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Ireland Tour
15 Sep. - 2 Oct. 2007
- Part 2 -


Connemara (ClifdenWestport)
Thursday, Sep. 27, 13 °C, sunny, 115 km

We spent the morning in Connemara National Park where we hiked to the summit of Diamond Hill (440m): 6.7 km in 2 hours 40 minutes. The park offers three Loop Walks. The views of the coast and surrounding mountains were fantastic and the sun was shining. We stopped at Kylemore Abbey and Aasleagh Falls. Via Doo Lough Pass we reached Westport with a view of Croagh Patrick, Ireland’s holy mountain (762m). We found a room at Hazelbrook B&B which was only a short walk from the centre. Had a lovely dinner at Cosy Joe’s Bar.


Westport – Cong
Friday, Sep. 28, 13 °C, a.m. sunny, p.m. cloudy, 206 km

After a short stop in Newtown we went to see Carrigahowley Castle, a tower house that belonged to pirate queen Grace O’Malley. Then we planned to hike the Clogher Bog Loop, however we were unable to find the starting point. So we went back to Westport and then south to Leenaun and Connemara. In the early afternoon we arrived in the little village of Cong where we visited the old Abbey and Ashford Castle, a luxury hotel where Ronald Reagan once stayed during a state visit in Ireland. We stayed at Hill View Farm and had dinner at the Crow’s Hill Pub.



Cong – GalwayClonmacnoise – Athlone – Mullingar
Saturday, Sep. 29., 15 °C, overcast, 284 km

Today we visited Aughnanure Castle, then Galway where we also had a look at the Lynch Memorial Window in Market Street which commemorates an event that may have been the origin of “lynching” as a legal expression. We stopped at the cathedral of Clonfert and around 3:30 p.m. we reached Clonmacnoise, the ruins of an ancient monastery on the River Shannon and site of several impressive high crosses. We decided against staying in Athlone but continued until Mullingar where we arrived around 6 p.m. Spent the night at Glenmore House, quite an impressive Georgian building. Found a very nice pub for dinner: Ulysses Pub.


Mullingar – Knowth/NewgrangeMonasterboice – Drogheda – Clogherhead
Sunday, Sep. 30, 12 °C, a.m. rain, p.m. partly cloudy, 144 km

In the morning we visited the passage tombs at Knowth and Newgrange which are older than the pyramids in Egypt. While it was raining when we were in Knowth, the sun came up at Newgrange. In the afternoon we visited the monastery site of Monasterboice which was great as we were all by ourselves. There was a round tower and a few High Crosses and the ravens were circling the tower, all bathed in sunlight. Then we had a look at Old Mellifont Abbey and visited the town centre of Drogheda before we looked for a B&B at the coast near Clogherhead: „The Cross Garden B&B“.



Clogherhead – Dublin – Swords
Monday, Oct. 1, 13 °C, sunny, 55 km

Around 10 a.m. we arrived in Swords where we had booked Rathview House for our last night. The bus stop was just around the corner and around 11:30 a.m. we arrived in the centre of Dublin at O’Connell Street. We saw the Bank of Ireland, passed through the grounds of Trinity College, had a look at Oscar Wilde’s birthplace. From Merrion Square with its colourful doors we went for a lunch break in St. Stephen’s Green. Via Grafton Street we arrived at the Molly Malone statue, then we walked through Temple Bar with its many pubs. From here we went to Dublin Castle and Christ Church. With the beautiful weather we wanted to go up the observatory tower at Old Jameson Distillery but it was closed due to maintenance. We walked along the Liffey, passed by Ha’penny Bridge and arrived back at O’Connell Street. We also had a look at Henry Street and the market in Moore Street before boarding a bus at 5 p.m. that brought us back to Swords.


Swords – Howth – Malahide – Dublin Airport
Tuesday, Oct. 2, 16 °C, overcast, 56 km

On our last day we drove to the villages of Howth and Malahide hat the coast and we also walked to Malahide Castle. Our return flight was at 5:20 p.m. Around 8 p.m. local time we arrived back in Düsseldorf.


Trip Preparation

We booked the rental car (Alamo) in mid August and ordered a B&B guide. A month before our departure I wanted to make a reservation at a B&B in Dublin, however, all the three places I tried (Abberley House, Avoca House, Annagh House) were fully booked. So we changed plans and were hoping to be more lucky with a reservation at the end of our trip, but still no luck... Eventually we booked a place out of town near the airport in the historic village of Swords: Rathview House. It was no problem to find a place for two nights for the start of our trip near Glendalough. I made a reservation by phone and didn't even need to leave my credit card details. On the road we never had any problem to find a place. Reviews of accommodations can be found at Tripadvisor. We usually paid 60 or 70 euros per room including breakfast. Many guests at the B&Bs were American, but also Australian, Canadian, some German and French.
For dinner at a pub we paid approx. 12-14 euros per meal. Tesco and Lidl are good places to shop for food.
If you buy a Heritage Card you can save a lot on admission charges.
Traditional music can be found in many pubs, but this usually doesn't start before 9:30 p.m.
We found the roads to be often so small with only room for one car! So don't book a large car for Ireland!
It's quite amazing how quickly the weather can change!
In total we covered 2825 km.

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