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Post Info TOPIC: Return to Dublin, or not?


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Return to Dublin, or not?


Dear Michele and Forum members,


My wife, my daughter and I will be spending three nights in Dublin, then we will have seven more nights before our return flight to New York.  Most of those nights I expect will be spent in the south and west.  I had originally settled on the idea of returning to Dublin the night before our flight home.  However, I'm now considering changing our arrangements (Aer Lingus of course would charge a moderate fee) and departing from Shannon instead.


My debate is not so much about the airline fee.  I've seen people on this forum put Dublin down.  I've never been there, but I have always felt excited about it's historic and cultural meaning, some of which I'm sure we'll experience on our first three days.  But I had this feeling that I might wish to go back there one more time before flying home--to sort of touch base there before leaving; to say Goodbye.


The other part of the debate is: If we are already in the West in the last days of our trip, why drive all the way back to Dublin when Shannon is so much closer.  Then I can think, well, how much closer is it?  It depends where in the west we end up.  Of course, I'm sure we could arrange our itinerary so that we wind up very near to Shannon on the last day.  But the same could be said for Dublin--we could position ourselves midway accross the island on the next-to-the last night if we wanted.  And, come to that, I wouldn't mind a long drive on the last day, if I really felt returning to Dublin is what I would most enjoy


The one other thing in my mind in favor of departing from Dublin is that I have a mortal dread of the shopping my wife and daughter are very capable of doing at the duty-free shop in Shannon.  I know you save by not paying duty, but my idea of saving is to not buy a lot of stuff in the first place.


But, with all this being said, I'm hoping for others' experience and advice on this issue.  I know you can't "tell me" what to feel about returning to Dublin, but whatever you can say to shed light on the various pros and cons I'm sure will help my decision.


I'm grateful for the existence of this forum.  Thanks in advance.


Kevin



-- Edited by fennellkevin at 12:59, 2005-11-09

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Dear Kevin,


   I have far less experience in Ireland than many who post here, but I think Dublin is a fantastic city.  I only had about a day and a half there, so I've been working on plans for about a two-week return trip to just Dublin and the surrounding area.  Why I like Dublin:



  1. Maybe partly because I don't live in an urban area, I've found I like cities, period; some folks don't. And maybe I wouldn't feel this way about all cities, but I loved the energy and the crowds in Dublin.  I could have spent many more hours just wandering the streets and people-watching.  I chatted with people on the buses, on the streets (seemed like lots of folks were just standing around outside of buildings ...), and sitting on steps or benches around town. As much as I've loved every place I've been thus far in Ireland, I've never felt more alive than I did in Dublin!
  2. Although Dublin is big, it's also compact.  Most of the stuff you want to see you can easily get to on foot and/or city bus.  Think Boston:  huge city, but most of the historical stuff is close together. It would be hard (I think) to get lost in the city center;  everywhere I walked there was something to see.
  3. I've had a life-long interest in Irish literature and history (especially anything relating to the struggle for independence), so Dublin, for me, is a gigantic treasure-trove of places and events I could previously only imagine through books.  I can't explain it, but walking through Kilmainham and standing where Pearse, Connolly and the others were executed was unlike anything I've ever experienced.
  4. Fantastic, unending supply of pubs, music and nightlife! I don't remember when you're going, but I was there in the summer so all the pub doors were open and we could just walk down the streets of Temple Bar and hear the music.  When we liked the sound of a band, we'd go in for a while. 

The obvious big downside to returning to Dublin is the driving.  You're right --- if your ending up near Shannon, why crisscross all the way back to Dublin?   And I hate to tell you this, but the shopping at Dublin airport is far more extensive than at Shannon.  It would be easy to do some serious credit card damage at Dublin!


I don't know if this helps at all, Kevin.  It's just plain hard to divide up the time between cities, small villages, beaches, mountains, natural wonders, ruins, the well-known sites, the hidden, out-of-the-way places, etc.  That's why once you go to Ireland, you know you just have to keep going back for more!!



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Kevin,


I can see that you are torn between the two destinations and agonizing a bit over your decision. If the price of changing your ticket is not too outrageous, you should seriously think about departing from Shannon. It really is a much easier departure from there. I have done both many times and much prefer departing from Shannon. The logistics make everything easier. No traffic going to the airport, short drive from Bunratty or nearby areas, smaller airport, quicker car return, fewer crowds, shorter security wait. You need to arrive at Dublin Airport about 3 hours before flight departure because of increased security there and long lines. You actually clear US customs at Shannon Airport and since this can take time I suggest you get in that line well before flight time. Sorry, but it will eat into your time at Shannon Duty Free!! You can also make a rule that anything bought at duty free must be paid in cash with leftover euros. That might stop the spending spree.


You will save yourselves a lot of backtracking and driving. Anyone else care to chime in with their experiences?


Michele


 



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Maggie,


Thanks so much for your input. We both must have been posting at the same time!


Michele



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"Ireland Expert"  Michele Erdvig

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Thank you Maggie and thank you Michele!


Both of your replies were very useful to me.


Maggie, I respect your emotion about the heros of the Easter Rebellion, and it is one of the big things I look forward to knowing and feeling more about in Dublin.


Michele, thanks for the encouragement.  I think I will change our departure to Shannon.  I wish I had known about that option before I hastily booked our flights, but, live and learn.


Kevin


 



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Kevin,


I don't think you will regret changing your departure place to Shannon. It really will simplify things and make your itinerary easier. Plus no long cross-country drive just to get back to Dublin. Do check with Aer Lingus first to be sure the flight is a non-stop though.


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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Michelle, you're right --- we were both typing away together!  (I've also noticed sometimes that you're a bit of a night owl, too, like me)


You're so right, too, about the airport differences.  Shannon was much smaller, easier, and less crowded than Dublin.


Kevin, you're going to have 3 nights in Dublin, so that gives you almost 3 days (counting the day you arrive), yes?  I'll bet you can see quite a bit in that time.  Just to make it harder for you, though (just kidding), you might want to check out http://1916rising.com  They offer two hour guided walking tours covering (obviously) the Easter Rising.  And there are historical walking tours led by Trinity College grad students that are supposed to be quite good.  http://www.historicalinsights.ie 



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Maggie,


I am definitely a night owl. I can get so much done at night when everyone else is asleep. I really like the feature on the main page of the new forum where you can see who is online while you are. If you hover your cursor on the name it will tell you what they are doing.


Thanks for those links for Kevin.


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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Michele,


I think the whole format of your new board is really good!  I like a lot of the features.


I live alone (my family is grown) and I retired from teaching last year, so after years of having to be an early riser I can finally indulge my late-night tendancies.  I love it!


I didn't get a chance to try either of the guided tour groups I listed --- maybe you're familiar with them.  I thought they sounded good, though, for when I eventually get brave enough (and have sufficient funds) to do my solo trip to Dublin. 


Maggie



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Maggie,


I'm glad you are enjoying the new forum. I am getting used to it myself. It does have some nice features. Congrats on your retirement! My husband took early retirement a couple of years ago and often wonders how he could have worked so many hours a day (with a long commute) and still have had a life. It is a whole nother life after retirement. It is nice that you are enjoying yours.


Keep working on your solo trip and it will become a reality!


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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Another vote for leaving from Shannon. I'm liking Dublin more each time I visit, but three days in a 10 day trip is plenty. There is so much to see in Ireland and the driving is quite slow. The trip across the country will be lengthy.


Bill



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