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1st trip to Ireland

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21. Posted by Bohsman (Budding Member 7 posts) 10y

Quoting Gerrit_BE

BOHSman... Hehe, good to see an Eircom League follower. There's too many gloryhunters on this island who prefer Celtic, Rangers, Man U or Liverpool over local teams.

You picked the wrong team though. The best and friendliest team in Ireland is Shelbourne, that's a widely known fact. When I lived in Dublin I went to all games home and away. Tolka Park being the nicest ground in Eire was a nice asset. All obey to the power of the mighty REAL REDS !

Sorry for this off-topic post...

On-topic: Derry is very much worth a visit a well. It's the only walled city on the island and has some very charming architecture. And surprisingly vibrant as well.

Gerrit - i know you from Foot.ie anyway :D

RĂ©iteoir

22. Posted by texczech (Budding Member 23 posts) 10y

Thanks for all the info. I know our trip is a few months away but it will be here sooner than I think. I love the camping idea but have read that April isn't the best weather for this, true? Have also read that the parking in the larger cities is a nightmare, are the public parking garages the way to go? Also, this might seem like a stupid question to those of you who live there, but I know that the controls in the cars are on the right side (steering wheel, ect.) but I was wondering about the gas and brake pedals? Is the gas pedal operated with the right foot or left? Bohsman, maybe we could grab a pint together while we are there?

23. Posted by texczech (Budding Member 23 posts) 10y

Would someone please give me an answer to my last "goofy" question about the car? It's one of those mind buggin things. Thanks.

24. Posted by beerman (Respected Member 1631 posts) 10y

Hey Kenneth,

I see you're in Rhinelander. Small world....I work down south in Monroe (see my profile).

My wife and I did a drive around Ireland in September. Had a TP Meet-up in Dublin for 3 days, then drove the perimeter of Ireland in 6 days, taking in about 1350 miles all together. Driving was a little different than in Wisconsin, but easier than when the first snow falls here (know how everyone forgets how to drive in the snow... ).

The pedal on the cars are the same as here. We rented a Hyundai Santa Fe through Thrifty and it was a great car. There are 2 major things to remember: 1) Bear left, always, particularly around the roundabouts. There are many of these at intersections, and once you get used to them, they're really quite easy to navigate. Yield to cars coming around them, and you'll be in good shape. 2) Rental cars (car hires) in Ireland are a bit expensive. You will have to buy the collision insurance, because credit card companies have eliminated this coverage due to the high incidents of accidents (mostly light fender benders. We didn't have any accidents, but still had to purchase the coverage. This will nearly double the price of the rental, so shop around for the best prices. I would advise a mid-size to standard vehicle, or small SUV. Also, there is an extra charge if you take the vehicle into Northern Ireland (though we did, and didn't tell them, so we didn't have to pay!!) Stick shifting with my left hand took about an hour to get used to!!

We drove north from Dublin to Portrush along the Antrim coast, then to Donegal (don't miss the Cliffs of Slieve League - though it's a bit of a hairy drive up to the cliffs!!). Then down to Galway (see the Cliffs of Moher), then to Killarney (and around the 112 miles of the Ring of Kerry), then to Wexford, then back up to Dublin. It was really not that much driving compared to here (we drive to Chicago once a month - 240 miles round trip in a day). We managed to see quite a few sites, and were not really hurried at all.

If you go to Northern Ireland, they are part of the UK, so they use British Pound Sterling, not Euros. Do be careful in certain areas (Protestant or Catholic - they are still a bit on edge). Everybody we met was extremely friendly, though once they find out you're Americans, they'll ask "Oh, so you're American, are ye? No kidding, what gave it away? And they will inevitably ask what you think of George Bush. I found it best to just say "Well, he is the President".

Parking in Dublin is a nightmare. They do have street parking with pay stations along the sidewalk. Put in your money, then take the ticket and put in on your dashboard where it will be visible to the meter maids. DO NOT BE LATE getting back, they will boot (or clamp, as they say) very quickly. You generally have less than 30 minutes over your meter time. The parking garages are quite good. Take your ticket with you, and pay at a machine on the first floor before you get back into your car. Make sure to note the closing time of the garage. Best to have correct change, though keeping plenty of euro coins in your pocket will make that easy. You usually end up with a lot of them anyway. Street signage is not always easy to see, but it is quite intuitive. They are usually a "universal" type sign.

