My wife and I just recently got back from a vacation in Ireland. It was a pretty amazing experience. Our last big vacation was to Jamaica for our honeymoon. We flew into Shannon, drove the southern coast, and flew out of Dublin. We spent nights in Tralee, Waterville, Kinsale, Kilkenny, and Dublin. We had a day long layover in New York where we did some fun stuff too. A trip this long and traveling that distance is too much for a single post so I'll give the a major overview.
I looooove castles. This was the primary castle we planned on visiting. We paid a 7 or 8 Euro entrance fee each and went on a very short tour of a very modern castle. The castle was inhabited in the 1800s so it had lost a lot of its castley features. Felt more like a tour of a civil war era mansion with only two or three rooms to view.
Amanda and I were really looking forward to this. The Book of Kells was written in the 800s and is one of the few religious documents to come from the Dark Ages. It is four books containing the four Gospels with elaborate drawings and stuff. Again, 7 or 8 Euro. We spent about 15 minutes looking at all the cool details of how the books were made. They had displays on the paper (actually cow skin), ink, binding, etc. We then waited in line to actually see them. They have two on display. One with text displayed and the other with a picture displayed. We entered the room and there was a pretty clear line going around the display case. By the time we go close enough to see the second book, the line was gone and the room had just become a cluster and we couldn't really see.
It was really crowded, felt really dirty, and very difficult to find your way around. We never saw any useful road signs. Don't know if we would spend much time here if we came back.
Amazing drive. It has the most beautiful country sides I've ever seen. The town is pretty fun too. The roads here are SUPER narrow. Your best bet is to go with the flow of the tour buses if you are driving.
This is a 45 Euro trip, but worth every penny. You head out to a small island that contains a monastery at the very top of the island. How do you fit a monastery on top of sheer rock cliffs? You make the cliffs wider with terraces.... yeah... they did that. How do you get up there? 600 stone steps! Really rough climb, but totally worth it... OH they also have a massive population of Puffins! They get up close and are SOOOOO cute.
Wow... this place was awesome. We went to it kinda on a fluke. B&B; wasn't open so we made an hour trip to this place. Very much worth it. There is some pretty amazing stuff here. There are old wall paintings, tons of carvings, a cemetery, and an amazing view. The castle is actually in a Windows 7 theme. It is the bottom right picture with the sheep in the preview picture here.
It was a truly amazing trip and I can't wait to go back