Author Topic: Ireland  (Read 3715 times)

Offline chumley

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Re: Ireland
« Reply #30 on: October 09, 2015, 12:51:50 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.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Ireland
« Reply #31 on: October 10, 2015, 06:16:18 AM »

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.

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Offline MDixon

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Re: Ireland
« Reply #32 on: October 16, 2015, 05:50:59 AM »
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.

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Offline MDixon

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Re: Ireland
« Reply #33 on: October 19, 2015, 01:28:57 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.
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Offline MDixon

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Re: Ireland
« Reply #34 on: November 23, 2015, 09:55:13 AM »
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.

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Offline pete b

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Re: Ireland
« Reply #35 on: November 23, 2015, 10:57:45 AM »
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.
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Offline theDarkSide

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Re: Ireland
« Reply #36 on: November 23, 2015, 12:13:20 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.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Ireland
« Reply #37 on: November 23, 2015, 02:23:49 PM »
Yeah, looked like big fun.

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Offline MDixon

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Re: Ireland
« Reply #38 on: December 30, 2015, 02:26:16 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.
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Offline jeffy

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Re: Ireland
« Reply #39 on: August 08, 2017, 11:33:58 AM »
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
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Offline MDixon

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Re: Ireland
« Reply #40 on: August 09, 2017, 05:56:10 PM »
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!!!!!!!!
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Offline Bilsch

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Re: Ireland
« Reply #41 on: August 09, 2017, 06:44:40 PM »
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.

Offline MDixon

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Re: Ireland
« Reply #42 on: August 10, 2017, 03:25:52 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.
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Offline jeffy

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Re: Ireland
« Reply #43 on: August 10, 2017, 05:08:16 AM »
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.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
Homebrewing since 1990
AHA member since 1991, now a lifetime member
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Offline MDixon

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Re: Ireland
« Reply #44 on: August 11, 2017, 10:32:21 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.
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