Read more about the article Dublin – Ireland
Dublin - Ireland

Dublin – Ireland

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Irish Baile Atha Cliath

Time to return to one of our the less visited European capitals, Dublin. That has been a long time, it was back in May 2009 since the first and only one time we’ve ever come to this city, so it was well overdue the return for what is actually a fascinating city full of history, heritage, beautiful architecture and amazing nightlife; yet thriving day and night, any time. Why it’s been such a long time, over 7 years for not coming back, that I do not know any longer after this visit. The true fact is a wrong image I took with back in 2009: an expensive city, it was cold and rainy all day, and failed to impress me; however I must have been blind or my appreciation has changed a lot because this time we really love it and had a great time, looking forward to return soon.

It was not an easy task touring a city being 8 of us on this occasion, but we managed well. Of course this can only work with a rather small city with a very compact old town and city centre as I cannot imagine moving 8 people through a big city, that would have easily been mission impossible with some wanting to visit and sightseeing across with others wanting to do shopping and the rest wanting to maybe party, you never know. Nevertheless, it’s a good plus being in the position of revisiting a city than coming for the very first time, this way we took it very relaxed and lose, no rush anywhere and letting everyone enjoy because there was time for everything.

The good news is that a weekend is good enough to enjoy the city in full, including a short trip to the Baily Lighthouse and cliffs of Howth if you want, and a mandatory visit to the Guinness Storehouse. After all anywhere within the city centre are small distances easily covered on foot as the best way to explore the city, while for the few sights farther away there’s a tram stop next to them. (more…)

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Read more about the article Ring of Kerry – Ireland
Ring of Kerry - Ireland

Ring of Kerry – Ireland

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Irish: Ciarraighe, Ciarrai

On our second day on this weekend trip we left Cork towards County Kerry, some 70 kilometers to the west. Initially we headed to Kerry Airport where we got a rental car to then drive all around this beautiful region in Ireland. You will find all over the internet there is a specific name for a route that passes all over the best places in the area, this is called the Ring of Kerry, and that’s right, this was our aim for today and the reason why we needed a rental car.

I cannot imagine anyone coming here without a car, but is this is the case, (not everyone drive nor want to drive in their holidays), you can take a tour from pretty much everywhere else in Ireland. Those offer this as a day tour, and are available even as far as from Dublin. Other than that, you can only go point to point using public transportation as Killarney, Tralee or Portmagee to name the “largest” cities. I emphasize in “largest” as quite ironic, the size of the cities are more to a villa, being Tralee the largest at around 25000 inhabitants.

But again, this is not a region you come as part of city sightseeing, but for nature and landscapes instead. It is without doubt regarded as the most picturesque region in Ireland and renowned for its scenery and landscapes. Combining the Ring of Kerry with a larger city to the likes of Cork as was our case this weekend; or Limerick and Galway which are at the same distance, is perfect and will work great on a weekend trip. (more…)

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Read more about the article Cork – Ireland
Cork - Ireland

Cork – Ireland

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The Rebel City

At quite a desperation for this weekend since we did have nothing booked until 5 days before travelling, we managed to get a super deal once again with Ryanair on a very last minute rush. It involved going to one airport to return from a different one since returning from the same airport would have set the costs to double and more. Furthermore, a route we had already planned last year but could not manage in time when we went to Limerick and Galway. So Cork would be on Saturday, and the Ring of Kerry on Sunday.

Cork is the 3rd largest city in Ireland, just a bit larger than Limerick. Located on the banks of the River Lee and at the mouth of one of the largest natural harbours in the world. Founded in the 6th century as a monastic settlement, was in the 915 when the Vikings created a trading port and the city developed from there. At one point it was entirely walled when it was an outpost of Old English culture among the predominant Gaelic countryside.

