View Full Version : Who here is from Ireland? Going next year

August 11th, 2012, 11:45 PM
Next year DH and I will be married 20 years (2nd marriage for both) and he is taking me to Ireland, Normandy for D-Day and Scotland.

So, I want to have a more agricultural adventure in Ireland and Scotland. I want to do genealogy, learn Irish (DH;s idea; he's so Irish it's pitiful) if possible and see sights other than tourist spots. I am a linguist by trade, so learning another language isn't hard for me and I want to be where i can use the little i learn between now and then. I am getting so stoked about this trip. Me and DH all by ourselves for 3 whole weeks! I can't stand it, it sounds so great. Can we go now? Anyways, hoping my Irish and/or Scottish friends here can help me out.

We love agrarian areas, horses, cows, etc. Keep the cities, etc. not for us. Is there anyone with some travel experience there or that lives there to help? Oh, and a detailed map of all quilt sites will be in my pocket.

Tamara J Liddell
August 12th, 2012, 12:38 AM
Congrats on the 20th anniversary and the trip..
Ireland is on my bucket list of places to visit, (once I get over my fear of flying/heights) lol..

August 12th, 2012, 02:30 AM
Ireland and Scotland are also on my bucket list. Somehow I have a feeling I'll never make it.

I hope your 20th Anniversary will be happy and your trip memorible!!

Pam in Vegas

August 12th, 2012, 03:25 AM
Ireland and Scotland are on my bucket list too :) I have a cousin in Scotland, somewhere... And Newfoundland is the only place outside of Europe that has an Irish name, "Talamh an Éisc" which (I'm told) means "Land of the fish" :) Being a Newfie I feel like I have a lot in common with both cultures and countries, and I'd like to see for myself if it's really true!

Have a great trip! I'd be excited too and counting down the days lol

August 12th, 2012, 08:12 AM
Hi Bella,

I just recently returned from the southwest to southern parts of Ireland. Unfortunately, my friend and I only had 7 days and 6 nights there so we didn't get to see a ton. You, however, should really get the chance to see most of the island if you plan well. I assume you'll rent a car. We spent no time in any of the major cities. Driving on the left with road signs that weren't always clear to us was stressful so we stayed away from the cities. I had no problem with the country driving. As a pedestrian watching drivers driving on the left it didn't seem as alien as I was expecting. You've heard about the rain in Ireland. It's all true. Be prepared for it so you can be outside and not care if it's raining. I noticed in your pic that you wear glasses. Get a hat so they don't get wet. Waterproof shoes are best and a raincoat that comes down long. I don't like to carry an umbrella. I dress for the weather. The umbrella is a bother if you are trying to take pictures. It most definitely gets in the way. I took one along but I don't remember using it.

It is truly a beautiful country. Folks are very friendly. However, in some of the areas that attract tourists we noticed some of the employees were unfriendly verging on rude. It surprised us considering all we've heard about the kindness and friendliness of the Irish. I was especially surprised at the tourist center in one town we visited. The woman who waited on us was NOT nice. I figure some of them are burned-out dealing with stupid tourists of which I'm sure there are many. LOL

Renting a car was definitely a good idea. Even though we had such a short time there we really got a good feel for the country by driving from place to place. We stayed in 3 different B&B's so we didn't have to do any back-tracking. It worked out well. We enjoyed our stay at Fallon's B&B the most, located in a very small town called Kinvara.

Sandy Navas
August 12th, 2012, 09:59 AM
I've traveled to both Scotland (which I absolutely LOVE and question why my relatives ever left) and Ireland. Ireland was most recent as we spent a week with a friend of Al's and attended a wedding and the reception. Fabulous time. I agree a rented car is THE best. Because of the wedding and the timing we stayed in Dublin, but did get to spend a few days traveling around. I couldn't begin to tell you any of the best places as I'm old and the memory does fade. I do know that I would love to go back (if it didn't involve climbing on an airplane) and want so badly to visit the western coast.

Scotland was another trip back in the 1990's. We spent two weeks there and had a blast. Stayed in B&Bs - that's the way to go. With a rental car we drove all over - even up to Inverness to play with Nessie for a while. I do have to share an interesting story though. My Dad had a herd of Belted Galloway cattle. When he found we were planning a trip to Scotland he asked if we could look up some cattle there since that was where his herd originated. So, off we went.

We drove into the Galloway region and stopped at the Info center. The woman there was fantastic. Yes, there are still herds here although there are only two that are 'working' herds. She gave us the driving directions to one - said she could see the cattle out her kitchen window. The place was very easy to find. Up this circular driveway stood a gorgeous old stone home (built in the 1600's if memory serves me). The rhododendrons were being pruned by the staff gardener. We were impressed. The gardener approached us and we explained we were looking for a herd of Belted Galloways. Down went his pruning shears. "Follow me." Off to an old Land Rover (complete with bailing wire to hold the doors closed - perfect). For two hours he drove us around this 600 hectare farm with pride as he shared the stories of his cattle. And then, as owner of this splendid piece of land, he invited us into the house for high tea. What a wonderful experience. His wife was gracious, fun-loving and most accommodating to strangers who just dropped in. Their children joined us and it was a wonderful time as we shared tea and crackers.

