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General Category => Beer Travel => Topic started by: MDixon on June 14, 2015, 10:33:04 PM

Title: Ireland
Post by: MDixon on June 14, 2015, 10:33:04 PM
In November I'll be in Ireland all over the country. We will be touring Guinness as part of the package (as well as Waterford), but our time is self guided.

Suggestions for not to miss sights and beer establishments is appreciated.
Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: mharding73 on June 14, 2015, 11:21:29 PM
Cliffs of moher was one of my favorite sites. 
Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: MDixon on June 15, 2015, 11:30:46 AM
We are going to the Cliffs, Barney Castle and Bunratty Castle and late in the trip staying at Cabra Castle.
Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: theDarkSide on June 15, 2015, 12:45:21 PM
We are going to the Cliffs, Barney Castle and Bunratty Castle and late in the trip staying at Cabra Castle.

Bunratty is a cool castle.  The pub next door was a disappointment.  They had a live irish band (2 guys) but all they played were American covers.  A little bit of a drive is Dingle Pennisula, that has a nice loop along the coast.  The cliffs of Moher were spectacular and the Aillwee Caves were impressive, about 45 minutes north of the cliffs.  We stopped on our way from Galway.
Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: homoeccentricus on June 15, 2015, 12:49:05 PM
I was in Dublin for four days in November. TBH I found the beer selection underwhelming (caveat, this is a Belgian speaking). The microbrewery Porterhouse in Temple Bar was not too bad.
Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: Joe Sr. on June 15, 2015, 03:30:25 PM
I thought the Guiness tour was underwhelming.  I'm told the Jameson tour is the one to take.

Galway was a blast.  Wandering from pub to pub, live music, only one crazed soccer hooligan and he was more of a danger to himself than anything.

I enjoyed visiting Trinity College and seeing the Book of Kells while we were in Dublin.
Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: geauxteed on July 28, 2015, 06:43:35 PM
If you end up in Dingle, by all means go check out the Dingle Brewing Company - http://dinglebrewingcompany.com/

They make a fantastic lager, and the staff is amazingly friendly (like pretty much everyone else we ran into in Ireland!)

Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: theDarkSide on July 28, 2015, 06:54:08 PM
If you end up in Dingle, by all means go check out the Dingle Brewing Company - http://dinglebrewingcompany.com/

They make a fantastic lager, and the staff is amazingly friendly (like pretty much everyone else we ran into in Ireland!)


We stayed at the Benner's and Dingle Brewing was less than 1/2 mile away.  Unfortunately, I didn't find out about it until we left.
Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: SiameseMoose on July 29, 2015, 01:17:55 AM
We were there two years ago. It was a tremendous trip. In no particular order (well, actually the order in which they're coming to mind), our highlights included:
The Irish Craft Beer Festival - not all that big, but then not massively overcrowded. One fun thing was meeting the Irish homebrewers. My wife is on the AHA Governing Committee, and at the time I was the president of our local club. Somehow the two of us talking to them got twisted into a message to their other members that "the President of the AHA is here!" It was a hilarious misunderstanding, and one guy asked for my autograph thinking I was Charlie Papazian.
My favorite beer was Metalman's Irish Pale Ale. We got to meet their brewmaster. I don't remember her name, but my wife was stoked that it was a woman.
We loved Galway. Galway Brewery has a beer named Hooker, named after the local fishing boat that has an upturned prow that looks like a fishing hook. My wife spent a lot of time trying to buy one of their T shirts that said "Call for a Hooker".
We took a ferry out to the Aran Islands. They were very, very cool!
Visit a fairy ring, preferably with a local guide who can give you some history.
The tour at Guinness is middling. The visit to the bar is great. The tour at Jameson's was a waste. The tour at Smithwick's was great, but that location is now closed.
Non-beer: Cliffs of Moher, Rock of Cashel (sp?), and the bus tour of Dublin were all great.

You will have a great time! The Irish people were very receptive to Americans, and it was the easiest European country we have visited in terms of understanding how to do stuff and get around. Apart from being on the wrong side of the road. Roundabouts in the wrong direction are scary!
Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: hopfenundmalz on July 29, 2015, 01:27:55 AM
We were there two years ago. It was a tremendous trip. In no particular order (well, actually the order in which they're coming to mind), our highlights included:
The Irish Craft Beer Festival - not all that big, but then not massively overcrowded. One fun thing was meeting the Irish homebrewers. My wife is on the AHA Governing Committee, and at the time I was the president of our local club. Somehow the two of us talking to them got twisted into a message to their other members that "the President of the AHA is here!" It was a hilarious misunderstanding, and one guy asked for my autograph thinking I was Charlie Papazian.
My favorite beer was Metalman's Irish Pale Ale. We got to meet their brewmaster. I don't remember her name, but my wife was stoked that it was a woman.
We loved Galway. Galway Brewery has a beer named Hooker, named after the local fishing boat that has an upturned prow that looks like a fishing hook. My wife spent a lot of time trying to buy one of their T shirts that said "Call for a Hooker".
We took a ferry out to the Aran Islands. They were very, very cool!
Visit a fairy ring, preferably with a local guide who can give you some history.
The tour at Guinness is middling. The visit to the bar is great. The tour at Jameson's was a waste. The tour at Smithwick's was great, but that location is now closed.
Non-beer: Cliffs of Moher, Rock of Cashel (sp?), and the bus tour of Dublin were all great.

