Well, actually just Dublin unless we take some day trips. After Dublin, we’ll jump over to London, then to Geneva for a train up into the Swiss Alps, then by train back to Paris.
We travelled to Ireland first in 2011 where Dublin got a bit shorted in terms of time spent there.
Last trip to Ireland was for two weeks, where we made a giant eight loop, driving from Dublin, stopping at the Rock of Cashel, then on to the south west coast to the Dingle Peninsula, then back up to Dublin after a week to drop our son off for his return flight to the US. The two of us continued from the Republic of Ireland up to and through Northern Ireland (Belfast, Connemara National Park, Londonderry, Giants Causeway), back down to Waterford, before returning to Dublin for the flight home. We absolutely Loved Ireland. There is so much more to see!
Unlike continental Europe, Ireland doesn’t have the extensive rail network almost everywhere. So we drove, which is an adventure unto itself. When we investigated auto rentals in Ireland, we discovered at the time that Ireland was one of four countries where credit card primary insurance was not available with my credit card of choice.
Why you say? Well, once you drive there, you quickly find out why. They do have some roads equivalent to our Interstate highways, but a lot more is the equivalent of winding, narrow country roads, with stone walls about three feet off the pavement (not much shoulder) or hedgerows too tall to see over. Stay in your own lane, as going around the curves, you never know if you’ll come upon a big tour bus coming the opposite way, an 18 wheeler, a horse drawn gypsy wagon caravan, or sheep wandering across the road. One road had a one lane bridge over a small river; two way traffic but one lane wide, with a stop light. We saw them all.
But in the never dull moments of driving in Ireland, we also came upon several roads that are two way traffic on a one lane wide road (over a mountain pass, with little shoulder) or what amounted to a grass path. And, this is with driving a standard transmission auto while seated in the opposite side of the car. We survived to tell the story and there was no insurance claim, though auto insurance (only) was $1,000 for ten days and 1,100 miles.
Would I drive again? Yes. Because a number of the sights you’d want to visit are accessible only by car or bus (tour). My passengers might wince though.
But before we get started, enjoy some of the sights from our 2011 trip on Flickr.
This is Carrick-a-Rede in Northern Ireland.
Other photos on Flickr