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Post Info TOPIC: Too Much Too Soon?


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Too Much Too Soon?


Dear Michelle,


As I see it now, we're planning to spend 7 nights in the country after 3 nights in Dublin, before returning to Dublin on the eve of our flight home.  (In other words, we have 11 nights total, seven outside of Dublin).


Is it too much to try to see Glendalough and the monastery of St. Kevin, spend the first night at Cashel and then plan the second night at Dungarvan?


I'm trying to stick to your suggestion of spending more than one night at a particular stopping-place and take day-trips from there, which I am planning to do for nights 3-4 (Kerry) and 5-6 (Clare).  But am I trying to get too much into the first day?  Will we be arriving in Cashel too late to really enjoy the heritage center?  I'm sure we can see the outdoor attractions like the Rock of Cashel the following morning before setting out to Dungarvan (my ancestors home), but I don't want to arrive there too late in the day either.


Also, I notice in your book that the musical shows begin in May, which dissapoints me because we are going in April.  Are there other musical experiences at Cashel other than the show given during "The Season?"


I admire very much your generosity in advising the many inquirers to this forum.


Thanks,


Kevin



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Kevin,


Thanks for your kind words about my forum. It is nice to know that my advice is appreciated.  It really is too much to try to see Powerscourt and Glendalough and then go over to Cashel. I understand that you are trying to do multiple night stays. However, sometimes it is necessary to break them up with a couple of one-night stays sprinkled judiciously into your itinerary.


Sometimes there is music in the pubs in Cashel, but it really depends on day of the week. At times there are plays and other shows on at Bru Boru's theater. I saw a performance of Da there a few years ago in the off-season. Unfortunately there are too few tourists in April for the musical shows to be operating. There are always pluses and minuses to traveling in the shoulder season.


Michele



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Michele,


Thanks for your reply.


I guess another question is:Could we do it another way--could we go to Glendalough on the first day upon leaving Dublin and then spend that night in Dungarvan and travel up to Cashel in the middle of the second day?  Would that make it less rushed?  My plan is to leave Dublin as early as possible.  We're picking up a rental car at the airport around 8 am.  So my hope was to be at the monastery before noon.


Of course I haven't yet done the research yet to see if there are any relatives I could contact in Dungarvan, so at the moment I'm going on the premise that we'll just be having a look at the neighborhoods my ancestors lived in and moving on.  Of course if I come into contact with people I'm related to, I may want to stay longer.


But my question is: Suppose I only want to have a look around in Dungarvan and not linger too long--could it work better this way, to spend the first night out of Dublin in Dungarvan and the second in Cashel?  Would that make it any easier to visit Glendalough on the first day?


A further question is: while I'm sure there is much to enjoy in Cashel ( I see it is on your top ten list), does the desirability to visit alter greatly during the off-season?  To put it crudely: Should we consider skipping it?  We only have seven nights between Dublin stays and I seem to feel we'll want to linger in counties Kerry and Clare and (tell me if this is too wild) hopefully Galway and maybe even (crazy?) Donegal.


I see why you have to keep warning people about "less is more."  There is such a temptation to try to get a lot in, especially feeling as I do that this may be my one visit.


Thanks again for time and consideration,


Kevin



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Kevin,


That is a much beter idea to do Glendalough and overnight in Dungarvan. If you decide to go to Cashel you will probably want to stop at Cahir Castle (one of Ireland's best) along the way. As for whether Cashel is worthwhile, it depends on if you are interested in Irish history and ruins of ancient places, ecclestiacal and otherwise. If things like that bore you then you can skip it.


Donegal is definitely too much. You won't get there unless you re-design your whole trip around it as a destination. Why don't you post your new proposed itinerary so I can see how it is progressing?


You could easily spend 6 months in Ireland and not see it all. So you must face the realities of your trip and choose what appeals most to you.


Michele



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"Ireland Expert"  Michele Erdvig

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Michele,


Thanks for keeping me real.  I don't really have a proposed itinerary yet.  I have a semi-formed idea of:


3 nights Dublin.


4th day Glendalough 4th night Dungavan


5th day - morning Dungarvan, afternoon Cashel, 5th night Tipperary


6th day travel to County Kerry - 6th and 7th nights in County Kerry (possibly Kilarney) with day trips.


8th and 9th nights in Doolin with day trips


10th night in Galway


11th night in Dublin.



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Kevin,


What you have outlined would work for you. You could also steal a day from Dublin or forget Galway (it is a mess lately with construction) and add that time to the southwest. Since you are spending two nights in Doolin are you planning on doing the Aran Islands from there?


Michele



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"Ireland Expert"  Michele Erdvig

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Michele,


Thanks for your reply.


