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destinydave
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Re: IRELAND, first time, help please!
      05/22/09 03:41 PM

DAY 6
Monday morning, all packed, we go down for one last scrumptious breakfast at the Arlington Hotel, and we say a sad goodbye to Carmel, the best hostess in Dublin. If you happen to be in Ireland and it is raining, (which is common), she can bring you a ray of sunshine!

We call a cab, and he takes us to the Dublin car rental site just a few minutes away. Our car is waiting as promised, we load up, and prepare to drive on the 'wrong' side of the road for a couple of weeks! A tip on car rentals in Ireland. When you get your rental car, the first 2 numbers of the license tag, are the year of the car. So if you prefer a newer car, you can tell what year it is without asking. Ours was an '07, and was in very good shape. We had rented a GPS before we left the States, it was delivered to our home, and we brought it with us. I plugged it in, and gave it our first destination. I say plugged 'it' in. Shortly, we had to name the GPS, and 'it', became Clare, as we thought that is what she sounded like, and Clare was perfect for Ireland. More on Clare later though!

We headed west out of Dublin, as we had covered the city, and most sites just north and south of it already. To the east is the Irish Sea, so I didn't drive that direction, regardless of what Clare would have told me! The first section of these notes will cover the southeast portion of Ireland.

Our first stop was about 15 miles west of Dublin, in the small town of Celbridge, to visit the Castletown House. This is Ireland's largest, and most impressive Palladian styled mansion. It was built between 1722 and 1729, and the descendants of the original owners lived in the home until 1965. It is one of the Heritage Pass sites too.

We left Celbridge and the Castletown House, driving about 25 miles to Kildare. As most of the small towns are, Kildare is lovely. Most of the small towns have no tall buildings, and have multi-colored fronts. They are so unusual, you can even buy books with nothing but pictures of the pubs fronts. While there, we visited St Brigid's Cathedral. It was originally built in the 1200's, but was restored in the 19th century. It has an small, but interesting cemetary also. From Kildare, we rode about 45 miles south to spend our first night out of Dublin, in the Laragh House, a B + B in Kilkenny, (go ahead, do the SouthPark jokes, we did!) Most of our stays were in B + B's, as we like to experience the 'flavor' of many of the owners. The personal touch is nice, too, as they can tell you about everything to see and do in their area. Once again, very helpful people.

DAY 7
Tuesday morning, we had the Breakfast part of the B + B, and started out to explore Kilkenny. Our first stop was to the tourist information center, and meet our guide, Liam, to take a walking tour of Kilkenny. There are others, but the one we took was Pat Tynan's walking tour, and leaves from the tourist office. I can't say enough about Liam and the tour, it was great. He grew up in Kilkenny, spent 50 years in the furniture business as a salesman, retired, went back to school, and got a Master's degree. Not bad, huh? So he certainly knew his stuff about town! From the information, you can tell that Liam was not a young man, but let me tell you, you best have on your walking shoes, because no grass grows under his shoes! We also visited Kilkenny Castle, built in the 12th century, and another site that is on the Heritage Pass. The castle and the grounds are outstanding, so if you have time, you can wander the grounds, and get lost in their peace and quiet.

From Kilkenny, we drove about 35 miles west to visit the small town of Cashel, once again beautiful! The main attraction in Cashel, is the Rock of Cashel. And no, it is not a rock, who would have thought! It is the ruins of an impressive Celtic Cathedral, sitting high on a hill, overlooking the countryside. You can see it way before you get to town, so you won't have to ask where it is. It also has a very well preserved round tower, of which there are many in Ireland, that dates to about 1100. There is also a large graveyard, that has many of the beautiful high crosses. Take a few minutes if possible and walk through them. The hills below are peppered with sheep and cattle, so it is very relaxing.

From Cashel, we drove about 10 miles to the small town of Cahir, and visited Cahir Castle. It is a 15th century castle in excellent condition, sitting on a rocky island in the River Suir. Even if you have never been to Ireland, you may have seen it, as it was used for some of the scenes in the movie, Excalibur. I also heard that part of Barry Lyndon was filmed here. From Cahir, about 40 miles southeast, to spend the night at Glenorney by the Sea, a B + B in Tramore, a small waterfront community just outside of Waterford, so well know for its Crystal.

DAY 8
After another great breakfast, we left the B + B for Waterford, to see the world famous Waterford Crystal Shop. Sadly, the shop is closing down, most of it is already closed, actually. You can go through the gift shop, see and buy many examples of what they have produced, and see films of how the glass was produced. From what we were told, the furnaces have already been shut down, a process that takes months, and are being relocated to Europe. We picked up a couple of beautiful small pieces to bring home. Had we purchased any more, we would have had to sell the rental car, AND Clare!

Heading west out of Waterford, we swung by the small town of Lismore, which has Lismore Castle, (funny how they are named after the town, huh?). The castle is not open to the public, as it is, and has been, the home of the Dukes of Devonshire since the mid 1700's. But it may be one of the most stunning castles in Ireland, and its position in town make the exterior and the castle grounds very visible and worth a stop. If you are a movie buff, as we are, it may interest you that many of the castles in Ireland were used in movies, this one is the star of Northanger Abbey. Even Trinity College in Dublin, was the star of Educating Rita, with Michael Caine, even though the movie is supposedly set in London. In Lismore, we stopped in for a snack, and met a lovely lady named Mary Clare. Can you see where this is going? She was great to talk with, had a ton of personality, and at first thought we were kidding when we told her our GPS was named Clare. She was so much fun, that hereafter, Clare became Mary Clare! This covers the Southeast portion of the adventure. Now, from Lismore, we head west to spend the night at another B + B, the Blarney Vale, in, did you guess yet?, Blarney. The next 4 nights will be in the Southwest portion of the country, wild and rugged!