You will have a great time! The Irish people were very receptive to Americans, and it was the easiest European country we have visited in terms of understanding how to do stuff and get around. Apart from being on the wrong side of the road. Roundabouts in the wrong direction are scary!

Never been to Ireland, but from my driving experiences in England, when a little grey haired granny blasts by you in the roundabout, it is time to get with the program!

If it is one with 7 roads coming in and you can't see the one you want, just keep going around until you know your exit. My record was 2.5 times around.

 When the roads get really narrow, get over as far as you can. Let the twigs hit the mirror. Slow down. The locals I'll blast by like nothing happened. They have been doing that since their early diving years. The only angst is when you meet a beer truck on the narrow roads. You always say to yourself, when does the beer truck come through here?
Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: theDarkSide on July 29, 2015, 12:05:37 PM

Never been to Ireland, but from my driving experiences in England, when a little grey haired granny blasts by you in the roundabout, it is time to get with the program!

If it is one with 7 roads coming in and you can't see the one you want, just keep going around until you know your exit. My record was 2.5 times around.

 When the roads get really narrow, get over as far as you can. Let the twigs hit the mirror. Slow down. The locals I'll blast by like nothing happened. They have been doing that since their early diving years. The only angst is when you meet a beer truck on the narrow roads. You always say to yourself, when does the beer truck come through here?


Just watch out for those twigs because right behind them are a lot of stone walls, as my brother-in-law found out...bye bye mirror.  I joked that the rental car place must have a storeroom in the back stocked with hundreds of mirrors.

And on several occasions during the week, I had to remind him to go left in the roundabout, not right.  I think my next trip will have to be to Germany...they drive on the correct side of the road. :)
Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: hopfenundmalz on July 29, 2015, 01:59:22 PM

Never been to Ireland, but from my driving experiences in England, when a little grey haired granny blasts by you in the roundabout, it is time to get with the program!

If it is one with 7 roads coming in and you can't see the one you want, just keep going around until you know your exit. My record was 2.5 times around.

 When the roads get really narrow, get over as far as you can. Let the twigs hit the mirror. Slow down. The locals I'll blast by like nothing happened. They have been doing that since their early diving years. The only angst is when you meet a beer truck on the narrow roads. You always say to yourself, when does the beer truck come through here?


Just watch out for those twigs because right behind them are a lot of stone walls, as my brother-in-law found out...bye bye mirror.  I joked that the rental car place must have a storeroom in the back stocked with hundreds of mirrors.

And on several occasions during the week, I had to remind him to go left in the roundabout, not right.  I think my next trip will have to be to Germany...they drive on the correct side of the road. :)
Stone walls or hedgerows that have become dirt embankments.
Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: a10t2 on July 29, 2015, 02:14:55 PM
Hopefully you'll have a car. It is not an easy country to get around otherwise.

It's been seven years, so the microbrewery thing hadn't even started when I was there. The Guinness tour was skippable, although St. James's Gate itself was cool. The Jameson tour was the fun one.

Doolin and Galway were favorite stops. Kells' Priory stands out for being difficult to get to (without a car) and abandoned despite the popularity of the Book of Kells.
Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: MDixon on July 30, 2015, 01:25:36 PM
Yes, we will be driving.

Right now we are planning to start in Dublin and work our way around the country clockwise. We stay at B&Bs each night, but have not yet set those exact destinations for 7 of the 9 nights.
Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: BrewingRover on July 30, 2015, 09:24:44 PM

Just watch out for those twigs because right behind them are a lot of stone walls, as my brother-in-law found out...bye bye mirror.  I joked that the rental car place must have a storeroom in the back stocked with hundreds of mirrors.

And on several occasions during the week, I had to remind him to go left in the roundabout, not right.  I think my next trip will have to be to Germany...they drive on the correct side of the road. :)

I thought for sure I'd be on the hook for a few hundred pounds after my drive through the Lake District, but apparently a few scratches are expected on rentals over there. I think I about destroyed the wheel covers scraping against the stone walls.
Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: MDixon on July 30, 2015, 11:20:08 PM
I bought the insurance which basically allows me to walk away should anything happen.
Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: theDarkSide on July 31, 2015, 12:24:43 PM
I bought the insurance which basically allows me to walk away should anything happen.
Same here, although I never get it when I rent in the US but it sounded like a good plan.
Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: MDixon on August 24, 2015, 01:34:29 PM
So Skellig Michael is out, they stop going there in October and the birds have flow a month or two earlier. Guess we will see that from the shore. Currently looking at something like:
Dublin
Kilkenny
Waterford
Cork
Dingle
Limerick
Doolin/Cliffs of Moher
Arran Islands
Kingscourt

With a million stops on the way.

