I'm starting a new thread cuz I feel more focused. (I made sure I could cancel my reservations just in case you all had a better idea!) I'm flying into Shannon. Renting a car and traveling to Doolin for two nights, Monday to Wednesday. Hoping to get ideas on 2.5 to 3 days of sights in that area, and great pubs for the long evenings with great music. We're not drinkers, so the music is the important thing here. Then heading to Dublin for two days, Wednesday to Friday. Not sure if we should stay in Dublin the last night or get back closer to the airport Friday night so we can wake up and do something Saturday before we have to return the car at 5:00 p.m. Again, suggestions for must-sees in Dublin area (even a day trip since big cities aren't what I'm after), and suggestions for Friday night/Saturday. All the hard work in planning is finally making it an exciting prospect! Thanks for your help!
Just back from 2 weeks in Ireland and had a wonderful time. Cherished Rick's book and all his recommendations were great. Regarding Doolin, the BEST food of the whole trip was at McGann's, hands down. My wife had a huge bowl of the best mussels that she's ever had and I had the lamb shank. Music was ok but too acoustic, electronic for me compared to a pub in Galway (in Rick's book) which just spoiled us. Doolin is between the Burren and the Cliffs of Moher (the Cliffs of Insanity for Princess Bride viewers) but not much else there. Dublin was much better AFTER we ped off our car. Would never recommend driving in Dublin!! Took the Hop on/hop off bus which was great for an overview and then took again to stop at the sites we liked - Guiness brewery, Kilmainham Gaol, Victoria Pub, and got off at 1/2 Penny Bridge to walk to Trinity College. The Book of Kells was incredible. From our hotel at Albany House, we walked to St. Patrick's Cathedral and thoroughly enjoyed the Evensong there. Very moving. Ate at the Bull & Castle Pub the last night and enjoyed the food while we reminisced about the wonderful in Ireland.