Dublin and Five True Facts

Dublin and Five True Facts

Guest Post by Elena Clancy

As a local resident of Ireland, I took a slightly different route in my travels and my experience was perhaps different than the average tourist. During my travels I’ve come up with 5 Insane, but True facts about Dublin.

  • Dublin is home to many of Ireland’s famous acts in music, from Thin Lizzy and U2 to more recent sensations Script and Kodaline.

I am not a fan of Thin Lizzy myself, not a huge one anyway, but one of my friends is and other friends befriended members of the band. I was impressed by their association and I learned a lot about the band. This iconic band is from North County Dublin. The Script became popular when I was still in college; their songs appealing to my generation. Many are based on what it was like to live in Dublin and hit fame across the globe. Kodaline is a  recent addition to the music scene but they are just as raw and Irish as many other bands in Ireland.

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A Tourist’s Guide to Dublin’s Casino Scene

A Tourist’s Guide to Dublin’s Casino Scene

By Amelia John

Europeans who enjoy casino gaming treat Ireland as the Las Vegas equivalent of Europe. Dublin is the place to be if you want to see places that are filled with bright lights and vibrant atmospherics. Perhaps it was transformed into what it is today due to the fact that people in the city play poker more than anywhere else in Europe.

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Why Mizen Head Will Knock Your Socks Off!

Mizen Head beats tourist popular Cliffs of Moher every time !

The spectacular beauty of Mizen head rivals that of the Cliffs of Moher. Her swirling tides, high cliffs, and dramatic splendor not seen anywhere else in Ireland make her totally unique. No contest in my opinion. I’ve been to both Mizen Head and Cliffs of Moher but if I had to make a choice between the two destinations I’d pick Mizen Head every time. In fact I plan to go back.

Mizen Head View.The Mizen Ring and its various strands make Mizen Head an area to explore. There is so much to see here! It will literally blow you away! Speaking of blowing you away, be careful of your hat on the Mizen Head bridge.

Experience geology of the coastline, breath taking flora and sea birds you’ll not find anywhere else in Ireland.

Its easy to take one whole day just exploring the peninsular with its crashing waves and the fantastic Mizen Head bridge that is so effortless to walk.You’ll feel like you are walking on air.

  Everywhere around you is sea, sky and surf. On a sunny day, you won’t want to leave but bring a coat for the winds can be quite brisk.

Mizen Head BeachSome highlights of your Mizen Head tour are an award winning maritime museum perched precariously on the side of the cliff, an altar dolmen, Crookhaven Harbor, a quarry that provided metal for the roads of Wales until 1945, several beaches, and much more.

Mizen Head Visitor centerIf you don’t have a lunch don’t despair

. The Mizen Head Visitor Center has sandwiches and soup.

Picnic tables are right outside the door and toilets are appreciated after the long winding road drive. This is a great travel destination.

Mizen Head fb 2The bridge, which is easy walking  will lead you to the museum. Admission is affordable at only 6 Euro for adults and children under 5 free.

Mizen Head LighthouseMizen Head is the most South-Westerly point in Ireland.

Mizen Head and Toormore Close to Mizen Head,  a visit to Toormore will take you through some Irish history. An Altar Church built during the famine as relief word and a wedge tomb from the bronze age are interesting finds. A restaurant is there as well.

There is more information on Elena Clancy’s travel blog R U In Ireland? Check  her out for specifics on Mizen Head and other Irish destinations.

What was your favorite travel destination in Ireland or where would you like to travel?

How To Travel Ireland by Irish Bus

HOW TO TRAVEL IRELAND BY IRISH BUS AND WHY ITS BEST FOR SOME

Bus in Dublin

An Irish bus is the only way to travel for some people. Let’s face it. Driving in Ireland is not for everyone. The drawbacks are numerous including expense, lack of street signs, dangerous roads and definitely driving on the left if you come from the states or Poland. For some these are just part of the experience but for others it can scare someone into neglecting a trip to Ireland in the first place. DON’T LET THAT STOP YOU! There are other options. Bus travel may be the way to go.

