you, but take a deep breath and realize that cutting will improve your experience rather than lessen it, you'll be fine.

I'm trying to think of some ideas that might help you limit your geography without sacrificing experience. Consider isolating your itinerary in a triangle between Dublin-Cashel-Wexford; or Dublin-Galway-Kilrush/Ennis; or Dublin-Galway (with a day in Connemara and another for the Cliffs/Burren); or something like that. It should make it more manageable and reasonable.

Your original itinerary has a lot of time on the coastal roads (and unfortunately the coasts you chose are on the opposite side of the country from your airport). That's the first spot to start cutting...you could probably do Connemara, Cliffs or maybe even the Dingle (it's farther than you think), but probably not all of them (and certainly not the entire southeast coast). You could research some of the eastern coasts as well and see if they have anything that interests you.

I'd say save the Ring of Kerry, Killarney and Blarney for your next trip when you can fly in and out of Shannon.

I would not suggest trying to cover so much ground on Day One... most people benefit from a two hour nap between lunch and dinner (no more, no less)...it helps your body adjust and reduces jet lag. This will require being close to your first night's accommodations. Plus, you'll be adjusting to driving on the left which wears out both the driver and the navigator.

Do you have your rooms booked for your first and last nights in Dublin? Remember the U2 concert in Dublin is going on the weekend you arrive, so if you don't have a room yet, you might want to think about getting out of town so you don't end up paying through the nose.

Good luck.




Ambrielle Cerese
Registered User
Posts: 3
(6/8/05 1:36 pm)

 Re: Information and Itinerary Overload


Thank you yesiree100. I appreciate your ideas and encouragement.

Looking at the itinerary in terms of a triangle is a good idea.

I wish I would have researched before I decided where to arrive and depart. Knowing what I know now, I'd fly in and out of Shannon or in to Dublin and out of Shannon or vice versa.

When presented with the opportunity to vacation in Ireland I decided on Dublin. All I knew at the time was that Dublin is the capital.

Plus, I thought I might be able to get U2 tickets. I have a friend who works for Universal Music Group in LA. They represent U2. The tickets haven't come through yet but she is still working on it. The challenge is that she works in the domestic division and the concert in Dublin is handled by the international division. We may or may not have tickets.

Unfortunately, the areas I am most interested in are suited for flying in to Shannon or a much longer trip.

My husband is no help. He said we should just go and wing it and I should stop stressing. He doesn't understand that it doesn't work that way for this type of trip.

I want our trip to Ireland to be an extra special experience for us because....

We didn't have a honeymoon.

We have a 5 year old son and never have time just for us.

My husband works a lot of days and hours to provide for our family. He deserves an awesome vacation.

I "gave up" my career 4 months after our son was born to be a stay at home mom. I love my new career but I deserve this special time away too.

OMG - I am babbling. Lack of sleep and nerves.

Lastly, I haven't booked the first night or last night accomodations. I have B&B en suite vouchers. We probably won't find any vacancies in Dublin this late. Not sure what to do.

Back to the drawing board.

Edited by: Ambrielle Cerese at: 6/8/05 1:46 pm


yesiree100
Registered User
Posts: 36
(6/8/05 3:01 pm)

 Re: Information and Itinerary Overload


I found your "babbling" quite sweet. Since this trip is about you and your husband experiencing Ireland, an overstuffed itinerary will only make you a nervous wreck...and probably not the best company. Instead, think about choosing one very special thing you know your husband would enjoy and one special thing you would enjoy. Then build your intinerary around those two things. Trust me, although the Cliffs, the Blarney stone, etc are great photo ops they aren't the things that make Ireland magical, so don't worry if they don't make your list...there will be a next time!

Plus, I've always found that when I get home, I spend more time cherishing the photos and stories of some old bridge we found found while we were lost or a hill we climbed thinking we'd end up in a valley or the nice man who told us about a scenic path than the things I've seen in postcards or guidebooks.

Gosh, thinking about this stuff makes me miss that special someone in my life who is in Ireland until August. Sigh, I'll be over there in mid-July, so just a month to go. Good luck with the planning, and don't forget that the most important thing about this trip is spending time with your husband...the sites are just an added bonus.