Beermapping has an Ireland map:
http://beermapping.com/maps/maps.php?m=ireland#lat=undefined&lng=undefined&z=10
Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: homoeccentricus on August 24, 2015, 02:30:54 PM
No Galway/Connemara?
Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: garcastle on August 30, 2015, 03:14:48 PM
No Galway/Connemara?

It was many years ago (1993?), but I enjoyed Galway and Belfast.  Dublin was WAAAY touristy and other stouts were honestly more tasty (Smithwicks and some others I've long forgotten).  I didn't get a chance to hit smaller areas.  I'm looking forward to bringing the wife and kids there soon.

Cheers,
G.
Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: wingnut on August 31, 2015, 08:46:38 PM
Dingle peninsula was the highlight when we went there.   When my wife and I go back, we may spend a few days in Dingle and around the peninsula. 

+1.. Guinness is a tourist trap now more than a tour.  You no longer get to tour a working brewery... and it has been turned into a  neat tour but.... it is only informative for a person that is new to beer brewing... the memorable part was being able to taste some different types of  Guinness on the top floor, but overall it was not as memorable as you would think.

I did not do the distillery, but that is where I would go.  ALso, I think Smithwick had a tour as well that we did not hit (lost the coin flip with my wife that day on what we would see lol)

Driving is an absolute experience.  If your rent an automatic... be persistant about it.  When we went to pick our rental up... they said they did not have anymore automatics and we would have to take a manual.... after 20 or so minutes of not accepting that solution, they did "find one".

I loved driving in Ireland, and I think it is the only way to go.  However, it was also the most stressful!  The roads are truely narrow and where we in the US have a nice white line to mark the edge of the road... in Ireland they have stone walls that have been in place since 1200 AD...  with plant and twigs growing out of them... making the narrow lane even more narrow.  LOL   Good news is, if your driving... no worries, your spouse will let you know EXACTLY how close you are to the wall at all times,  (just know you are not really close until they start to use four letter words... your mileage may vary)  ;D

I am looking at my screen background on my computer right now (it has been there ever since we went on our trip three years ago...and I am so enviouse of you right now!!!) 

I found that just about any town you go in has a pub... and they all have pretty good beer if you look for it.  Most lead with lagers now, but there are still some very nice ales everywhere.   If you are lucky, you can get a Guinness and Murphys side by side and have some real fun!  We ate at pubs for dinner at night and enjoyed the music whenvever possible.  Lunch at the pubs was pretty good to, but sometimes we would grab a take and carry from the gas stations while we drove.

ENJOY!!!
Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: hopfenundmalz on August 31, 2015, 09:08:35 PM
I like the challenge of RHD manuals. Just Saying that I do, others will not.
Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: jeffy on August 31, 2015, 09:34:37 PM
Dingle peninsula was the highlight when we went there.   When my wife and I go back, we may spend a few days in Dingle and around the peninsula. 

+1.. Guinness is a tourist trap now more than a tour.  You no longer get to tour a working brewery... and it has been turned into a  neat tour but.... it is only informative for a person that is new to beer brewing... the memorable part was being able to taste some different types of  Guinness on the top floor, but overall it was not as memorable as you would think.

I did not do the distillery, but that is where I would go.  ALso, I think Smithwick had a tour as well that we did not hit (lost the coin flip with my wife that day on what we would see lol)

Driving is an absolute experience.  If your rent an automatic... be persistant about it.  When we went to pick our rental up... they said they did not have anymore automatics and we would have to take a manual.... after 20 or so minutes of not accepting that solution, they did "find one".

I loved driving in Ireland, and I think it is the only way to go.  However, it was also the most stressful!  The roads are truely narrow and where we in the US have a nice white line to mark the edge of the road... in Ireland they have stone walls that have been in place since 1200 AD...  with plant and twigs growing out of them... making the narrow lane even more narrow.  LOL   Good news is, if your driving... no worries, your spouse will let you know EXACTLY how close you are to the wall at all times,  (just know you are not really close until they start to use four letter words... your mileage may vary)  ;D

I am looking at my screen background on my computer right now (it has been there ever since we went on our trip three years ago...and I am so enviouse of you right now!!!) 

I found that just about any town you go in has a pub... and they all have pretty good beer if you look for it.  Most lead with lagers now, but there are still some very nice ales everywhere.   If you are lucky, you can get a Guinness and Murphys side by side and have some real fun!  We ate at pubs for dinner at night and enjoyed the music whenvever possible.  Lunch at the pubs was pretty good to, but sometimes we would grab a take and carry from the gas stations while we drove.