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Travel Ireland and 7 Mistakes to Avoid

7 Mistakes To Avoid When You Travel Ireland

No matter how many trips I’ve taken, booked flights, travel plans, accommodations, scoped out my itinerary for the most historical Irish travel sites, I am inclined to do what every other human being on the planet does and that is make mistakes.

#1 Don’t forget your wallet or purse when you travel Ireland.

But seriously, who would do such a thing?

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Travel Ireland for $50 A Day!

Travel Ireland for $50 A Day

Yes, you heard me right! If you’ve always wanted to travel to Ireland, see the rolling green hills, tour an Irish castle or enjoy the music of an Irish pub that the dream is closer than you think. Irish currency

But I’m not rich, you say? You don’t have to be. I’m going to show you how to travel Ireland on less than it costs to go out to dinner and a movie. 

 

To begin with, I’ve researched one day in Dublin, including 3 meals, a friendly place to sleep for the night and even take in some sightseeing, all for less than $50 a day!

Dublin and LIffeyA hostel will run you about $12 to $18 a night for a single person in a room sharing. For more private accommodation $15 to $35. Pretty cheap huh? Even the lowest grade hotels in the U.S are not this cheap. Travel to Ireland instead.

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How Celtic People Measured time. New Years in Ireland?

Celtic people measured time not by days but by nights. beginning at dusk instead of dawn. With Samhain when the crops were waning.Celtic king Beginning on  Oct. 31st. Not Jan 1st. One of the reasons for beginning with evening, is the Celts’ reverence for the moon and certainly they followed the stars, were great astrologers in fact. Take Newgrange in Ireland.  Newgrange is a  5000 year old passage grave and is situated so that the only drop of light shines through a tiny window on the Winter Solstice, Dec. 21st, remarkably close to Christmas and not a coincidence for sure, as the way of the Catholic church was to replace what pagan ideas they could with their own Christian teachings. See other posts on this blog for more information about early Christianity in Ireland. Continue reading

How To Save For Your Travel to Ireland

Tree of Lights, DublinWill you travel to Ireland this year?

The picture above is a tree in Dublin, Ireland. Spectacular isn’t it? Picture yourself fulfilling your life-long dream, hearing Irish music, eating in a first class European restaurant while you sip on a pint of Guinness on Christmas Eave. Continue reading

How to Travel Ireland Like a Spoiled American

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, a lot of Americans are still without power and I am reminded of a  young Irish woman with four children under the age of four that I met in Ireland this past month when I was traveling there.. Although they don’t usually get snow, they get what they call “frost.”  I imagine the roads can be very slippery and she told me the Irish do not salt or sand the roads as we do in America. They just stay put.  On rare occasions when they get snow, I was told there is one snow plow in the whole country and it is in Dublin. Two winters past, my Irish friend told me her pipes froze and people had to wait for the Spring thaw. Her family was without power, water, and electricity for six weeks!!!  I cannot even imagine what that must have been like but the Irish seem to take this in stride. Never knowing how bad a coming winter will be, they stock up on food, water, and make preparations beforehand. I’m in awe at their resilience and willingness to just take charge of their own situations. But that’s not really what this post is about.

 Americans like to travel but we also prefer the same luxuries we had at home. I call them luxuries because not everyone lives the way we do, with Starbucks on every corner,  a Walmart with every available item  under the sun and 1-2 cars in every garage filled to the brim with gas no less. In Ireland gas is about $9.00 a gallon so they don’t drive far.

Here are some tips to make your trip to Ireland , a bit more hassle-free and American friendly. Often these tips carry a cheaper price tag as well, so listen up!

1. Do your homework. Scope out where you want to go and how you will get there. Decide the places you want to see and make your own itinerary. Don’t rely on a tour group or scheduled itinerary from some outside source. There are several reasons for this. A.  tour packages can be as much as $1000.00  higher per person than renting a car and traveling on your own. Also, we were able to add three more days  than is often allowed in a tour package. There are other reasons such as seeing what you want, taking your time, not being on some tour operator schedule etc. The  photo of the Moone High Cross was a rare treat we stumbled upon while going from one place to the other. It was not easy to find, hidden away behind a stone wall in the back of a

Moone High Cross County Kildare

farmer’s private property. We had to squeeze through a small opening to get inside the area where it was kept, another advantage of driving on your own. What fun that was finding it!

