9. July 2013 14:53
by Gregor Swiderek
Ireland, the emerald isle, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. After trying to organize a tour of it on a couple of separate occasions I finally succeeded just a few months ago.
And I have to say I absolutely loved it, so I decided to share some of my impressions. However, I'm not going to write about ancient ruins and monuments, or about the green and pleasant landscape, not even about tasty Guinness or lovely Irish pubs. No, I'm going to write about the most fun aspect of our journey, Irish roads.
Here, I have to admit that I am a road geek and I absolutely love driving (in case you hadn’t picked that up from my American journeys). I'm sure travelling by train is relaxing and travelling by bus lets you meet some fellow travellers but there is nothing better than your own set of wheels.
We started our trip in a car rental office in a suburb of Dublin. Nothing exciting or worth really writing about but in no time we were crossing the middle of the country on one of the new and empty Irish motorways. It was the first big surprise. Being used to busy British roads I just couldn't believe how empty a major highway can be. There were quite long moments on our way to Cork when we couldn't see a single car in front or behind us. Pure joy to drive.
Still, a motorway is a motorway, nothing really worth shouting about (maybe apart from some spectacular Alpine stretches in Switzerland). It was the smaller roads which provided some real fun. Our first encounter with a proper Irish road was R668 across the Knockmealdown Mountains linking counties Tipperary and Waterford. Due to inclement weather (to say the least) we couldn't really admire the apparently great views but the drive itself was still fun with all the tight corners and moss covered branches hanging over the road.More...
15. October 2012 15:11
Seasoned Ireland traveller Ian John reveals his top five Emerald Isle autumn holiday tips.
Ireland is a destination that remains forever etched into the minds of those who visit. Whether you're exploring the quaint market towns and rugged beauty of the west coast or experiencing the thriving Dublin scene as part of a weekend away, the Emerald Isle offers something enticing yet beguiling - and visiting out of season may be the best way to enjoy its boundless attractions.
Autumn is a fantastic time to visit Ireland as its rich, verdant countryside slowly changes hue from a lush green into a rich tapestry of browns, yellows, reds and oranges. With a large number of festivals and other events through October to December, Ireland autumn travel offers any visitor a memorable trip. Outlined below are our five top tips for an autumnal excursion to remember: More...
23. August 2012 17:35
It is advisable to be good at ascending and descending in this part of West Cork, whether on foot or in a car (or, if you are masochistic, by bicycle) as almost nothing is on the level. The small fishing village of Castletownshend is a case in point. The narrow main street is ridiculously steep - walking up it requires a sort of 45 degree lean forward – and even driving up and down it can be a tad challenging. There are the twin trees that grow in the centre of the road, about half-way down in their own large raised stone-walled plot, that drive all but the smallest of cars onto the pavement going down the hill. Coming up requires careful navigation both to get round the trees and to avoid hitting anybody coming out of a side street at that point. Any failure to stop at the bottom of the main street will take you either off the quayside into the sea or into the castle... More...
1. January 2002 12:11
I have been to Dublin a few times in the last three years and I recognise that the Irish capital is a very singular city but, in a way, full of contradictions which are really difficult to explain but easy to see when you are there. Dubliners are extremely friendly people and the city enjoys a wonderful literary atmosphere and lively music all the time.
The Guinness Brewery is a must if you are visiting Dublin. Though it's in a rough area, this symbol of the country is well worth a visit. Guided More...
1. May 2000 12:09
The largest of the three Aran Islands, Inishmore, can be reached by ferry from Rossaveel (or Galway) on the Connemara coast. You can see most of the island in a day trip, though I wished I'd taken more time to absorb the grandeur and isolation of the place. There is only one road running down the island's length, and there are minivans, bicycles or horse drawn carriages to hire in the harbour at Kilronan.
The must see is the ruined prehistoric fort of Dun Aonghasa, which not More...