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Post Info TOPIC: JUNE/JULY 2011 TRIP REPORT


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JUNE/JULY 2011 TRIP REPORT


 

 

 

 

 

June/July 2011 Trip Report

With jet lag having subsided, I am longing to go back to (as my mother called it) the green hills of holy old Ireland.

If this were my first trip to Ireland, my trip report would have read something like this. I am 5 years old and this was my first to Ireland. I spend 4 months in Ireland this summer of 1946 with my mother and two aunts. It was their first trip back to Ireland after immigrating to America in the 1920s.

We stayed at the cottage where my mother was born and raised. What an adventure for an American child. We had no electricity, running water or even a bathroom. My mom would take me out to the bog behind the cottage when I had to go. I remember feeding the chickens, riding on the pony and trap, jumping on the haystacks and getting sick on the milk from the neighbors cow. It sure was fun when we put all the chairs in a circle in the kitchen for an evening when the neighbors would come over and dance the night away.

For years after that first trip I dreamed of going back to Ireland, however it took 20 years for my second trip back. I was still able to point out landmarks along the road near the cottage where we stayed so many years before. Needless to say, things had changed.

Since my second trip, I have been back to Ireland 5 more times, traveling with my husband, daughter and grandchildren. Now for my most recent trip this year.

We arrived at Shannon on June 24th at 6:30 AM. Had breakfast at the Estuary Café on the 2nd floor of the airport. The café serves a full Irish breakfast. Checked in at Dan Dooley car rental. Told a fellow American traveler who was debating whether to charge in Euros or dollars to charge in Euros. That was my good deed for the day. Gave the same advice a few more times on this trip at various locations.

Dropped off luggage at our B&B and took off for Bunratty. Since it rained most of the first day, we decided to skip the folk park, which we had visited before and just do some shopping. Our B&B Bunratty Meadows was a lovely place to stay for our first night and I would highly recommend it for a first or last night near Shannon. The homemade scones were the best we had in Ireland.

http://www.bunrattymeadows.com

Next day we headed for Killarney. We stopped at Tesco to purchase a phone. I asked for the cheapest phone. It was a Samsung, cost 37.49 Euros, and had 10 Euros worth of minutes. We were able to phone home and never needed to add minutes. After leaving Ireland, we mailed the phone back to our cousin in Ireland for them to use. My granddaughter was able to Skype home when we had wifi. We rented a lovely house in Killarney for the week. It was a great house near Killarney Golf Course, off Ross Road, about half way between the town center and Ross Castle. We were greeted with a bottle of wine and fresh fruit on the table, bread on the counter and a bottle of milk in the refrigerator. The owner John King visited with us during the week to see how everything was for us. I highly recommend this Killarney rental, Ross Castle Holiday Homes.

 

 

 

 

http://www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p64508#rates

Using Killarney as our base for the week, we were able to see all the usual sites in and around Cork and Kerry. From Killarney we spend a day on the Dingle Peninsula, stopping at Inch beach where my granddaughter (an Irish dancer) wanted to dance on the beach. In Dingle, I spotted a man wearing a Green Bay Packers hat. I asked if he was from Wisconsin. He said he was from Scotland and when they were able to get Satellite on the telly everyone choose an American football team, so he chose the Packers. I told him he made a wise choice, at least this year. Drove up Connor Pass, it was awesome as usual. Another day was spent in Cobh and a day touring the Beara Peninsula with a trip over Healy Pass. Had several meals and visits with cousins from Kerry and Cork. One day was spent in North Kerry to find the cemetery where my grandfather was buried. On the road out of the old rural cemetery grounds, we stopped to talk with two men standing in front of a cottage. It turned out that the wife of one of the men was a distance cousin of mine. The lady knew my mother who lived near there. That made my day.

 

After a week in Killarney, we headed up to Spiddle, Galway for the remainder of our stay. We attended Mass that was said in Irish. I only understood one word, Dia (God). The church was filled with secondary students who were in Spiddle for the summer practicing the Irish language. We toured Connemara, took the sky road out of Clifden, spectacular scenery. We spent a day on Inis Mor and a day trip to Knock. We made a stop in Cong to see how Cohans Pub had been restored. They did a fine job of reproducing the bar to look like the pub in the movie The Quiet Man. The owner told us that Maureen OHara would visit Cong in August as part of the 60th anniversary of the movie.

 

The house we rented in Galway left a sour note with us, which I reported partly on the forum under House Rental Question. In addition to what I wrote on the forum about the house rules for cleaning there were additional rules stating that we should not roll our luggage wheels or wear heels on their maple floors for fear it would scratch the floors. Those rules along with all the cleaning rules made us wish we had made another choice for our rental in Galway. 

Only the first and last day was rainy. Most days were sunny or partly cloudy, some with light 5 minute rain and temperatures in the upper 60s. It was what I considered perfect Irish weather. Food was expensive by American standards and gasoline was around $8.50 per gallon. However we did not spend a lot on gasoline because the car got really good mileage.

Leaving Ireland, the flight was 1 ½ hours late because of a mechanical problem. We missed our connection in Boston and there were no more connecting flights that night. Aer Lingus told us that since we did not book our connecting flight with Aer Lingus they could not help us. However, our connecting airlines, Frontier Airlines, informed us that if Aer Lingus had a mechanical problem it was their obligation to put us up in Boston until we could catch another flight. Going back to the Aer Lingus desk and informing them about the obligation, they gave us a voucher for a nights stay and dinner at the Hilton airport hotel.

Until we can get back to Ireland, we will just have to enjoy reading other trip reports from all of you Ireland travelers.



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Judy,

I loved how you started your report. Just lovely. Thanks for the tips on your accommodations, good and bad. That is what the forum if for. How fun meeting relatives by the side of the road. Only in Ireland!

Hope you get to return to "the green hills of holy old Ireland" again very soon.

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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Judy, I think that this is a wonderful story of generations of Irish life! I will be going to Ireland on my first trip in June, 2013 for three weeks, concentrating on the west side where my grandmother came from (Clare). But my question is: why charge in Euros instead of Dollars? You didn't explain your preference, and I can't find another explanation as to WHY this would be the better way to go--and now, two years later!
Thanks, Riverfire

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Celeste M. Brody


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For more on Dynamic Currency Conversion: http://www.irelandyes.com/tips.html



__________________

"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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