ENJOY!!!

This sounds a lot like driving in Wales.  It's true about your spouse letting you know how close to the stone wall you are.  My reply was always, "heck, we haven't even hit the mirror yet."
Shifting was never a problem for me, but I'm in all sorts of different cars every day anyway.  What I found more difficult to remember was where the blinker was.  You can tell a U.S. tourist because they have the wipers on before a turn.
Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: BrewingRover on September 01, 2015, 11:55:48 AM
I like the challenge of RHD manuals. Just Saying that I do, others will not.

I've enjoyed it too. IME, automatics are rare in Europe so you may not be able to get one, no matter how persistent you are.
Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: MDixon on September 01, 2015, 12:57:28 PM
It was an upcharge for an automatic and so I opted for the manual. When I was a wee lad (do you see what I did there) I would change the gears for my father with my left hand so it shouldn't be that much of a stretch to figure it out. If it does prove difficult I'll just let my wife change the gears. ;)
Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: homoeccentricus on September 01, 2015, 01:00:52 PM
It's like moving to the metric system: 1-2-3-4-5. How difficult can it be?  ;)
Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: hopfenundmalz on September 01, 2015, 01:33:38 PM
I drove Rhd cars often for work. Competitive cars or ones from an overseas division where the drive on the left.


The challenge is the narrow roads.with hills and curves, Full of walkers and bicyclists on the weekends, all between the stone walls.
Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: chumley on October 09, 2015, 06:06:13 PM
We just got back from a trip to Ireland.  Landed in Dublin Sunday, September 27, after 10 days in Scotland, and got home this past Tuesday, October 6.

We took a 5 day guided craft brewery tour of Ireland:

http://breweryhopsofireland.com/product/5-day-wild-atlantic-way-tour/ (http://breweryhopsofireland.com/product/5-day-wild-atlantic-way-tour/)

I highly recommend it to everyone.  Small group interested in beer, the guide Mia is friendly, very knowledgeable, and gives you great discussions of Ireland as you travel across the countryside.
 
Like the rest of Europe, craft beer has really exploded in Ireland in the past 5 years, and new breweries are opening up, and current craft breweries are expanding, at a remarkable pace.  We visited Eight Degrees, Franciscan Wells, Blacks of Kinsale, Stonewell cidery, Killarny, Burren, Galway Bay, and White Gypsey.  All had excellent beer.  A couple of nice stops at Irish smokehouses as well.

The Cliffs of Moher are a must visit (walk the trail to avoid the crowds) and the Burren is cool as well.

Beer-related, one of the highlights was sitting in the Salt House pub in Galway, which is owned by the Galway Bay brewery.  The night we were there (Thursday October 1), they were putting on three guest taps from the White Hag brewery, and the White Hag brewers were on hand.  One of the beers they had was a a heather sour ale, bittered with gruit (no hops), and fermented with whatever wild yeast was on the heather.  It was an amazing beer (their 10.2% Imperial Stout was pretty good as well).

One tip:  in Dublin, have dinner and a few beers at L. Mulligan Grocer.
Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: HoosierBrew on October 09, 2015, 06:33:27 PM
Sounds like an awesome trip, Chumley. My plan is to do something similar in the not too distant future.
Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: Wort-H.O.G. on October 09, 2015, 07:20:34 PM
fantastic trip it appears. Seems like a lot has changed with craft beer since I was there last in 2011.

Didi you get a chance to visit Guinness and do the tour?  How about Jameson? I absolutely love Kilkenny and enjoyed that as top visit.
Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: chumley on October 09, 2015, 07:51:50 PM
I did visit the Guinness storehouse and did the self-guided tour.  It is pretty neat, but a bit too touristy for my tastes.  Plus, after a week of touring craft breweries, I was brewery toured out.  I also visited Jameson and did not tour (the wait was a little long).

I went on a tour of the Macallan distillery in Scotland.  That was very interesting.  Comparing the mashing, lautering and fermentation schedules for distilling, compared to beer brewing, was quite interesting.

One thing I got out of the Guinness tour.  They do not use Dublin water for brewing.  They have always used water from the adjacent mountains, which are uplifted sandstone, and the water is very soft with little alkalinity.
Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: hopfenundmalz on October 10, 2015, 01:16:18 PM

One thing I got out of the Guinness tour.  They do not use Dublin water for brewing.  They have always used water from the adjacent mountains, which are uplifted sandstone, and the water is very soft with little alkalinity.

That is what Martin has been saying for a few years.

Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: MDixon on October 16, 2015, 12:50:59 PM
In preparation for our trip I did something which turned out to be kinda cool.