2. Rent a car and take out the extra ins. too. ( I recently found out that many credit cards will cover collision on rental cars)  Driving in Ireland is not as scarey as you may think. Although there are few street signs and there will be places where the roads are very narrow. Everything takes twice as much time to get to than it appears on a map so allow for this. Rent your car before you leave the states and rent an automatic (if that is what you prefer) way ahead of time. Rent or buy a GPS with voice activation. I’ve driven with a map and I’ve used the GPS both. I survived both times but the GPS added so  much ease to the trip that it greatly added to my enjoyment. note: An advantage of buying  the GPS in the states and loading the European maps ahead of time, will allow you  get to know how the gizmo works before you get into a foreign country.

3. Stay at a bed and breakfast. Many tour companies stick with the few hotels available because they need to accommodate a larger group of people. B@Bs often have about four rooms  to a dwelling. The advantage of a bed and breakfast is Great Value!  and the personal attention. The last time I traveled in Oct. I payed 60 Eu which is about $75 a night  including a full Irish breakfast. (Irish Breakfast: porridge, bacon, eggs, toast, sausage, fruit, coffee, tea, juice, etc etc) We were greeted at the door and offered tea and scones, when we got there. Here’s a tip: Look for the Shamrock. Ireland has a great advantage over America when it comes to accommodations. Every place with a shamrock on the sign is guaranteed by the Irish Tourist Board to be good and I’ve never been disappointed.. One place even washed our clothes for an added fee. Another note: book your Dublin accommodation for the night you fly in and the night you fly out. (over the internet)  It also is a good idea to pay for the night before you arrive as most places won’t let you in the room before 3pm otherwise and since  you’ll have major jet lag and you’ll arrive early a.m you may want to sleep. ( the time change will mean you lose most of a nights sleep before you arrive) Its; alright to book the rest as you go as there are plenty of B@Bs all over the country at least in the off season.

4. So you’re getting your breakfast included in your b@b. Now how about lunch? Just about every pub, restaurant, tourist stop I can think of serves homemade soup and fresh baked bread. This is  your best value and nutrition. It’s cheap and healthy. No McDonalds here, lads and lasses although they are beginning to spring up.

5. Nine to twelve months ahead of your trip watch for cheap flights! Every couple of days or so pop on the internet and search flight prices on as many sights as you can find.. I’ve found May and Oct. to be pretty cheap but I’m sure if you look you could find other months as well. If possible do not fly in the summer as those flights are usually double what you would find in other months of the year. My last flight to Ireland from Roc. to DUB was under $600 round trip. If you live in NY or Boston its may be cheaper as that is the connection from where I live. Also fly in and out of Dublin. Shannon and Belfast will make you connect there any way and charge you for that connection. Besides there are lots of     things to see in Dublin.

These are the major points to make your trip to Ireland American friendly. I would add , invest in a Ireland Tour book by Frommers It can be any edition but be sure to get a paper map with it. They also have a website. This is by far the best traveling tour book out there and will help you with your itinerary.. Its also good just to flip through if you have no real destination. That’s how we found the Moone High Cross.

Another great place to find hidden gems to visit in Ireland is at a blog called RUINIreland.com (R U IN Ireland) The blog is written and updated often by a fabulously helpful woman named,  Elena Clancy. Elena  writes reviews and travel tips about some of the less traveled spots in Ireland,  some of the best, and some of the most popular, which she will be very honest in either promoting or telling you not to waist your money on. She will even answer your questions or point you in the right direction before you travel as she has lived in Ireland for over ten years and knows nearly every inch of her beautiful landscape.

I welcome any other tips on how you can save money, time and  have as much “craic” as ever while touring Ireland. For more savings tips go here! Or.

If you have any tips or stories about Irish travel, leave a comment below. You can also subscribe on the home page to read more Irish history..