Tips for traveller to Ireland...

Discussion in 'The Late Night Cafe (off-topic)' started by nicko, Mar 14, 2002.

  1. nicko

    nicko Founder of Cheftalk.com Staff Member

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    Anyone here care to give some tips and advice on travelling to Ireland? We (my wife and I) are thinking of taking some vacation there and neither of us have ever been there. Really looking for excellent places to stay and visit.

    Thanks.
     
  2. lynne

    lynne

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    Cool! Way back when, we used to live in Galway, learned how to cut peat, thatch a roof and speak some gaelic....

    When and Where are you thinking about visiting? or where do you want to start? Scenery or history or a good mix of the two? I'd reccomend picking up an Irish faerie tales book to read on the airplane -- put you in the mood...

    The Dingle area is quite beautiful -- wonderful biking!

    The Giant's Causeway was pretty cool from a "thing of legends" perspective.

    Tons and tons of old castles -- see as many as you can! When I was in school there we learned why different castles were built in different shapes depending on what their functions were...

    The Galway side of Ireland is a little more raw, stark beauty along the coast line. The beaches are more rocky more like a Maine coastline v. a Carolina one.

    Have a great visit!
     
  3. nicko

    nicko Founder of Cheftalk.com Staff Member

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    Pubs, pubs, pubs... :beer:


    Just kidding. Well neither of us our into the run from one place to the next. We prefer staying in one area and taking short trips to close by location (day trips) and really trying to soak up as much of the culture as possible.

    I absolutely hate a vacation where I am rushing from one site to the next and then from meal to meal. Sit me in a pub for the afternoon to talk with the locals and I am set.

    I am thinking we will start off in Dublin for a few days, and then make are way to Galway to visit the Aran Island. What I am really wondering about Lynne is what is the best way to get around? Train, rent a car. We are on a budget and renting a car seems awfully expensive. The other is where to stay? I would like to set up some reservations over the internet before we go.

    Very excited!
     
  4. bevreview steve

    bevreview steve

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    I work with a guy who just moved here from Ireland. I'll have to hit him up for some suggestions for you, Nicko. Sounds like a fun trip!
     
  5. leo r.

    leo r.

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    Nicko,have you tried the Irish Tourist Board?They must have a website that could help you.
    I have been to Ireland but that was a long time ago.In recent years,a number of hotel groups have moved into Ireland.
    Most of these are in the main cities:Dublin,Waterford,Cork,etc.
    I know of one company,Jury`s Hotels,who are well established in Ireland but i`m not sure about their price range.
    One website you may find useful is:www.caterer.com
    This is the leading hospitality magazine in the U.K. and is primarily aimed at people like ourselves in the industry.
    This applies to:hotel proprietors, general managers,F & B managers,reservation managers/personnel,chefs,etc.
    Caterer magazine covers hospitalty news from across the globe and receives letters and e-mails from people far & wide.
    I`m sure that they will be able to point you in the right direction.

    A happy St.Patricks Day to all of you whose roots are in Ireland.
    Leo.:chef:
     
  6. wolfgang4711

    wolfgang4711

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    Nicko,

    I backpacked Ireland on summer break from college. I was alone and traveled with a rucksack and sleeping bag. I had the time of my life since I am Irish American and the folks there are very friendly and curious about travelers. Several families picked me up hitchhiking and invited me home to experience their bit of Ireland as their guest. I spent a couple nights with each family and they took me to their favorite pub (there's one on every corner in cities and towns and most directions are given by pubs as landmarks) where entire families spend most evenings. I never had to buy a drink as the entire town took turns buying my sandwiches and ale. I had the most wonderful time of my life there.

    If you can, I suggest you rent a car and plan on staying at Guest Houses or B & B's. Also, if you have the time and are energetic I suggest you rent or take your own bicycles and backpacks with a small lightweight tent and buy peanuts and raisins, bread and cheese along the way (This is what I did and I saved a fortune in food). There's nothing more wonderful than taking a break in the country under a big shade tree while enjoying bread and cheese and fruit. If you bicycle you cand pitch your tent in farmer's fields at dusk some nights and save even more. Every other night you can stay at a guest house or B & B and have a warm meal and bath.

    Ireland is a small country and bicycling from place to place is easy and the greatest way to see the country and meet people. If you will go to: http://www.ireland.travel.ie/home/ you will find about all the reliable information you need to map out an itenerary and arrange travel and lodging. Travel groups and bureaus with soak you and you'll end up in all the expensive tourist traps and miss the real Ireland.

    Enjoy and best wishes,

    Ron Patterson
     
  7. nicko

    nicko Founder of Cheftalk.com Staff Member

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    Thanks for the great tips. I will check out the websites. I am not a tent person, but the B&B's sound great.
     
  8. ruth

    ruth

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    hi i lived and worked in ireland for 6 mos.would you like to stay in a 350 yr old castle?
    go to castle-leslie.ie check it out
    it has it's own style aND CHARM
    IT IS ON 1000 ACRES AND ABSOLUTLEY FANTASTIC.IT IS IN SOUTHERN IRELAND BUT IN THE NORTERN PART about 20 miles shy of the n/s border in armagh. let me know if you check out the web site.
     
  9. shimmer

    shimmer

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    James Joyce- the prince of Dublin- read all of his works if you can get through them, and then take a literary tour of Dublin. I have a problem with his writing style, but it is distinctive and helps shape Ireland. Read John Keats. LIsten to the Cranberries and U2 and the Corrs and as many Irish bands as possible- I recently rented a DVD called Gael Force that was wonderful.

    When you are there, seek these things out. Find out what is Irish. Do not be afraid of engaging the scary tattoed Guinness-drinking men on the train (do ride the train, it's an experience) in conversation; when I was in Scotland it was the Irish Nationalist youth (complete with patriotic Irish songs on tape recorder in their laps) that provided me with the most colorful story of the towns and areas we were passing through.

    I am jealous! Have a great time!

    ~~SHimmer~~
     
  10. snakelady1

    snakelady1

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    Nicko I know that Bon Apetit did a whole issue on Ireland about 5 years ago. I was facinated by it. Loaned it to a person who was going to Ireland. Since then I have moved out of the area. I do remember an article about renting a gypsy type wagon and a horse to do a walking tour of Ireland it was definately a way to slow down.
    Sandy
     
  11. matthew357

    matthew357

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    My parents just recently took a trip to ireland. From what I have gathered from them...the one thing you don't want to miss (because of just the sheer breathtaking beauty) are the coastal cliffs. Other than that...pick a town with castles and such nearby and look at history during the day...eat and drink during the night.

    Though...if I was taking a dream vacation...a week eating at the cafe's in Paris would be at the top of my list.

    Matt