As we found things we were absolutely going to visit or may want to visit we entered them into a Google Map. It allowed us to create layers and also to change icons. We entered all our B&Bs as well. It turned out to be a long list with many layers.

I noticed you could output the data as KML and then I found an online KML to GPX converter.
http://kml2gpx.com/

Next I used the Garmin POI loader and put the files on one of our Garmins. We had purchased the UK maps (off ebay for a song) so now I can throw the GPS on the dash with all the POI loaded and we can tool around like we own the place (or more likely white knuckle it around since we will be driving on the wrong side of the road).

Creating our map in Google was not difficult at all and to go from the KML output to POI on the GPS was a matter of minutes. Knowing how simple this was if I take another trip with more than a handful of locations I'll just create a Google map and save a ton of time as opposed to punching in addresses.

(https://mashbang.files.wordpress.com/2015/08/ireland.jpg)
Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: MDixon on October 19, 2015, 08:28:57 PM
Ok, so it gets even a little cooler. Turns out there is a My Maps app for Android. I purchased an inexpensive smart phone to use in Ireland and plan to get a SIM for it from Tesco once we arrive. It is 30 euro for a 15GB card and unlimited calls/text. I really only plan to use the data. The My Maps app is able to access the Google map I created for Ireland. The restriction is it can only access 3 layers at a time. For that reason I may consolidate some of my layers so I can hit them on the run.

So now I have them in the GPS and also can have them on the Android phone. The phone I purchased is from Yezz Andy mobile and Amazon has them at an affordable price. I was looking into options and since what I really wanted was data and to use as a hotspot when we don't have WiFi I decided on this phone.
Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: MDixon on November 23, 2015, 04:55:13 PM
So we are back and here are some random thoughts/observations. We put 1,867 km (1,160 miles) on the car during the trip. A GPS is a necessity and you can get the maps off ebay for $30 or so for a Garmin. They worked great as did preplanning a variety of stops in the GPS as POI files. So no matter what use a GPS you are familiar with.

Driving is intimidating until you get the hang of it. That took 2 to 3 days and by day 5 you are all set. Shifting left handed was not difficult, but trying to shift and manipulate high and low beams on the column at night was extremely difficult. Roads turn suddenly and often a sharp turn is not well marked. We found turns almost always followed increases in speed limits which made absolutely no sense.

We weathered Storm Abigail (torrential rain) and Storm Barney (85 mph winds) while there. In fact we were in a 100 km/hr zone heading into the winds during Barney and I could barely get to 70 km/hr due to the constant wind. We were unaware of the weather and their forecasts are inaccurate for the most part so basically you should know you may get any type of weather. One night we actually saw snow while in Kingscourt.

If you are going for beer be sure to plan each brewery and know where there beer is served. Running into craft Irish beer is like finding a needle in a haystack anywhere other than Galway. They also seem to think someone making a Harp clone and serving locally is craft which is not quite my definition.

We stayed in:
Howth (Dublin)
Galway
Doolin
Dingle
Bennetsbridge (Kilkenny)
Kingscourt

Finding a pub was easy, finding one serving food outside a larger area was more difficult.

If I was going again I would plan more time in Dingle, we only did one night and it was a fun one. Galway has quite a bit to offer and would be a good place to set up central command and run out from. We drove through Limerick just to say we did and it did not excite me. Waterford to me was a waste of time as far as a city, the tour of the manufacturing floor was great just to see those craftsmen at work. Dublin is a large city with almost no parking, I would skip driving in Dublin if possible it took an hour and fifteen minutes to go less than 8 miles.

Every town has a speed limit of 50 km/hr or less. M roads allow 120 km/hr, N roads are 100 km/hr and R roads are typically 80 km/hr. If the road is not one of those it is most likely 1 1/2 lanes or single lane. Single lanes are a little stressful to traverse, especially at night. I would personally suggest you not drive after dark unless you know exactly where you are going.

We toured Guinness, it is a huge tourist trap and you really don't see the production facility, but it is a good tour. If I did it again I would pour my own pint and try some of the more interesting beers.

The Cliffs of Moher were spectacular. I am told it is hit or miss if they will even be visible.

The Bunratty Castle was a great. Lots to explore and Durty Nelly's is next door.

The Blarney Castle seemed like an Arboretum with a tourist trap (the stone). I'll bet it would be great in the summer with flowers in bloom.

Waterford Crystal was great for the craftsman aspect.

Some of the better finds were Sean's Bar in Athlone. It was great. We hit an awesome pub in Doolin, Gus O'Connors. The food was crazy beautiful. All the pubs in Dingle were a blast, most were also hardware stores or haberdashery stores. In Galway the Oslo Pub is where Galway Bay Brewery was until about a year and a half ago. It served everything they made and they make quite a few. Their Hooker beer is a pale ale and can be found fairly widespread.

All the people were awesome, one gentlemen just keep buying rounds and finally I had to ask him to stop.

