At Long Last...

Discussion in 'Non Disney Trips and Travels' started by Tink, Sep 7, 2016.

  1. Tink

    Tink Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Isn't it a great menu?! They make EVERYTHING (other than the corn flakes and rice krispies. Those are popular with American children, it seems) in house, too!! I was so tempted to have fish and chips for breakfast, but went with the eggs and organic bacon. I didn't think I could handle a full Irish breakfast, but as I said, John was willing to cook anything at all for you, in any way you wanted it.
     
  2. keith

    keith Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    how did you decide on all these places to go?
     
  3. Tink

    Tink Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Well, Dublin was a matter of price, quality and location. Within our parameters, North Star gave us the most for the best price. The AirBnB and VRBO was a matter of searching for something that looked good in places we wanted to go. Siobhan was a big help with the Kinsale area. We didn't want to go where we'd been before, with the exception of Dublin (and Trinity. I'll ALWAYS go to Trinity) so that gave us lots of room to explore the rest of Ireland. Sheedy's came up because I wanted to go to Lisdoonvarna, solely because of Christy Moore's song. I'll be happy to link it here, if you're not familiar with it. From there we chose Connemara because we wanted to be midway between Galway and Sligo. Sligo, we fell into when we realized how long the drive was from where we were staying in Connemara.

    Does that help? Much internet searching. Much reading of reviews. Then, one weekend day we sat down and booked them all straight through. We couldn't get a couple places we tried for through AirBnB, but that was in Dublin, so it worked out well. We do like hotel stays, too. Having the non-hotel stays allowed us to travel with much less luggage, experience local food items that we could buy and cook ourselves, and have more room than a hotel room (generally speaking).

    Not positive we'd do the AirBnB thing again. We'll want to know A LOT more about the places before we plunk down our money. We got really lucky compared to some things we learned later. All in all it was a great trip, and we are happy with our choices of places to stay.
     
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  4. keith

    keith Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    so airbnb is just like a way for local households to offer rooms without setting up their own advertising and such like?
     
  5. Tink

    Tink Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    I think the owner has to pay a fee to belong to AirBnB. They then get a listing and some amount of protection from AirBnB if the renter damages the property in certain ways. I'm not really well versed in that.

    There are rooms to rent, apartments, and full houses. We even saw a refurbished VW bus. You have to read very carefully, and really hawk the photos of the place. If we were ever to do it again, we'd be asking about the condition of the kitchen supplies such as the skillets, pots, etc. The review process is a bit dicey. You have to review in a certain time, and the owner reviews you, too. So, if you put your review up first, and it's bad, the owner can come back and say you were a lousy guest. Those reviews matter to others and you'll find it hard to rent if you get bad reviews.

    We wrote our reviews carefully, so as to be honest, but not to inflame. As I've said, we didn't have any real problems, but did mention things like a skillet so warped that nothing could be cooked on it, a pot that leaked, those sorts of things. We noted in the review that we'd left a note to the owner with the info, and that we hadn't tried to contact him during our stay to address our "minor concerns."

    We didn't review the VRBO place. Their website is trickier to use.
     
  6. Tink

    Tink Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    OK, so while at Sheedy's we visited the Cliffs of Moher. It was a gray, blustery day with moments of sunshine. Rather like the entire trip. We have many photos of the Cliffs, but I'll only torment you with a couple. The wind was so strong the higher up you went that I was actually leaning into it, struggling to walk. Herself had to walk behind me to get some break from the wind. Majestic and beautiful.
    The Cliffs of Moher: This is a familiar angle. You can see how blustery it was with this photo. I hadn't purchased my new raincoat yet, and was soaked through before this visit was over.

    Cliffs Of Moher.jpeg



    Another view of the cliffs... the castle makes a nice back drop, doesn't it? It's not as old as many of the castles in Ireland, but it was still neat to see.

    Castle at Cliffs of Moher.jpg
     
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  7. Tink

    Tink Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    We were so happy to return to Sheedy's and fill our cold empty bellies with the beautiful dinner. I had lamb that night with the most delicious silken potato soup. Herself had scallops. They were cooked to perfection. I wish I'd been brave enough to photograph our dinners, but there were others in the dining room and it was a fairly intimate setting and I allowed that to stop me.

    So, the next day we were off to explore The Burren and visit Poulnabrone. Magnificent day! This is the day I was soaked through again (it was colder and more blustery than the previous day) and bought the new, proper raincoat!

    Poulnabrone:
    Poulnabrone 1.jpg


    Poulnabrone 2.jpg


    Poulnabrone 3.jpg
     
  8. Tink

    Tink Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Good grief, I'm a terrible photographer! Can't center anything, can I? Sheesh.

    Here is a shot of what much of the ground looks like in The Burren. Beefers are raised here. They have a special mineral taste as a result. Very prized beef. I'm amazed that they can negotiate the ground. As barren and rugged as this area looks, I really liked it here. There was something very ancient about the area. Had it been less rainy (icy rain at that) I'd have stayed longer. Herself indulged my oddness quite nicely.