Don't be intimidated by the driving. It only takes a few hours to really get used to it, if that. The worst part is coming back home. I had this urge to bear left driving back to work!!

Also, we only made hotel reservations in Dublin...the rest we just stopped in and said "have you a room for the night?".

Above all, have fun. It is an amazing country. But watch out for drinking too much Guinness!! The drunk driving fines are $5000 euros and/or 6 months in jail. Also watch out for the occassional free-roaming sheep. But they are painted pretty colors (trust me) so they're easy to spot.

PM me if you need more info.

Take care

Kris

25. Posted by texczech (Budding Member 23 posts) 10y

beerman, thanks for the info. I did send a message but not sure if it goes through. I know of Monroe but your profile says Illinois? Anyway, I find your info priceless. I will consult you and others in the future. We do not intend on visiting the North because we wanted to concentrate on the southern part of Ireland. We are flying into Dublin, then travling west (our rent car is already booked, a small one because I heard that the smaller the better. Is this not true?) Galway, then south to the coast then back around to Dublin. I do love Guinness here in America, but have heard that in Ireland itself it is to die for. I will really have to watch myself. Thanks again and any info is wanted!!!

26. Posted by texczech (Budding Member 23 posts) 9y

Trip is now 2 months away, trying to get everything in order but don't want to plan to much, planning on taking it as it comes. Does anyone have any suggestions on the " casinos " in Ireland. I'm an avid poker and blackjack player and thought it would be a treat to play there. Thanks

27. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 9y

Hello Texczech

As far as I know, casino gambling is illegal in Ireland.
But if u like betting on dog and horse races, u can get some gambling in.

Mel

28. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 9y

Quoting texczech

beerman, thanks for the info. I did send a message but not sure if it goes through. I know of Monroe but your profile says Illinois? Anyway, I find your info priceless. I will consult you and others in the future. We do not intend on visiting the North because we wanted to concentrate on the southern part of Ireland. We are flying into Dublin, then travling west (our rent car is already booked, a small one because I heard that the smaller the better. Is this not true?) Galway, then south to the coast then back around to Dublin. I do love Guinness here in America, but have heard that in Ireland itself it is to die for. I will really have to watch myself. Thanks again and any info is wanted!!!

yeah, about the car. The smaller the better, if small cars are cheaper to rent, and use less fuel. Car rental and gas are expensive in Ireland.

Guiness: We pride ouselves in being able to make and pour the Guiness properly, and believe that all other countries are inferior in these skills. I dont know, if it is true or not.

29. Posted by Purdy (Travel Guru 3546 posts) 9y

Quoting texczech

Trip is now 2 months away, trying to get everything in order but don't want to plan to much, planning on taking it as it comes. Does anyone have any suggestions on the " casinos " in Ireland. I'm an avid poker and blackjack player and thought it would be a treat to play there. Thanks

Yip Mel is right we are a righteous lot here in Ireland and gambling is a sin and you will be struck into the pits of the earth and burn in hell if you commit such a sin!!!!!!

So what you do is go to the dogs for a night! Grey hound racing is popular and in Dublin there is a great track called Shelbourne Park which is good for a nights entertainment and you can have a flutter if you wish. Check it out at Shelbourne Park My boss was trying to talk me into going tonight cos we are off to Dublin - but its apparently a good night out! Friends have been and its always a bit of craic!

There are bookies everywhere but for betting on football, horseracing, who will be the first male to give birth yada yada yada! BUT we aint got any card tables or the like cos that aint legal! You will get them in mainland UK but l think you need to be a member of the casino or at the very least sign up for visitor membership and bring along ID etc (lm not 100% lve only ever been once in UK.)

Good luck!

Heather

[ Edit: Edited on Feb 17, 2007, at 1:33 AM by Purdy ]

30. Posted by texczech (Budding Member 23 posts) 9y

O.K. now I'm really confuised. (which doesn't take much) but looking up "casinos" or gambling in Ireland on the internet turned up at least 9 or 10 places to play cards. Are these illegal or just a local hangout? Most do say you need to registar is this for their sake or the government?