Been dreaming of Ireland since I was 8 years oldnow 65 and in good health with a brand-new knee:-) Landing in Dublin early morning of July 12th. Thinking of taking bus to Glendalough area and staying for first day and nightthen back to Dublin and the get-on-and-off bus tour including the Gaol. Not int'd in Guiness tour. 2nd night in Dublin. 3rd morning take the tour to Newgrange and back to Dublin. Next day (or same day?) take train out to NorthWest Coast. Rest of the pilgrimage: I want to travel from the Northwest Coast down to the South on foot, on bus, hitching? doing B&Bs, hostels, and farms (?), ending up in Kinsale. Not averse to side trips inland, just want to meander as much as possible and commune with the Irish on the coast. I'll take train back to Dublin from somewhere after Kinsale. Would love to do Cong along the way. Okay, Folks, how's this all sounding so far? I LOVE THIS SITE!!! I've already oredered and rec'd my 'stuff' from Rich's 'Store':-) Bless all of you (in advance) who weigh in on my Journey!
You will find plenty of bus transportation everywhere in Ireland. Www.buseireann.ie has a journey planner where you can see the times and prices. No reason you couldn't see Cong on your way south, then follow the coast road around the outside of Connemara to Clifden - Galway - the Burren and Cliffs of Moher and on south. You can get a directory of "farmhouse B&Bs" at the Tourist Information when you arrive. My daughter and I stayed on a sheep farm, a cattle farm, and a farm where they raised and trained jumping horses. What exactly are you asking our help with?
Thank you so much for your quick reply. My main concern was that I could do this trip without renting a car so that I could spend my time with the local folk all along the way. I love the idea of the farms/ranch stops--how do I find those? I thought about skipping the Cliffs of Moher for the other cliffs in Clare (Slieve League?). I am interested in any guidance as to the feasibility of what I've proposed--and any suggestions as to a more structured itinerary. I am looking forward to the Trad offerings and to hearing Irish as I've been studying the language via Rosetta Stone for the past year. I don't kid myself that I can speak fast enough but I want to enjoy listening and making some sense of what I hear:-)
P.S. Nancy, I would be especially int'd in the farm where they train the jumpers! The only interest that fires me up more than Ireland is the Horse:-) I've dreamed of riding a horse in Ireland all my life.
Slieve League is actually in Co. Donegal, not Clare. As I said, you can get a directory of the farmhouse B&Bs from the Tourist Information desk when you land in Dublin, either at the airport or in the office in city center. You can also check at www.discoverireland.com, the official tourism website to see if you can order one (you could the last time I went to Ireland). Because you are leaving so soon, and in the high season, you need to get your accomodations sorted the sooner the better. What guidebooks are you using? The jumping horse farm we stayed at was in Ballinhassig, outside of Cork (near Kinsale). The name of the B&B is Ardfield. I'm not sure how accessible it is by public transportation - we were driving. But there must be others as well.