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Ireland for Christmas 2010

Author: Patti N.
Date of Trip: December 2010



galway cathedral ireland snow winterIreland for Christmas and New Years was more of a challenge this year than we thought-lots of snow and cancelled flights. Flew into Dublin on December 24th on Aer Lingus, pleasant enough flight considering most flights into and out of Dublin were cancelled for that day and days before and after.
 
When I was planning the trip I thought I would save money and get a rental car outside the airport. It was a rental with Enterprise so I asked at the Enterprise booth in the airport for directions. Just a friendly reminder that in Ireland if you ask for directions it seems everything is just down the road, be it 2 minutes or 2 miles. The later was true in my case the car rental was about 2 miles from the train stop and in the snow dragging a suit case, you get the idea. Very Happy to have the car and be on the road was headed straight over to Galway as I was told there would be very little to do in Dublin on Christmas day and St Stephens day. Drive only about two hours in good weather but with the snow on the roads and everyone headed home for the holiday it was about 3 hours.

Had reservations in Galway at St Jude's Lodge and B&B. Wonderful place, very nice people, great breakfast, free internet, and close to everything. Christmas day took the short ride to Salthill to see what was going on and there was a polar plunge. People jumping into the ocean for charity. There were of corse no restaurants open for dinner so we stopped at the local convience store and had noodles in a cup and chips.

cliffs of moher mohr irelandOn December 26th we left for the Cliffs of Moher. It was about 25 degrees and off and on snow or freezing rain. It was still breathtaking, but very windy and cold. Not very crowded, I guess that is a benefit. Stayed this night in Limerick. A Travel Lodge nothing to write home about it was a bed and a shower. Had to pay for internet, no breakfast, really not noteworthy. However there was a little french bistro, Cafe Nior, in the lobby that had wonderful onion soup and that was very nice after the cold day. Left off the nxt morning for Dingle. Wonderful drive through Tralee and the other little towns on the way. Dingle was an experience. Due to the snow the St Stephens day activities had been put off a day so there was a parade and other activities. I even got to do my first shopping, real wool and irish linens at the Quills in Dingle. We had lunch and were off to make the circle of the Dingle pennsula and end up in Killarney.

sheep irelandIn Killarney had a reservation at the Best Western Eviston House. Again with the directions, stated it was right next too St Mary's University. Really about three blocks. Nice rooms and the pub downstairs had wonderful food and music. The underground parking very tight and difficult to get in and out. We were on our way back to Galway. Hard to believe but yes and on the way Ring of Kerry. So we headed off to drive the ring of kerry and turned off at the first scenic route sign, sure why not. Three hours later we were in the Dunlow gap not another human around for at least 20 miles, just sheep lots of sheep like easter eggs all over the hill sides. SO we drove around inside the ring of Kerry. Came out on the other side and missed the entire ring:)Had lunch in Killogin and then drove the actual ring of Kerry. We are going back to Galway because we have to go to the Aran Island tomorrow. I had heard wonderful things and it was all of that and more. Might have been better minuw the cold and rain but those are the things I will remember. Caught the ferry to Inishmore in Rosaveel at 10 in the morning, the trip is about 45 minutes.
 
When we got off the ferry went right to the hostel, Kiloroan Hostel, and got a room and bikes. I imagine in the spring and summer months this would have been an outstanding plan. Perhaps with the rain, cold, snow and ice not as much, but very fun either way. Took the bikes on the low road to the ruins. There is really quite a lot to see and it is an enjoyable ride along the coast. On the way back to the hostel had a wonderful lunch at Joe Watty's Bar and Restaurant, Wonderful. The hostel is clean, the rooms are small, but it was warm and very nice folks.

st patricks cathedral dublinTook the Ferry back to Galway the following morning and headed for Dublin and Brewley hotel by the Airport for our last two nights in Ireland. Bewleys was difficult for me to find. I have not yet mentioned the Round abouts that would be a whole different posting. The hotel was nice enough very busy and our room was as far as you could get from the elevator or an exit that was not a fire exit. The restaurant in the hotel was nice. The first night we were there we got seated right away. On New Years eve we went down without a reservation and were told there was no open seating until 9, this was 730. So we sat and waited for over an hour while we watched the same table for two stay un-seated for the entire time we waited. Poor management on this topic I think.

Dublin was nice we returned the car and took the train into town. We got off the train near the Jameson Brewery and took the tour. I was a great tour. We then walked a few blocks to get one of those jump on jump off buses. We took the bus to several sites, St Patrick's Cathedral, Guiness, Shopping. We had a lunch at Guiness, it cost 26 Euro to get in and lunch was 36 kind of alot for lunch. the bus is the way to go. Ready to go home. The airport was a ZOO on January 1st. All in all would recommend a trip to Ireland anytime you are able.



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