As far as food finding out Corned Beef is nonexistent in Ireland was a bit of a letdown. Also when they cook cabbage it is separate from the dish and added as a vegetable. They serve Bacon, but it is closer to ham. the Bacon and Cabbage at Gus O'Connors in Doolin was good enough I would return to Ireland just to have it again. A Full Irish Breakfast is a heck of a meal. Typically two sausages, two pieces of bacon, a fried egg, black pudding, white pudding, tomatoes, mushrooms, and toast. I had that at a few of our B&Bs, but eventually gave up and just went with something less. When I had it I would be full until nightfall.

Our trip was a Groupon from Great Value Vacations and I highly recommend them. Everything was simple and easy.

We also purchased an Irish Heritage Card for 25 euro each and used it for several heritage sites. Dublin Castle, Jerpoint Abbey, Dunmore Cave, Kilkenny Castle, Trim Castle, Newgrange, etc... I may have forgotten a few. Most heritage sites are 4 euro to 9 euro to visit and the card was easy as pie, show it and gain entrance and special tours. You cannot get it ahead of time, but any site will sell it, some may only take euro and not CC.

If anyone is planning a trip and has questions, just ask.

Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: pete b on November 23, 2015, 05:57:45 PM
Its my understanding that Corned Beef and Cabbage is Irish-American and picked up by the Irish immigrants from Jewish immigrants who tended to live nearby i9n American cities.
Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: theDarkSide on November 23, 2015, 07:13:20 PM
We saw a lot of sheep sleeping in the road where we went.  Talk about a scare going around a corner.
Bunratty Castle was great.   Wasn't a fan of Durty Nelly's.  The band was playing covers of American songs and too many drunk/loud/obnoxious tourist.

Dingle, Galway and Kilarney were great.  The Cliffs of Moher was spectacular.  I actually went on the other side of the wall to spread my mother-in-laws ashes...scared the living hell out of me.
Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: hopfenundmalz on November 23, 2015, 09:23:49 PM
Yeah, looked like big fun.

Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: MDixon on December 30, 2015, 09:26:16 PM
If you have seen Star Wars the island in the movie is Skellig Michael. We wanted to go there during the trip, but the boats only run April through October. SW has filmed there twice, once for the current movie and they went back to film for the next several months ago.
Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: jeffy on August 08, 2017, 06:33:58 PM
I have been rereading this thread in advance of a trip next month to Ireland and have a couple questions for Mike. 
1) With cell phone technology, is it really necessary to get a garmin or similar device and the related maps? 
2) Is there a reason you bought another cell phone for the trip?  Did you do this to avoid roaming charges?  We have iphones and service through AT&T.  I plan to call them and get more info before the trip.
Thanks for your help.
Jeff
Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: MDixon on August 10, 2017, 12:56:10 AM
At the time we went I don't believe Verizon had a $10 per day plan. I would research if certain areas of the country have cell service since certain areas can be quite remote. I used the Garmin because I did not have a phone at the time capable of working in Ireland other than our throw away. It was such an inexpensive Android phone it did not perform well.

The Garmin was interesting because it was displaying in mph and so I did the km/hr conversion on the fly.

Ireland is awesome, I want to go back right now!!!!!!!!
Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: Bilsch on August 10, 2017, 01:44:40 AM
We have iphones and service through AT&T.  I plan to call them and get more info before the trip.

You have a GSM phone already so the cheapest route is to buy a local sim card at the airport or vicinity when you arrive and swap your sim. European phone service is usually way cheaper then it is here. I was just in Portugal and got a Vodaphone 30 day plan with 5gig data for like 25 euro. I'm betting you'll find several cell companies with offices right in the arrival hall at the Dublin airport.
Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: MDixon on August 10, 2017, 10:25:52 AM
Not sure about the airport. When we came out from retrieving our luggage I don't recall any businesses. The airport staff was very friendly as was everyone in Ireland so they would always be glad to point you in the right direction.