Corey



andi
Unregistered User
(6/8/05 3:09 pm)

 itinerary


Given the U2 situation, why not consider leaving Dublin immediately and overnighting at another nearby destination. I also recommend staying on the side of the country you're on and basing yourselves in 1-2 locations. Focus on what you are able to see, and forget the rest. You'll have a super time if you can relax and enjoy the pubs, scenery and people, which is where Ireland truly excels.



Michele Erdvig
Administrator
Posts: 3175
(6/8/05 4:05 pm)

Re: Information and Itinerary Overload


Ambrielle,

You have received a lot of good advice here. Generally, I don't suggest this on the forum because people here prefer to do their own itineraries. But I do custom itineraries for people (for a fee -- $75 for a budget one). It would certainly de-stress your trip. Take a look at this page for more info and to see if it is something you would like to avail of: www.irelandyes.com/itinerary.html The service is not for everyone, but I do make it available for those who need it.

I agree toatlly with andi about not spending your first night in Dublin, especially because of U2 and the fact that everything is probably booked solid at this point. You can designate the end of your trip for seeing Dublin.

So cut out as much as you can and re-think the plan. Let us know what you come up with.

Michele

__________________

"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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Dude
Registered User
Posts: 40
(6/8/05 5:10 pm)

B&B out of Dublin


Consider driving up to Ratoath, near Dunshauglin, and staying at Flemingtown House. Kay does charge a supplement to the vouchers but hers is a very nice home.
We stayed there two nights. We drove down to leave the car in a shopping center car park and took the bus into Dublin to do the "Dublin experience." Kay can tell you all about how to arrange that.
Check her out at www.flemingtownhouse.com .

You can go on to the Hill of Tara and the Newgrange complex from there.

Judy



Ambrielle Cerese
Registered User
Posts: 4
(6/9/05 3:39 pm)

Re: Information and Itinerary Overload


Thank you for the help. I appreciate your input.

I think andi's suggestion about leaving Dublin immediately because of U2 is a good idea. I think it might be more fun to spend our last 1 or 2 nights in Dublin anyway.

I still have hope that my friend will score tickets for us. Everyone is an entitled to a dream or two. :lol

Realistically, we won't be attending U2 and I agree with overnighting at a nearby destination. I really want to see Kilkenny and because it is less than 2 hours away from Dublin I think it is feasible to head there our first day.

The following is a rough draft of my numerous stabs at an itinerary.

06/23: Arrive in Dublin at 8:45 AM. Drive to Kilkenny. Stay overnight.

06/24: Kilkenny
Stay overnight.

06/25: Drive to Galway which is supposed to be less than 3 hours. Stay overnight.

06/26: Galway. Stay overnight.

06/27: Drive back to Dublin which is supposed to be about 3 1/2 hours. Stay overnight.

06/28: Dublin

06/29: Depart Dublin at 2:45 PM.

This is a triangle. Not exactly what yesiree100 is referring to I don't think. It is a big triangle. :p

If you think this will work, then I will start planning what we will do while we are in the Kilkenny, Galaway, and Dublin areas.

Michele - I have navigated your website a lot in the last couple weeks and I am aware of your itinerary service. I thought about it a few times. I really wanted to plan this trip myself and now the stubborn part of me won't let me stop until I complete the task myself. ;)

Thank you again everyone.

Edited by: Ambrielle Cerese at: 6/9/05 3:45 pm


Michele Erdvig
Administrator
Posts: 3178
(6/9/05 10:13 pm)

Re: Information and Itinerary Overload


Ambrielle,

It looks just fine! You will want to know that Galway has a lot of construction going on at the moment (well so does Dublin for that matter). You could stay a bit out of the city for a more rural experience. But you might just love city life and in that case you will find Galway a hopping place. Kilkenny is my favorite city in Ireland and there is some gorgeous countryside around it. Yesiree100 aka Corey has a free Kilkenny Walking Tour available. Look for his postings here on the forum or else post a new topic about Kilkenny and he will catch up with you.

