Published: July 1st 2010June 25th 2010
view of sky
mountains seen from plane on way to dublin
This is the first of our blogs in Ireland...I think Ill do separate blogs since lots to say, history, and loads of pics. On a side note...im writing this while waiting for my space a flight back to the US. 2nd day and counting and hoping to get the last flight of tonight.
So to begin our blog...Ireland was one of our musts while we were here in europe. We hoped to make it there for st. pattys day but with my new job at that time it wasnt possible. So 6/29 our last day in europe we found some really cheap flights through ryan air. A great deal! The downside was we had to take the Deutsche Bahn to memmingen then a bus from the train stop to the airport. Not too bad although the way home was worse cause it was really hot and NO AC in hotels or on the trains.
Aside from that we made it to Dublin Airport with no worries. A little bump with therental car is that you are required to have car insurance...if you go with the cheaper coverage they hold 2000 euro on your credit card till your car is
View from Hotel
returned.YIKES! What started as the cheapest car rental available we ended spending more then I was happy with. Either way we needed the car so we really had no choice. Once we got the keys and plugged our hotel address in we hit the roads. Nick, Claudia, and myself were all pretty freaked out with the left side driving. Poor Nick had to drive the whole trip and he didnt enjoy that much either. A manual transmission and getting used to shifting with his left. Not pretty but once we hit the highway it was smooth sailing for the most part. We arrived at a decent hour at our hotel. Belfast IBIS. A fab modern place for a good price with a really great location. The staff was beyond excellent. We had to change rooms cause we needed the family room that slept 3 and they had no problems moving us and did it in a timely fashion. We were all starving and asked the staff for a place with good traditional food. Claire and the mgr man gave us wonderful recommendations and we ended up at a place called Darcys ( http://www.darcysbelfast.co.uk/ ) A great little intimate place. My
dish was one of the best out of the 3. Copied right from the menus....you must try the MEDALLIONS OF PORK FILLET -TOPPED WITH BRIE , BALSAMIC & CRANBERRY CREAM SERVED WITH IRISH
LAYERED POTATOES . ONIONS & GARLIC WITH GREENS...possibly the best meal ive ever had. Nick I believe had the HONEY BAKED IRISH HAM - SERVED WITH MASH SMOTHERED IN A CIDER & PARSLEY CREAM SAUCE..and Claudia had the soup of the day which was a butternut squash with a mild curry. All excellent choices plus they have great specials. After dinner we walked around the area a little. Lots of vacant townhomes/apts for lease. Also it was a little strange being past 10pm-still light out-seeing people in line at the clubs/bars. Very happening if you are looking to party.
After a long day of traveling we went to bed...Now we were advised by the desk staff it could be a 2.5 hr drive north to the giants causeway so we cancelled that part of our trip since we planned to drive to Cork the next day. The next morning arrived-we slept great in our beds with normal sized pillows. We first asked Claire at the desk
Bobby Sands Mural
You should all know who he is
to book a black cab tour of Belfast for us and then got walking directions for a good breakfast. Maggie Mays Cafe Belfast http://www.maggiemaysbelfast.co.uk/ The coffee was a little weak for my taste buds :) but the food was fab! A good english style breakfast! I had oatmeal with bananas and raisans, nick had fried soda bread with egg and bacon and claudia had french toast. It was all really good!.
We were a little late with breakfast but our tour guide was still waiting for us patiently with his new london style cab. He asked what parts of Belfast we were interested in so he could get an idea of where to take us. We only wanted an hour tour of some of the main historical places and all the wall art. Our tour guide did an amazing job. He had a backpack of laminated old photos, news articles, and books showing us the history of the clashes with the loyalists and the IRA. He went all the way back to when the problems between the two first arrived and it dates back older then most of us may know. As he drove he would stop and let
us out or sit with us in the back and go over his materials. Very informative. He also took us to the hard to find Irish Republican History Museum. Inside was filled with lots of arts and crafts from the prisoners in the prison/camps. Crafts were made with whatever they had...matchsticks..popcycle (sp?) sticks. They also had more gruesome photos there..letters,,,armor worn by guards,,,and handmade weapons that both sides used. It was truly an amazing experience with lots of information. I would recommend all to read about their history. They want the stories told so their history is not forgotten.
While on our tour we spoke to the driver about our trip to Cork. He thought we were crazy and said it could be a 7.5 hour drive depending on traffic. With that tidbit of info we cancelled that part of our trip and decided to stay another night in Belfast which also meant we could go to the Giants Causeway and the rope bridge. That will be another blog so we
There are more photos below