Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Our Grand Ireland Itinerary: Nights 12-14

This is the third post in a series of posts about our Ireland itinerary.

Day 1 Itinerary

Day 2 Itinerary

Nights 12-14

Our last drive took us from Cork, where we stayed at the lovely Hayfield Manor, to Dublin via Blarney Castle, where we both kissed the Blarney Stone, to Tipperary (the ancestral location ft the Mahers), to the Rock of Cashel, the lovely town of Kilkenny and then to Dublin where we dropped off the rental car after checking in to fabulous Westbury Hotel.

Blarney Castle

You got to do the stone thing but the best part of Blarney castle is, in fact, the entire place.  Wow!  Spend some time here to walk the gardens and grounds.


Once we crossed the River Shannon on our way to Dingle, the roads became noticeably better (and wider).  Everything also became more cosmopolitan on our way to Dublin and Kilkenny was a great surprise.  Quite a town.  We only got to stop for dinner but next time we may even spend a day or two staying in town.


When you plan a trip like this, around the whole country, you have to decide whether to start in Dublin or end in Dublin.  The fact is Karen and I live in a city so on vacation, uh, holiday, we enjoy being "out" quite a bit.  Having said that, we really enjoyed Dublin.  A lot.  Easy city to get around.  Strongly recommend buying the green hop on/hop off tour bass pass for the two days.  Great way to see the city and to get to the places you want to go.

Went to Guinness.  Saw the Book of Kells.  Visited St. Patricks Cathedral.  Drank at The Temple Bar.

Missed the Kilmainham Gaol.  Just didn't get off the bus at the right time and that was that.  I will not miss it the next time we go.

Took a half-day tour out to Powerscourt.  Lovely.  Perhaps the best Japanese Garden I have ever seen and here in Chicago we have a pretty good one at the Botanic Gardens.