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Old 04-09-2010, 04:16 PM   #31
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My favorite place on Earth. Both trips over there left me with the most amazing memories and wonderful friends. I have yet to encounter a problem over there.
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Old 04-09-2010, 08:07 PM   #32
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The Rock of Cashel is awesome, one of the favorite places I visited. Killarney National Park is also very pretty.

As for hotels, the Westin in Dublin is also very nice and had a good location. Another site to see is St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin - wonderful stained glass windows. It is also on the hop-on/hop-off bus route. Dublin Castle is cool too. I'd skip Dublinia - the medieval Dublin exhibit by Christchurch Cathedral - that was boring.

I think it's cool that you're taking a solo trip there. I went on a group tour (Adventures by Disney) and while that was okay, I think if I ever get to go back I'd like to take a trip like you're doing.

My favorite sign from the Cliffs of Moher - http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo...eat=directlink

One more tip - give yourself time to rest when you first get there. Even flying from the east coast, jet lag kicked my butt (and the overnight flight didn't help either).
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Old 04-09-2010, 08:28 PM   #33
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Yeah, my plan is to fly into Cork and then just spend the day loafing around, maybe doing a little exploring, but basically relaxing as much as I can and figuring out how in the hell to deal with jet lag.

First stop, though: driving around the parking lot when I pick up my rental car, trying to learn how to drive over there really damn quickly.

I definitely want to see Rock of Cashel; unfortunately, it's not near anything else I'm planning on doing, so I'm going to have to miss it this trip.
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Old 04-09-2010, 08:34 PM   #34
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just make sure to drive on the opposite side of the road! I had to remind my friend that several times while we were on the road!

I could not drive over there because I do not know how to drive a manual car that well.

Also Cork is a busy city, lots of traffic.
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Old 04-09-2010, 08:37 PM   #35
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I can drive stick - it's what I drove for most of my driving life, but when I go home now to visit the parents, it takes me a minute or two to remember how to do it. It'll be tough to do it with the LEFT hand, and also remember to be on the correct side of the road.

I'll at least look into renting an automatic - it'll depend on how much more expensive it will be.

Good to know about Cork - maybe I'll see if I can pick up the car in the city instead of the airport and at least have the luxury of public transportation into the city, so it's not complete culture shock all at once, on top of the jet lag.
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Old 04-09-2010, 08:42 PM   #36
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Oh my friend and I took the train from Limerick to Dublin. You might want to look into that option vs. the bus.

I can send you the names of the B&Bs I stayed at while I was in Dingle & Kinsale (you should make a day trip to Kinsale! ) . I splurged when I was in Dublin the first time, by staying at The Clarence. They treat you like a VIP and the staff greets you by your name every time you leave or return back to the hotel. Worth every dollar! Oh and I had my first Guinness in a cozy pub in Doolin.
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Old 04-09-2010, 08:45 PM   #37
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The Clarence is still at the top of my list for hotels in Dublin! Would love to see recommendations for B&Bs! I haven't gotten that far yet, but I'll add them to my ridiculously-long (and growing) lists of information.

I'll be doing the train from Galway to Dublin. That's the only big stretch I'll have where I won't have a car. I'm really looking forward to taking the train, even though it's just a few hours.
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Old 04-09-2010, 11:13 PM   #38
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The Clarence is still at the top of my list for hotels in Dublin! Would love to see recommendations for B&Bs! I haven't gotten that far yet, but I'll add them to my ridiculously-long (and growing) lists of information.

I'll be doing the train from Galway to Dublin. That's the only big stretch I'll have where I won't have a car. I'm really looking forward to taking the train, even though it's just a few hours.
The train was one of my favorite parts of my trip to Ireland. I was soooo tired and just wanted to use those hours to sleep but I forced myself to stay up the entire time and soak in the Irish countryside I think, if I remember correctly, we took a train to Cork one day and Limerick another day. Our trip to Limerick then took us to the Cliffs and Galway. We bought a day trip tour for that so it ended up to be a guided bus tour once we got to Limerick. But for Cork we were on our own other than a bus tour to Blarney. I think we wandered the streets of Cork but otherwise I don't remember seeing anything meaningful there other than the castle.

Sorry...didn't read the thread to see what others wrote so forgive me if I repeat something. We bought a Dublin pass for a bus and also sites to see so we got a somewhat guided tour of Dublin and it took us to all of the major sites. The only sucky thing, from what I remember, was most places were not open past the dinner hour so I remember feeling rushed to see everything on our list. Another really cool thing we did was the very first night we got there we went on a pub crawl with 2 musicians in Temple Bar. It was cool hearing about the history of some of the pubs and the area. I do remember everyone being incredibly friendly and helpful. Cab drivers actually took us directly to where we wanted to go and didn't take us all over town like I've had happen in some US cities. I remember an older woman on the street was worried we would get lost when we asked for directions. I thought she was going to show us to our destination even though she was going in the complete opposite direction. We also went to London that week and did not receive the same welcome when asking the locals for help but the people of Ireland were amazing.
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Old 04-09-2010, 11:20 PM   #39
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Sorry...didn't read the thread to see what others wrote so forgive me if I repeat something.
No, no! I'm happy to read everyone's comments and experiences, even if everyone went to the same places.
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Old 04-10-2010, 04:12 AM   #40
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Be sure to try some Bulmer's Pear Cider--a pint of that goes down really easy!

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Old 04-10-2010, 12:11 PM   #41
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Mmmmm, cider!
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Old 04-10-2010, 01:27 PM   #42
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I'm so jealous that you get to go! I know you'll have an amazing time.

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I do remember everyone being incredibly friendly and helpful.
Yes - this is very true. I spent a few months there as part of a university exchange, and I met some of the nicest people there. If you even look remotely confused, someone will no doubt come up to you and ask you if you need help. One time I got myself hopelessly lost, and this kind woman ended up walking with me to my destination. Afterward she invited me over to her house to her family's BBQ! It was so awesome, being randomly invited to go hang out with people at their house. I stayed in touch with the family for a few years after I had left. When they hear your accent they'll definitely be willing to talk with you about anything and everything, and help you out if you need it.

I don't have any new information to add, as everyone's said all the things I would have suggested, but I had to chime in about the friendliness of everyone there.
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Old 04-10-2010, 01:33 PM   #43
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That's awesome to hear from multiple people, and it makes me even more excited about going!
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Old 04-10-2010, 04:23 PM   #44
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Mmmmm, cider!
With a kick!
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Old 04-10-2010, 04:28 PM   #45
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Cider with a Guiness chaser? Or vice versa?
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