Now all you have to do is decide on lodgings. Check my "Lodgings" page.

Michele

P.S. Glad you finally came up with an itinerary. That is stick-to-it-ness!




Ambrielle Cerese
Registered User
Posts: 5
(6/9/05 10:49 pm)

Re: Information and Itinerary Overload


Thank you for the heads up on the construction in Galway, Michele.

I feel kind of silly right now. :o I sent an email a few days ago to Corey because I saw a post on the message board at lonelyplanet.com. He mentioned to someone else that he came up with a walking tour for Kilkenny. He responded that he would send it to me. I didn't realize yesiree100 is Corey until you mentioned it.

I am glad the new itinerary is fine. I hope you still say it looks fine when I tell you I want to drive from Kilkenny to Galway via Limerick and Doolin.

Instead of 2+ hours it will be 4 + hours to Galway. Starting early I think we could see a lot on the way. Plus we could see the Cliffs of Moher on the way to Galway and not have to do a day trip. We could even stay in the Doolin area that night and then go to Galway the next day.

I am feeling more confident about the trip and if we wing a few things here and there I think it will work out fine.

Thank you Michele and everyone else who contributed to the (crossing my fingers) success of our trip.

Edited by: Ambrielle Cerese at: 6/9/05 10:56 pm


Dude
Registered User
Posts: 42
(6/9/05 10:59 pm)

Doolin/Galway area accommodations


May I recommend either Caladhgearr Thatch Cottage in Spiddal, just out of Galway, charming small cottage (!) with three guest rooms ensuite, or just north of Doolin in Fanore, Rocky View Farmhouse. I think you'd enjoy either.

Judy



Michele Erdvig
Administrator
Posts: 3180
(6/10/05 12:09 am)

Trip Under Control


Ambrielle,

Drive time from Kilkenny to Galway via the cliffs is 5 hours or more. If you are using one of those online mapping services, do note that they are computer generated timelines. The computers have never driven those roads they only spit out what has been programed into them. Who knows if the programers have ever driven those roads either (probably not!).

Doolin is a good option but if it is a weekend you will definitely need reservations there.

Dude,

I stopped by An Caladh Gearr Thatch Cottage in Spiddal in May but they were full and couldn't show me around. Also in Spiddal is Suan na Mara, which I have inspected and looks lovely.

Michele




yesiree100
Registered User
Posts: 37
(6/10/05 7:30 am)

Re: Information and Itinerary Overload


Hats off to you and your new itinerary. It's a triumph. And I guess one day of green blur is better than a week! Just promise us you aren't going to try squeezing in the Rock of Cashel, Cahir Castle, Swiss Cottage, Limerick City, Bunratty Castle & Folk Park, Ennis Friary, the Cliffs and The Burren on your way to Galway. Even June in Ireland doesn't have that much daylight.

If you really want to reach Galway via Limerick, realize that you might have some heavy traffic on a Friday in Limerick and possibly outside of Ennis, so just remain patient (FYI - the side roads won't save you any time...even if they look like they are a shortcut). I liked your 2 night, 2 night, 2 night plan, but a night in north Clare (Doolin, Ennis, etc) before reaching Galway might be a good idea.

I dropped your walking tour of Kilkenny in the mail this morning, so expect it in a few days. Funny how I contacted you from your posting on this board and you contacted me from my one line reply on the LP board...and neither of us knew. I think you were meant to do this Kilkenny walking tour ;)

Congrats, you are in for a great time.



Ambrielle Cerese
Registered User
Posts: 6
(6/12/05 5:06 pm)

Re: Information and Itinerary Overload


I think my itinerary is pretty tight now. I changed my mind again and decided to go the Northern route to Galway.

We leave in 10 days and I am excited!

Arrive in Dublin June 23rd at 8:45 AM and depart Dublin June 29th at 2:45 PM.

06/23: Arrive in Dublin at 8:45. Drive to Kilkenny. Explore Kilkenny.

Stay overnight in Kilkenny.

06/24: Kilkenny - Day trips outside the city.

Stay overnight in Kilkenny.