    The Burren.jpg
     
  9. Tink

    Tink Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    On the road somewhere between here and there in County Clare, we passed several farms. A couple had thatched roof farm houses. This one I photographed as we drove by. It was a working farm with the barn very near the house, which seemed to be the norm in this and other areas. Lovely, isn't it?

    Thatched Roof Farmhouse.jpg
     
  10. Tink

    Tink Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Here is the last for today. On the road near to the Burren, between here and there, maybe near Kilfenora, we drove by this house. Stone house, slate roof, gated driveway...I actually looked it up when we returned home. It was affordable. However, the immigration requirements are not. So, no lovely Irish cottage for us, and no Aga either. Dreams. They die hard, sometimes.

    My house:

    My House.jpg
     
  11. BUTTERHEAD1

    BUTTERHEAD1 Well-Known Member

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    Awesome photos..... Keep em coming. My favorite so far is the one of the Cliffs.
     
  12. Mags

    Mags Active Member

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    You stayed in Martina's and John's hotel Tink?! My good friend and her family stay there every year without fail and have become like friends of the family. So if you are ever talking to either or both of them, they will know for certain who Mary and Denis are. :yes: A few years ago they when they were there, they heard a couple talking while having dinner, saying that they came from the town that I live in. Mary asked if they knew 'Margaret'. Not only did they, but they are my neighbours. Truly a small world - oh, oh, there goes that tune again. lol Fab photos BTW and it looks like a great holiday. I come from N.Ireland and have never been to any of the parts you have been to.

    Mags
     
  13. keith

    keith Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Loving the photos really am!
     
  14. Tink

    Tink Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Yes, yes, yes! We LOVE Sheedy's! It's crazy that you know them! Or, at least know of them. STAY THERE. You must go. With your passion for food, you will love it. We so want to return!
    We spent one day traveling to N. Ireland on the train, to take a bus to the Giant's Causeway. Incredible. We didn't have any time in Belfast other than to disembark the train, board the bus, and same on return. For the 30 seconds we saw the city, it looked like a great place to explore another time. Where in N. Ireland are you from.
     
  15. Mags

    Mags Active Member

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    My friends keep telling me how good it is. I think that they stay for a week each year, with dinner included. It costs as much or more than a foreign holiday but they love it!
    If you went on the train from Dublin to Belfast, you will have gone through my village between Newry and Portadown. It is called Poyntzpass. Our house was knocked down 2 years ago but it was right beside the railway and canal. So yes, you went past where I was brought up. The Giant's Causeway just takes my breath away - an amazing and beautiful place. I hope that you managed to get to go to Carrick-a-Rede Bridge and see White Park Bay - so beautiful.

    Mags
     
  16. Tink

    Tink Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Yes, we did go through Portadown. I don't recall the other names, but Portadown stuck. Head stuffed with history, you know?

    We did get to the Carrick-a-Rede Bridge! Herself wasn't too thrilled with crossing it, but she did it! We also saw Dun Luce. Gary Moore's crying guitar in my ears.

    We found Sheedy's to be reasonable, or we'd not have been able to stay, of course. I imagine that having dinner included though would drive the cost right up. Also, being there early in April probably saw a lower charge for the room, overall. It really is worth the visit, Mags. Truly, truly, truly. Now that I know how wonderful it is, we'd easily pay double. Shhhh, don't tell Martina! :lol:

    Ireland is a glorious and magnificent country.
     
  17. Mags

    Mags Active Member

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    I don't blame her with not being too thrilled. I wouldn't cross it for love nor money. I sat and watched. Dunluce Castle is amazing with lots of history and myths behind it - features in Game of Thrones, as does much of that area (don't watch it myself). I hope that you also visited Ballintoy. It is so quaint, I haven't been back in that neck of the woods in ages. I need to go back.
    My friend Mary is always singing Sheedy's praises. She has next year's holiday booked already.

    Mags
     
  18. Tink

    Tink Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Yes, we saw many places that were pointed out by the bus driver as being featured in Game of Thrones. We've never seen it, but the views were still lovely. I don't know if we saw Ballintoy. We went through many little places, with a nice dialogue from the driver, but the names escape me. I'd have to look at the route we took. We went through one little town where there were three caves that had been occupied in the past! Very interesting history.

    Dun Luce has an incredible history! But then, Irish history has always fascinated me, from "reality" to the myths and legends.
     
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  19. Mags

    Mags Active Member

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    Ballintoy is a small harbour. It is beautiful. There is an incredibly steep road down to the harbour. If you look on google images you might recognise it (or not). Again it was used in G.O.T.

    Mags
     
  20. Tink

    Tink Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    I don't recall going down any steep inclines. We drove along the shore for quite some time, though. Definitely need to explore N. Ireland. Having a day trip there is NOT sufficient.

    So, when that day comes, I'll be asking you for recommendations of places to see much like I did with Mairead and Siobhan. I drove those two sainted women nearly mad with all my questions!
     

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