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Post Info TOPIC: WONDERFUL TRIP for first try!!!!


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WONDERFUL TRIP for first try!!!!

Our trip to Ireland October 2006

Driving from Shannon Airport Southwest to Ballylickey was quite a distance to drive after just arriving from our long flight; however, there was so much to see as we were driving to our cottage, the time didn’t really seem that bad.  (4-5 hrs. total time)

Our cottage in Ballylickey, was an old stable on a very old estate that was made into very nice, large, apartments – E250/wk., very clean. Large two bedrooms, one bedroom had twin beds, the other a double, two bathrooms – one with tub, other had just a shower. It is very quiet and peaceful on the grounds and a nice walk will get you to Bantry Bay with lots of tide pools and pretty views. There is, what they call, the "Big" house, that is on the water that can be rented too.

We were able to get acquainted with lots of nice people at the stable, very helpful from all parts of the world! We found a nice little market in Bantry, so we were all set for our week after shopping.

Our goal was to get as far as Kinsale to East and take in the coast as much as possible in that general area. On our way to Kinsale there were a lot of nice little villages, very colorful buildings, nice people and shops galore! We stopped in Baltimore which is set on a very nice bay. Skibbereen was on the way – and ever since I spotted the name of the town, I had to see it! Skibbereen was one of our favorite place to explore and just walk in the town. Kinsale was so pretty with sailboats, fishing boats and pleasure boats in the bay. The town was cute and we enjoyed walking in their town. Mother Hubbards for breakfast was good and we walked across the court to a very yummy bakery! On our way back to our cottage we stopped in Kenmare to get some groceries at a larger store. We actually were in Kenmare several times. We went to a place called JAMS (I noticed it was mentioned in Michelle’s book!), and another nice place – Prego! This one we liked best. Nice linen shop with a good woolen shop right up the street. We did make an attempt to go on the Ring of Kerry. There were nice little villages along the way, with a fjord that had oyster beds and the possibility of viewing it all from a boat. We ate a very good breakfast at one end of the fjord – in the town of Leenaun. Had a really nice gift shop also. The roads in the outer parts, away from big towns, can be a bit bumpy. The country roads are about the size of 1 ½ of our roads. The coaches doing the "Ring", delivery trucks, farmers and hay, etc. were travelling on the road with us. Needless to say, we hit quite a hole moving over for one of the coaches and got a flat. That was only the beginning of our problems. Went to find a jack – none was with the rental. We weren’t that bad off, really. Two cars stopped – one insisting he would change the tire!!!, the rest of us watched. The one car had a jack, but the lug tool would not fit our lug nuts; thus, the second car. All in all we were delayed about 40 minutes, met 9 really nice people from Ireland, America and England – was worth it to have the flat J

We did have beautiful weather 7th-14th we had warm weather in the 70’s. However, when we went North, near the Clifden area, it was much cooler and drizzly most of the time.

On the 14th. we drove up to the Connemara Region. Even with the drizzly, this area was amazing. We stayed in Rinvyle in a thatched roof house. It, however, was not as clean as our place in Ballylickey, but was a nice place. Three bedrooms, master – 1 dbl. Bed, across the hall – 2 half twins, upstairs – 3 twins with a sink and closets. Downstairs was a nice kitchen, but small, washer (dryer was on somewhere in the court, we never used it), nice size living room furnished with peat, nice size eating  and living room area. It was a really fun place to stay. We were real tired, after driving all the way from Ballylickey (one thing we will change on our next trip – travel time -between air port and lodging and visa versa)  so we ate across the street at the hotel, which was excellent, pricey, and kind of a fancy place. A pub was right next door, we peeked in, but didn’t stay. While in this very small town, they were filming a documentary of a wedding and a funeral. It was exciting seeing the camera men around and the crew, etc.

We drove one day out to the ruins near Cashleen, very spectacular ruin. We saw many ruins, old stones house deteriorating, new houses being built everywhere, etc. We drove to Roundstone to see where the Malachy Kearns shop was where he made the Bodhran. We really enjoyed this trip and were so glad we drove out to see him. He and his partners visited over coffee, so we learned quite a bit about the Bodhran. His wife– Gifty – was a lot of fun, and joined us. An excellent place to for lunch, and any gift you may ever want in that part of Ireland. There was a beautiful silver craftsman also, but we didn’t have time to "check out" the place.

While in the Connemara area, we drove to the Kylemore Abby and made it to Westport, a BEAUTIFUL port town, with a canal and very nice shops, which was North East from Tully Cross.

We had to give up one night at our cottage due to the travel time to Shannon. We would have had to get up around 4 in order to make security check and the flight. We stayed at the hotel right across from the airport, instead. Had a wonderful breakfast before tackling security & the airport!! We did see the Cliffs of Moher. Lots of construction, quite a hill for you that are not able to climb, before reaching the first look out at the cliffs. It is very spectacular!!! We even got good photos on dreary day!! (we took our inexpensive digital camera, with chip for more than 400 photos. Got excellent pictures – 400 or them!)

My husband and I did not get out to some of the ruins, caves, and other spots of great interest because of our health problems; thus the lack of them in our story. We plan to go back to Ireland in March 2007, with a lot less problems. This first trip, however, was a great learning tool, and we did see so much of a beautiful country and enjoyed visiting with its people!! We had wanted to see Dingle, Bear Island, a town with caves, pottery and glass making shops, and other spots of interest, but we were unable to make these places this trip.

Living in Oregon, like to travel, love going to Europe, Alaska and maybe one day China.


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Thanks so much for taking the time to let us know about your trip to Ireland. It sounds like the self-catering experience was a good one for you. Can you post the links to the cottages? Which one did you like better? Did you do much cooking in your cottages or did you eat dinner out most nights?

Sorry to hear about your flat. But you made the best of it and had a good experience meeting people despite the inconvenience. In Ireland the unexpected always leads to interesting meetings.

I hope you can return to Ireland again.



"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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Good point, I noticed I had left something of importance, after re reading my posted message!!

Thatched cottage:      E 240/wk

Stables:    E 250/wk

The Stables may look kind of rustic and not much character; however, once you get inside they are very nice.   This was my favorite place, close to town, yet far enough away that it was peaceful and quiet.  With added features such as, the very nice bay was a nice walk thru a grove of trees with creeks, play area/rest area on large area of grass near a creek with a picnic table, & plenty of room to park.

We did cook meals in both our places, some breakfasts, some dinners.  We also have  a bit of food to leave with the lady at the Thatched Cottages.

We have booked our next trip.  We leave on March 23rd. & return April 7th. 2007. We are going to take most of Bit's ideas and finely "hone" them for October 2007, when one of our sons will be going with us.   (using the Internet, and do our own research to find a way to go for less money that 12travel!

Due to our lack of experience on the internet searching, help from 3 USA travel agencies, and MUCH help from Bit-- most other quotes were a lot higher, pricewise, than 12travel.   

I also did not thank everyone who helped us out to make this trip such a pleasure.  Early October was not a bad time to go, weatherwise, we still can't get over how tall the mountains were in Connemara! 





Living in Oregon, like to travel, love going to Europe, Alaska and maybe one day China.
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