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* IRELAND, first time, Now with Trip reports destinydave 01/30/09 05:04 PM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please! mmk   04/02/09 06:14 PM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please! destinydave   04/03/09 01:08 AM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please! SMC_Irish_68   04/03/09 10:23 AM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please! SMC_Irish_68   04/03/09 02:55 PM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please! Toronto_Frank   04/05/09 10:36 AM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please! CJIMI   05/18/09 09:51 PM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please! DLJ   04/05/09 03:01 PM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please! destinydave   03/26/09 11:43 AM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please! mdoyle9999   03/26/09 12:23 PM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please! maximum   03/31/09 12:01 PM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please! SMC_Irish_68   03/31/09 02:14 PM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please! sxmcpl   02/04/09 08:32 AM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please! destinydave   09/21/09 09:55 AM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please! seaside2   02/04/09 01:22 PM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please! Temery   02/03/09 04:17 PM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please! destinydave   02/03/09 06:47 PM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please! SMC_Irish_68   02/03/09 11:19 PM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please! destinydave   11/25/12 09:20 AM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please! PelicanPirate   11/26/12 07:00 PM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please! Emers410   02/03/09 02:56 PM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please! destinydave   04/11/09 12:25 AM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please! destinydave   05/15/09 05:32 PM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please! SMC_Irish_68   05/17/09 07:10 PM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please! destinydave   05/18/09 12:05 AM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please! destinydave   05/21/09 11:21 AM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please! destinydave   05/22/09 11:08 AM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please! destinydave   05/22/09 03:41 PM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please! destinydave   05/22/09 05:52 PM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please! islandgem   03/08/10 10:07 PM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please! destinydave   04/01/11 06:23 PM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please! destinydave   03/09/10 09:38 AM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please! kneafseym   03/10/10 04:30 PM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please! dannyintampa   03/16/10 01:51 AM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please! DanGay   03/17/10 10:40 AM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please!    05/26/10 06:52 AM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please!    07/05/10 12:15 AM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please!    09/05/10 02:23 PM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please! seaside2   05/26/10 11:31 AM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please! destinydave   08/19/11 12:20 PM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please!    10/22/10 10:50 AM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please!    11/09/10 12:16 PM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please! Jorgen   11/09/10 01:59 PM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please! destinydave   07/25/13 05:55 PM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please!    10/04/10 05:49 PM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please! seaside2   10/05/10 12:48 PM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please!    12/28/10 05:11 PM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please!    01/17/11 09:24 AM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please! portston   01/17/11 11:09 AM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please! destinydave   02/01/14 04:30 PM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please! destinydave   11/24/11 09:22 AM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please! islandgem   11/28/12 11:38 PM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please! destinydave   01/11/13 10:14 AM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please! PelicanPirate   03/09/13 02:15 PM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please! destinydave   03/29/13 05:09 AM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please!    03/02/11 03:43 AM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please! kneafseym   12/28/10 09:09 PM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please! destinydave   05/23/09 02:11 PM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please! WBL_Couple   05/24/09 03:23 PM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please! destinydave   05/24/09 08:41 PM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please! SMC_Irish_68   05/25/09 12:37 PM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please! destinydave   05/27/09 09:47 AM
. * * AUTOEUROPE + GPS RENTAL WARNING! destinydave   05/29/09 04:14 PM
. * * general trip ? Temery   06/10/09 07:28 PM
. * * Re: general trip ? destinydave   06/10/09 08:42 PM
. * * Re: general trip ? SMC_Irish_68   06/11/09 12:40 PM
. * * Re: general trip ? destinydave   06/11/09 02:33 PM
. * * Re: general trip ? destinydave   07/03/09 10:25 PM
. * * Re: general trip ? kneafseym   07/06/09 06:02 PM
. * * Re: general trip ? destinydave   07/06/09 06:56 PM
. * * Re: general trip ? kneafseym   07/08/09 02:59 AM
. * * Re: general trip ? destinydave   07/11/09 10:18 PM
. * * Re: general trip ? kneafseym   07/12/09 03:34 PM
. * * Re: general trip ? destinydave   07/12/09 06:22 PM
. * * Re: general trip ? kneafseym   07/18/09 12:38 PM
. * * Re: general trip ? destinydave   07/31/09 06:08 PM
. * * Re: general trip ? kneafseym   07/31/09 06:53 PM
. * * Re: general trip ? destinydave   08/16/09 11:23 AM
. * * Re: general trip ?    08/26/09 02:33 PM
. * * Re: general trip ?    11/24/09 01:31 PM
. * * Re: general trip ?    10/18/09 10:11 AM
. * * Re: general trip ? SMC_Irish_68   12/29/09 03:21 PM
. * * Re: general trip ?    01/31/10 08:52 AM
. * * Re: general trip ?    03/06/10 09:54 AM
. * * Re: general trip ? destinydave   07/23/09 09:04 AM
. * * Re: general trip ? kneafseym   07/14/09 03:39 PM
. * * Re: general trip ? destinydave   07/14/09 04:33 PM
. * * Re: general trip ? kneafseym   07/16/09 08:17 AM
. * * Re: general trip ? destinydave   07/16/09 07:13 PM
. * * Re: general trip ? destinydave   07/08/09 08:07 AM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please! destinydave   02/03/09 06:45 PM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please! DanGay   02/05/09 08:25 AM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please! ohtoobtan   02/10/09 06:01 AM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please! destinydave   06/10/11 06:11 PM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please! Rasputin   03/26/09 09:39 AM
. * * Re: IRELAND, first time, help please! Caribsearchers   02/21/09 03:46 PM

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