Tesco (think of it as similar to WalMart) is all over and will sell the SIM. It was not as seamless as I had hoped and took some phone setting changes to make it work, but that could have been my thrown away Android phone.
Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: jeffy on August 10, 2017, 12:08:16 PM
So far all we have is air tickets leaving Thursday evening Sept. 21 and returning Saturday afternoon the 30th. 
I wonder if I can buy the sim card here before we go and save last minute hassle.
I am looking into the new edition of CAMRA's Good Beer Guide, but it looks like it comes out in September.
We want to spend a couple of days in Dublin then rent a car.  I want to see Belfast and the north coast as well as some of the places recommended in this thread on the west side of the island. 
I have driven in England, Wales and Scotland as well as Australia so I have only a respectable fear of RHD.
I'm excited.
Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: MDixon on August 11, 2017, 05:32:21 PM
Be sure your CC covers car insurance or buy it. If you don't scratch up the car I would be surprised. I just about wore out the wheel covers on one side. We also hit an animal while there which ran out in front of me. I had walk away insurance so no worries and no added charges.
Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: jeffy on August 11, 2017, 06:10:36 PM
Be sure your CC covers car insurance or buy it. If you don't scratch up the car I would be surprised. I just about wore out the wheel covers on one side. We also hit an animal while there which ran out in front of me. I had walk away insurance so no worries and no added charges.
This reminds me of a time I was driving a rental down from the top of Sequoia National Park and one of the wheel covers flew off around a fast curve.  I pulled over to look for it and about the same time another car pulled over to see if everything was OK.  I told him about the cover and he said he had one just like it at his house, just down the hill.  I followed him and sure enough he had an exact match.  I was really afraid the rental car company was going to charge me for broken or missing wheel covers, but they just said it happens all the time on that particular model. 
Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: MDixon on August 11, 2017, 10:31:06 PM
When we went to Ireland no CC covered the insurance. If you damage the car, and you will, they can charge your CC up to the value of the car without the insurance. I recently received a notification from one of my cards they now cover rental in Ireland. I figured the walk away insurance was a better deal than having my CC charged for the damage.
Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: BrewingRover on August 17, 2017, 02:40:26 AM
Be sure your CC covers car insurance or buy it. If you don't scratch up the car I would be surprised. I just about wore out the wheel covers on one side. We also hit an animal while there which ran out in front of me. I had walk away insurance so no worries and no added charges.

I scratched the hell out of the wheel covers on the rental I had in the Lake District in England. Narrow roads + stone walls + crazy tractor drivers. I was sure I was going to get hit with a big charge, but the kid who checked me in didn't give them a second look.
Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: jeffy on August 17, 2017, 11:50:42 AM
It looks like the car rental itself is pretty cheap at $95 for a week, but the insurance is about $25 per day!  I may have to find a different solution.  To be honest I never buy rental insurance, but I guess I have been pretty lucky.
Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: hopfenundmalz on August 17, 2017, 12:49:14 PM
It looks like the car rental itself is pretty cheap at $95 for a week, but the insurance is about $25 per day!  I may have to find a different solution.  To be honest I never buy rental insurance, but I guess I have been pretty lucky.
I never do either - in the US. In England and Germany I get the insurance.
Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: jeffy on October 01, 2017, 02:17:14 AM
We are on our way back from a week in Ireland now I thought I would share some notes.
I ended up getting an international day pass through my cell phone carrier (at&t) for $10 each day that it was used.  That way I could use the stuff I was already familiar with.  My iPhone worked well as a gps when needed.
We flew non stop on the red eye into Dublin and stayed there two nights near Trinity College.  Everything was within walking distance from our Airbnb and we were very good tourists.  We toured the Old Library and the Book of Kells - enjoyed the library more, but it was on the same ticket; toured Dublin Castle - pretty interesting; the Beatty Library/museum is just behind it and was worth the time spent; we did a tour of Jameson's Old Distillery and then had drinks at their bar; visited several churches as well as several pubs.  Most bars have a selection of mass market lagers and a couple of Guinness taps, and there seemed to be some feaux crafts by the big brewers as well, but we found that Galway Bay Brewing Co. has three or four pubs in Dublin, all with good craft beer.
We then got an uber back to the airport and picked up a rental car. It came as a surprise that if you decline the insurance they hold €5000 on your credit card.  Pro tip: if driving in a country with right hand drive, rent your car on Sunday morning when there is less traffic.  It takes a little getting used to and I am glad we didn't start driving right away, jet-lagged in downtown Dublin.
We drove to Northern Ireland with a stop for coffee in Belfast and then a really scenic drive along the north coast.  We stopped at the Giant's Causeway, which is spectacular, then drove to Derry/Londonderry, an old city with a completely intact ancient wall.
On to Galway, which has a very international feel to it and a booming tourist industry.  Tons of pubs and restaurants to enjoy in the Old Spanish Quarter.  Through a mutual friend we met up with the brewer from Galway Bay, who helped us with pubs for the rest of our trip.  As it was in Dublin, unless you want a Guinness or a "lager" you have to do a little research.  At this point I finally found a copy of CAMRA's 2018 Good Beer Guide and was disappointed that it did not include Ireland. 
After two nights we left Galway for Killarney, visiting the Cliffs of Maher on the way, which was in a cloud at the time but still incredibly impressive, then taking the ferry to save miles and time.  Killarney is cute and walkable and we found a really cool whiskey bar where we did flights of Irish whiskies.
We drove to Dingle, had coffee and then drove the loop through the peninsula.  Best.Drive.Ever.
The drive back to Dublin was mostly M-roads (motorways) and N-roads (wide two-lanes).  We stopped about halfway at Rock of Cashel to walk the ruins of a mideival church.  Altogether we drove a bit over 1200Km in a three cylinder Nissan.  The country is small enough that the longest travel day for us between cities was about three and a half hours of driving.
I had a Beamish stout last night at a pub in operation since 1766.  Nice.
Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: HoosierBrew on October 01, 2017, 03:13:22 AM
Sounds like an awesome trip, Jeff. Being of Irish heritage,  I can't wait to get over there someday.
Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: MDixon on October 01, 2017, 08:12:05 PM
Dingle was wonderful. Wish we had spent more time there than we did.
Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: theDarkSide on October 02, 2017, 12:27:07 PM
Agreed...Dingle was great...still don't want to drive those roads though.
Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: MDixon on October 02, 2017, 01:00:04 PM
Driving wasn't bad most of the time. The most difficult thing for me was shifting with the left hand and dimming the lights since that was on the left hand on the car we had rented. It was impossible to shift and manipulate the lights. So rain+night+hills+curves+oncoming traffic = difficult driving. Of course you could rent an automatic, but turn in your man card. ;)
Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: hopfenundmalz on October 02, 2017, 02:23:18 PM
Driving wasn't bad most of the time. The most difficult thing for me was shifting with the left hand and dimming the lights since that was on the left hand on the car we had rented. It was impossible to shift and manipulate the lights. So rain+night+hills+curves+oncoming traffic = difficult driving. Of course you could rent an automatic, but turn in your man card. ;)
The shifting with the left hand is easy enough for me, as I drove many right drive cars as an automotive engineer. We have a bet as to how long it will take me to turn on the wipers when I intend to use the turn signals. Usually happens early in the trip.

