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ianandpam’s Travel Diary

Wednesday, 08 Aug 2007

Location: Ireland

MapWorld tour of Ireland 2007.

Well we are back from Ireland after our 8 day trip. This place is absolutly amazing, probably the most scenic place I have ever seen. I know it sounds bad but in some aspects it absolutely smashes oz. Anyway to make it easy will go day by day.

Arrived at a bright 7am in Dublin and picked up our beast of a van and off we went. First stop was Killkenny which was a bit of a disapointment. The guide books talk this place up a lot but there is a castle and that's about it, quite nice enough but nothing to do so we took off again and went to the Rock of Cashel which is this huge old church/castle on top of a rock funny enough, the views were spectacular and my comment from a distance of "I thought it would be bigger" quickly disapeared as we climbed up the side of a hill and walked around for an 1 1/2 to have a little look. We then went down to cork and spent the first night down there in this hostel that was so small you couldn't help but laugh. 6 foot wide with 6 bed in it you just couldn't move- good fun but.

Did a day trip out to Killarney from cork and did a jaunty cart horse ride out to Ross Castle which was good. Kids loved "Pepsi" the horse. Nice castle with good views. We then drove around some of the ring of Kerry- a really scenic part of Ireland. Trouble was it was quite misty but still got some ok views. We then crossed over to the ring of Baera and went through a mountain pass called Healy's pass -views were spectacular. Off to Cork again for the night in our shoebox.

Left cork today and went to the Dingle Peninsula for a drive- this place was awesome, we have never seen views and scenery as we did here, really rugged. Saw some neolithic rock houses which made you think if they could make a house out of rock why not use wood? We then got the car ferry over to The Burren where we stayed for a night.

We went to the Cliffs of Moher this morning. The cliffs are huge and look out into the Atlantic -then into the Burren and had a look at a stone fort (caher commaun) and a grave from 3000BC (poilnabrone dolmen) wandered around in the limestone crevaces for a while then went up to Sligo for the night. Stayed at the Gyreum a hostel inspired by Star Wars. Very cool- kids had a great time. Probably because they didn't have to duck to walk around the place.

Went to Londonderry (Derry) and did a red bus trip around the city. This place has a weird vibe about it it was where the "troubles" as the Irish call them where at there height as well as Belfast. Had a look at all the murals and what not and drove up to the Antrim coast where we went to this amazing castle (Dunluce castle) on a cliff that was slowly crumbling into the sea, really beautiful.

Went to the giants causeway today -great place, thought it would be a bit bigger though, then went out to the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge and walked across that, a nice 40 metre drop into the ocean. Funnily enough this was our first day of real rain. Then onto the Bushmills distillary ( Good Stuff!!!!!!!). We then travelled down to Belfast and did a Black Cab tour of the city with a guide and they take you right into the heartland of protestant and Catholic heartland. This city is having major work done to it now the "troubles" are over. We loved this city the people are so accommodating/friendly etc and couldn't do enough for you, I just hope it lasts.

We did a red bus top tour of Belfast tour to get a few more sites in then travelled down to Dublin. On the way we went to Jamesons distillary- after we eventually found our way around all the one-way streets to get to it- and did a tour( Also very good!!!!!).

We got up bright and early - me and Pam wandered down and around temple bar in Dublin ,then did a red bus tour when everyone was up. We stopped in at the Guiness factory for a tour which is really good ( had to drink!) then wandered around the city before we flew out. Dublin is a great city and we could very easily have spent 2-3 days there ( maybe next time).

Anyway home now all is well and will update again soon.
Ian, Pam, Bella, Dylan.