Upon arrival into Dublin we took a cab to our hotel from the ferry docks. There are a multiple transportation options depending on what part of town you are staying in and whether you are arriving into the Ferry Dock or Dublin Airport. I’m sure the cab was most expensive, however, our first hotel was not near the tram, and we were tired, so that’s my excuse for being a bit lazy. There is a free airport shuttle that stops at a variety of places around the city and our last hotel had a stop right in front. I suppose we balanced out our transportation costs a bit by using it on the way out of Ireland. Additionally, our shuttle driver was hilariously hung over from the big party the night before- but I get ahead of myself...
A pub crawl in the Temple Bar area of Dublin was the perfect way to celebrate my birthday . Mom and I listened to live music as I sipped Guinness in a variety of pubs. What a ball! One of my all time favorite songs is “Black Velvet Band” and as we entered the very first drinking establishment the singer was crooning this tune. My Irish eyes were smiling all night long.
We spent 4 nights total in Dublin and did much of the usual tourist route. I would recommend the Hop On-Hop Off Busses in almost any city. Buy the tickets and do the entire loop the first day, then spend time jumping on and off at different sites that interest you. In Dublin, cabs were fairly spendy so this bus is a good way to get around to the attractions. Some of our favorite stops were Marsh’s Library (1707), Trinity College (1592), the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin Castle (1204), and Kilmainham Gaol (1796). We also stopped in to St. Auden’s Church, built in the 12th century. Sadly, I didn’t make it to the Guinness Brewery but felt as if I had my fair share of the lovely dark brew.
The Irish welcome you like no other country. I have travelled extensively and Ireland was truly a pleasure although chilly for someone recently living in SE Asia. Here are some pics of our 'Irish Roving Experience.' We spent 3 nights in Dublin, then took a train to Killarney for 2 nights, then a last night in Dublin. If you are heading to Ireland, check for large sporting events and plan accordingly. The All Irish Gaelic Football Final was NOT on my radar and our last night found us in Dublin with some very happy revelers. The prices for hotels were triple the usual and unless you are a fan and attending the match, probably better to avoid the location of the event.
I had hoped to rent a car but found our time constraints better suited using Irish Rail Tours. We took the train from Dublin to Killarney return. Based in Killarney we visited the region by bus. Cobb (the last port for the Titanic before it's fateful voyage) and the Blarney Castle the first day, rounded the Dingle Peninsula Day 2, and toured the Ring of Kerry the last day. The tours have someone accompanying you on the trains and the bus drivers/guides were a joy to listen to. All in all a good experience but it just gave me a taste and a tease, now I want to experience much more of Ireland!