There is a rivalry between Cork and Dublin, similar to the rivalry between London and Manchester or Madrid and Barcelona. Both “competing” to each other in offering “better” than the other. This leads nonetheless in Cork having a great and huge choice of activities and entertainment as Dublin, much larger city and capital, has also too. (more…)

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Read more about the article Limerick – Ireland
Limerick - Ireland

Limerick – Ireland

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Inis an Ghaill Duibh: The Dark Foreigner’s Island

Continuing on our second day for this weekend in this region of Ireland and after a great day yesterday at the Cliffs of Moher and Galway, we visit the city of Limerick. A small and pretty truly Irish city located along the shores of the Shannon River, barely 25 kilometres away from Shannon airport which serves both cities.

As opposed to Shannon where there is no history at all due to be a “new city” built in the 1960s, Limerick is full of history, traditions and old buildings like we saw in Galway. Compact and even it’s the 4th largest city in Ireland still small enough, for what you will not need any longer than half a day for visiting it. This gives you the chance and specially if you have a rental car of going somewhere else on the same day, like for example south-east to Cork which is 100 kilometres away.

The area (Shannon Region) is really beautiful in landscapes and rich in nature and architecture as castles, therefore planning a couple of other destinations around is something you should really have in mind, and specially if you are the kind of tourist as we are, eagle to see as much as we can considering the shortage of time. (more…)

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Read more about the article Galway – Ireland
Galway - Ireland

Galway – Ireland

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City of the Tribes

Galway. Pretty much a mandatory visit right after the Cliffs of Moher, and if you did not plan to have it on your list when visiting this region, then reconsider in doing so. Also bear in mind you cannot fly to Galway from anywhere since the airport ceased commercial operations in 2011, therefore being Shannon the nearest airport at around 90 km or some 110 km if doing a route as we did from Shannon Airport to the Cliffs of Moher and then to Galway.

To our surprise we were not expecting that the city was in fact so nice and beautiful. Small, yes, but absolutely every street around the city centre full with people, shops, cafes, restaurants and pubs, and so colourful! Every building in different colour, really lively I have to say. Quite opposed to what we found in Limerick the following day. We enjoyed it that much that we re-scheduled the rest of the weekend from here. We had to scrap Cork, that was a fact. When I though it would be more than enough a weekend to visit all those places, the truth is that this is not viable unless you see the cities on a “GP appointment style”.

Something we did not know is that Galway is the seafood capital of Ireland! You can imagine then that finding a restaurant offering seafood and fish is not difficult at all. But a better news is to see that prices were not high at all! This was seriously unexpected knowing how expensive Ireland is overall in all senses. So if you are looking for mussels in white wine and cream sauce you are in heaven. You will find this at most of the places, same as you find it along the Mediterranean coast of France. I wish I could remember the name for the place we were having lunch because they had what was perhaps the best mussels I’ve ever had.


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Read more about the article Shannon and the Cliffs of Moher – Ireland
Shannon and the Cliffs of Moher - Ireland

Shannon and the Cliffs of Moher – Ireland

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Baile na Sionnainne

Completing more and more places in the Republic of Ireland, it is difficult to go anywhere which is not nice. Merely for the incredible landscapes, their people and the food a trip is always well worth it. And considering in this occasion that July and August are usually the most quiet months we take in travelling because it’s high season and prices for a flight anywhere, even to next door, are really high, we managed to find a great deal to Shannon.

So what was all about coming to Shannon? Definitely not to visit the city, basically because there is absolutely nothing to see from the tourist point of view. The city was the first on-purpose planned city in Ireland built in 1960 mostly to accommodate the workers from the airport recently built by then. But it’s next door to Limerick and the world famous Cliffs of Moher, main reason why we came here.

For the time you will need, a weekend is more than enough to visit these three places, and even more around the area. Driving from Shannon to the cliffs is little over 1 hour, while from Shannon to Limerick is matter of minutes.But in between you have other nice villages and landscapes worth to take a detour and enjoy this very nice side of the truly rural Ireland.


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