I don't know about the Aran Islands.  I know they're famous for their beauty.  I seem to want to spend time just on the "mainland" but to tell you the truth, I'm still swimming in the possibilities.  Also, your book says the ferry service will not be started by the time we're there (April 16 or 17).


I hope on some day (or more than one day) just to travel along some road, not toward a tourist spot, just on a "see what happens" sort of tour, to see some out-of-the-way places and meet people who are not just customary greeters of visitors.  Know what I mean?


But that's what I mean about my itinerary being "vague."  I don't know why I say 2 nights in Doolin, except that I was attracted by the idea of musicians congregating there and, (if I remember my reading) the Cliffs of Moher are nearby.  Then I think, "Are the cliffs of Moher enough to justify 2 nights in Doolin."  And then I think back at myself, "What does it mean to "justify" long as you're enjoying yourselves?"  And then I think, "Well, you don't want to go home feeling you "missed" things because you muffed your itinerary." 


I don't expect you to resolve all of this, in fact you already have in a way by pointing out there's no way to "see everything" on a 12 day trip.


I fully expect that whatever we decide, we're going to end up having a great time.


Kevin



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Kevin,


I agree completely that having a rather unstructured itinerary in the off-season is a wonderful way to see Ireland. That way you can just let the serendipity happen. So many people post multiple itineraries and agonize over every detail. But I often think that any one of the itineraries that they suggest would work out very nicely (each in a different way) and they will be just as happy with their trip if they see x,y & z or if they see a,b & c. So, it sounds like you have a good handle on your planning and an excellent attitude about your expectations.


A note about the Cliffs of Moher: at the moment a new visitor's center is being built and there is much construction going on there. They have moved the parking lot across the street and you have to bypass the mess to get over to the cliffs. During the day it will be busy and with the usual circus-like atmosphere. Early in the morning or late afternoon/early evening the crowds dissapate and you will find a nicer atmosphere there. I also highly recommend Loop Head and the drive south down the coast of Clare. This is a place that few tourists get to and it might be just what you are looking for.


Michele


P.S. You are right about the Doolin Ferry not operating while you are there.



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"Ireland Expert"  Michele Erdvig

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Hi Michele,


Again, very grateful for your thoughtful and informative comments.


When you say The Cliffs of Moher can be crowded, is that true as well in April?


Also, where is Loop Head?


And is there some reason why you suggest driving "down" the coast of Clare rather than up?


Thanks,


Kevin



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Hi, Kevin!  I was at the Cliffs in late July, 2004 and in mid-April, 2005.  There were very few other people around in April.  In fact, in the two weeks we spent in Counties Clare, Cork and Kerry, there were never hordes of people (except for the Bunratty Medieval Feast, which was jampacked --- don't know where those folks came from because we sure didn't see them during the day!).   So, I don't think tourist crowds will be a big problem for you unless the Easter holiday changes things;  Michelle would know more about that than I do.


You mentioned wondering whether Doolin justified two nights, and, of course, only you can decide that.  There is, however, some great exploring to do around the Burren and I personally could spend several days in the area without running out of stuff to see and to do.  Michelle listed some great web links regarding the Burren in one her posts to Melissa that you might like to check out. 


 



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Kevin --- Michelle's Burren links are under the heading "What's so great about Ballyvaughn"



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Thanks Maggie!


Very helpful!


Kevin



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Kevin,


Maggie has shared some good info with you. Loop Head is south of Doolin, which is why I suggested driving down the coast. I assume you have a map of Ireland? If not you can click through to one from my "Links" page. If you follow the coast of Clare south it ends at Loop Head. A description of it is on page 73 of my 2005 book.


The Cliffs of Moher can be crowded at any time of year. Obviously weekends and holidays are more crowded. Also, it depends on the schedules of tour buses from all over Europe. Obviously Maggie caught it on a slow day.


Michele



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"Ireland Expert"  Michele Erdvig

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Hi Michele,


I do have a map of Ireland.  I'm sorry if I'm being dense, but my question had to do with the fact that, as I see it now, we will be coming into County Clare from County Kerry, so my thought was that we would be driving up the coast.  I'm sure we could take a drive that is more inland on the day that we travel up to Doolin, and then subsequently go on a day trip down the coast of County Clare.  Is this what you mean?  Do you recommend one over the other?


It just dawned on me that you might mean drive down to Loop Head and then return back to Doolin on the same path.  Is that the best way?


Kevin



-- Edited by fennellkevin at 08:21, 2005-11-02

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Kevin,


If you do Loop Head on the day you drive north from Kerry you could easily take the ferrry across the Shannon. In that case you would still have to go south after the ferry to get to Loop Head. If you do Loop Head as a day trip from Doolin you will have to travel south down the coast till the road ends at the ocean. You can choose to return the same way or a slightly different way. It all depends on what you want to do. Take a look at your map and I think it will be clear.


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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