The column and stalks are usually common between left and right drive vehicles to save parts costs. That is why the turn signals were hard to use while shifting. High end vehicles may be different, but I didn’t work on those.
Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: theDarkSide on October 02, 2017, 02:24:39 PM
Driving wasn't bad most of the time. The most difficult thing for me was shifting with the left hand and dimming the lights since that was on the left hand on the car we had rented. It was impossible to shift and manipulate the lights. So rain+night+hills+curves+oncoming traffic = difficult driving. Of course you could rent an automatic, but turn in your man card. ;)
(https://my2bucks.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/man-card.jpg)
Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: jeffy on October 02, 2017, 07:31:16 PM
I had no trouble shifting and already knew about the blinkers/wipers location, so I made a conscious effort to use them properly.  Two things I noticed about the car though - if you used the turn signal stalk, but did not push it all the way until it clicked, the blinker flashed about 3 times and stopped.  I found this very convenient for lane changes and my car had no neutral safety (clutch) switch, so you had to make sure it was not in gear before engaging the starter.  I thought all cars had that, but I guess it's just all U.S. cars.
Another thing we noticed was how polite all the drivers seemed to be.  Even in the city, we hardly ever heard a horn.
I don't think I drove at night at all.  Walking to pubs was every evening's entertainment.
Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: hopfenundmalz on October 02, 2017, 09:15:31 PM
I had no trouble shifting and already knew about the blinkers/wipers location, so I made a conscious effort to use them properly.  Two things I noticed about the car though - if you used the turn signal stalk, but did not push it all the way until it clicked, the blinker flashed about 3 times and stopped.  I found this very convenient for lane changes and my car had no neutral safety (clutch) switch, so you had to make sure it was not in gear before engaging the starter.  I thought all cars had that, but I guess it's just all U.S. cars.
Another thing we noticed was how polite all the drivers seemed to be.  Even in the city, we hardly ever heard a horn.
I don't think I drove at night at all.  Walking to pubs was every evening's entertainment.

The clutch interlock is a US requirement. In Germany I was told “our driver’s aren’t stupid”.

My US car has the intermittent turn signal, but ir was designed to meet EU requirements. That was a feature I remember back in the late 90s in Germany.
Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: MDixon on November 28, 2017, 01:37:23 AM
Looks like we are heading back to Ireland in August 2018. Snagged a Groupon deal through Great Value Vacations which was too good to pass up. After a couple of nights in Kilkenny, planning to head to Belfast and N. Ireland if anyone has any don't miss places pass them along.

In case anyone is interested (should be viable for another week):
https://www.greatvaluevacations.com/vacations/ireland-b-and-b-vacation?utm_source=groupon&utm_medium=e-mail&utm_campaign=GRUP20171121BABVA&gateway=JFK&month=201802
Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: MDixon on August 07, 2018, 12:55:19 PM
Leaving Saturday for a return visit. Two nights in Kilkenny, then on to Belfast, Bushmills, and Donegal before returning to Dublin for the journey home. I'll post anything great we run into along the way.
Title: Re: Ireland
Post by: MDixon on August 20, 2018, 10:57:07 PM
This time only 1,095 miles. Craft beer is not that difficult to find in Ireland and Northern Ireland, but finding it draft can be difficult.