06/25: Drive to Galway. Stop at Heywood Gardens in Ballinakill and Birr Castle in Birr on the way.

Stay overnight in Galway.

06/26: Connemara and then drive to Doolin. Stop at Dugauair Castle and The Burren on the way.
Visit Cliffs of Moher after 7:00 PM for the sunset.

Stay overnight in Doolin.

06/27: Drive to Dublin. Stop at Clonmacnoise on the way.

Stay overnight in Dublin.

06/28: Dublin - Powerscourt - Glendalough

Stay overnight in Dublin.

06/29: Depart Dublin at 2:45 PM.

I think this itinerary is a good mix of city, inland and coastal. I want to experience a little of everything. I think my final itineray (even though it requires some driving time) will allow us to have a diverse experience minus the "Blur".

Now I am working on booking our accommodations, which is a challenge in its own right.

Thank you Dude for the suggestion of "Caladhgearr Thatch Cottage in Spiddal". I sent a reservation enquiry and received a response that there is a vacancy so I will probably book our Galway accommodations there.

Thank you everyone for your help. I am confident we will have an awesome time.





Dude
Registered User
Posts: 44
(6/12/05 5:59 pm)

Thatch cottage


I think you'll love the thatch cottage experience. On our last trip we wanted the "Full Monty" (so to speak) so stayed everywhere from the thatched cottage to a castle hotel.
There were five of us in our party and Maura has only the three rooms so we had the place to ourselves. We spent the evening in our jammies in front of the peat fire drinking Bailey's and watching tv. Lovely way to unwind.

Judy



Michele Erdvig
Administrator
Posts: 3185
(6/12/05 11:32 pm)

Re: Information and Itinerary Overload


Ambrielle,

Do note that 06/26 will be a long day. By the time you get to Kinvara, Dunguaire Castle might already be closed since they do banquets there. But you can get some nice photos outside anyway. If it is within your budget I highly recommend Cullinan's for dinner in Doolin. It is just delicious! Take a look at their early bird menu: www.cullinansdoolin.com (reservations essential). If you do eat there tell Carol that Michele sent you! (Her husband is the chef).

Have fun and do let us know all about your trip when you return. We will be waiting for your feedback and comments.

Michele




Ambrielle Cerese
Registered User
Posts: 8
(6/14/05 9:06 am)

Re: Information and Itinerary Overload


Michele - Dunguaire Castle is something I figured wouldn't fit in on the way to Doolin. Especially now, because I made reservations at Cullinan's at 6:00 for the early bird dinner. I am really looking forward to eating there and then seeing the sunset at The Cliffs of Moher.

Our first two nights in Kilkenny we overnight at John Cahill's Launard House per recommendation on your lodging page. I sent emails to several B&Bs in Kilkenny and most didn't have a room for our second night (06/24) because there is a Rod Stewart concert that night. U2 in Dublin and Rod Stewart in Kilkenny. I picked a fine time to arrive in Dublin and Kilkenny. :lol

Judy - We stay at Maura's Caladhgearr Thatch Cottage June 25th. It sounds very nice. Thank you for the suggestion.

Our night in Doolin will be at Nellie Dee's. I found it on the Town and Country website as a B&B that accepts vouchers. It is situated close to the town. McGanns Pub and McDermott's Pub are 3 minutes walking distance. I look forward to hearing traditional Irish music here.

The only accommodations left are for the Dublin area our last two nights.

8 Days and Counting! :)






Michele Erdvig
Administrator
Posts: 3189
(6/15/05 12:06 am)

Shaping Up


Ambrielle,

It sounds like you are on the "Rock & Roll Ireland Tour"! I'm delighted to hear that things are falling into place for you. Just thinking of Cullinan's is making me gain weight! You are in for a treat. I hope you get a spectacular sunset at the cliffs.

Glad you got in at Launard House. Tell John "hello" from me. Nellie Dee's is fine. It is clean and relatively new with small rooms and baths.

Dublin is always a challenge when using vouchers. I hope you find something suitable. If not have the tourist office find you a place.

Michele



__________________

"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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