I glanced up and noticed a pair of panty hose hanging in the kitchen window. The wife giggled and explained that she milked the goat (which we'd noticed when coming in from the barn - the one with the crooked horn) and made her own cheese. So in the foot of one leg of the panty hose rested a 'curing' hunk of homemade cheese.

When we finally pulled ourselves away and said good bye to our wonderful host and hostess we found out that he was departing for Greece the next day and on to Cyprus. We apologized for taking him away from his time at home but he assured us it was okay. And then, only then, did he tell us that he was an MP. What a humble, gracious, warm and loving family. And we never got their name . . .

Life is good.

Claire Hallman
August 12th, 2012, 11:52 AM
Oh, I am so excited for you. We went to Ireland several years ago, the first time I was able to convince the DH to go overseas. We booked with a company called CIE tours and did a self guided tour with a rental car and vouchers for B&B stays for one week. It was not nearly enough but we did see quite a bit.
We flew into Shannon and got our rental car, a bit hairy at first but DH managed very well. We did upgrade to an automatic which helped. We had planned our first B&B but winged the rest based on a booklet from CIE. We did the Dingle Peninsula rather than the Ring of Kerry, it was fantastic. We primarily stayed along the south western and southern coast then went straight from Waterford back to Shannon. Sorry to say that the Waterford factory is closed to tours now, it was lovely. I think the gift shop is still there.
The museum in Cobh was very, very good and heart rending to me but if given the chance I would go back. By all means go to the Rock of Cashel, another heart filling place. We were quite lucky with our weather, we went in early Sept and only had rain one evening, very lucky since it had rained every day the 30 days before our visit.
The people are lovely, I knew they would be since my maternal grandmother was born there.
I am looking forward to our next trip. We are cruising out of Dover next Sept [2013] and will visit Dublin and Belfast so we will see the other side as well as Scotland, Normandy and a bit of Norway.
I hope you have a marvelous trip.

August 12th, 2012, 12:20 PM
This will be a trip of a lifetime! My bucket list is to fly to London for three days seeing the sights, then taking the train to the coast and the ferry across to Dublin, renting a car, and driving all around Ireland. I wasn't aware of the rain, and am not sure I would like that.

August 12th, 2012, 12:25 PM
Wow, thank you. Great ideas. Some years ago we went to Dublin. We both had to be in Europe for work. Just touristy sightseeing but now we want to return and see more of Ireland. I will look those places up, Claire, and I love the story, Sandy. What a wonderful experience. I find the unplanned things tend to be the best. Rebecca, I will look up Fallons for sure. Yes, now wearing glasses again since I need bifocals. The contact version just didn't work for me. Great idea on ditching the umbrella, i don't like them much.

August 12th, 2012, 02:12 PM
Me too, Bella. I wore contacts from the age of 14 but as I've aged and lost my close-up ability glasses are just so much better. I am somewhat vain so I'll stick the lenses in if it's a really special occasion. I'm so glad I never got that laser surgery. I was always nearsighted so if I take off my glasses I can see really close-up. I don't understand it but I would never want to give that up.

August 12th, 2012, 05:37 PM
Megan, whatever you do, don't kiss the Blarney Stone! We were told by people who lived in Ireland that the locals and the bums, spit and urinate on the stone after the guards go home. Then they go back the next day and laugh at all the visitors who kiss where they relieved themselves. Just a warning. They are good people and I believe them.
I also would love to visit the land of my ancestors. And Scotland, England, and Wales too. What a great way to spend your anniversary!!! Congratulations! Hugs, Jan L.

August 12th, 2012, 08:58 PM
OH Megan what a wonderful trip...would love to go there too..always have...maybe when my ship comes in!!!! LOL Have a wonderful time and we all will help you count the days down and send you and DH off with a bang!! And Prayers tooo for a safe and wonderful and happy trip!!!

Hugs, and Irish Blessings,
Jan G.

August 12th, 2012, 11:32 PM
Okay, going to pass on kissing the Blarney Stone! Nasty. I am getting excited about this. We work so very hard, and with DH's frequent flyer miles it's going to happen!

Cathy F
August 13th, 2012, 12:10 AM
I loved Irleand and all it's hundred shades of green and hope to return again some day. Like Claire I also loved the museum at Cobh, reading all the history, the people were so friendly and struck up conversations whenever given the chance. I also loved the Powerscourt Gardens and would recommend a visit there (outside of Dublin) the grounds were just beautiful. I didn't get to see much of Scotland as I was only in Edinborough (please forgive if I spelled it incorrectly).