|Subject: Re: Ireland|
Regarding Ireland, I understand it is more reasonable to drop your car in England and then rent again when you get to Ireland, probably at the ferry dock.
We liked the Western coast of Ireland best if you have limited time. Also, Shannon Airport is an easy departure. If your ferry docks near Dublin, don't plan to pick up a car until after you leave that city, as it is not a large city for walking to see the sights. We ate at the Gresham Hotel, across from where the group stayed (Hotel Dublin) and wished we could have stayed there. BTW, be sure you do not get a hotel where large groups are staying as you will have much confusion in the dining room and we found that our tour guide helped us (the group) get a decent meal time and if you are alone you may be put at the end of the list.
In the interior, in a small town, we visited a pretty church and there met some young girls with their grandmother. The girls took us (4 of us) later to a craft place, to their relatives' bakery, and a tour of the village, It was a neat experience and we heard from two of the girls for a number of years. On that same trip we stopped on a back road and the farmer came to talk to us because he figured we were Americans and he wanted to talk about Boston where his daughter was.
We drove on the back roads as this was our first time to drive on the left and the only problem we had was finding the back roads when we tried to leave a town. We had a good map and the roads were numbered, but when we asked questions, people kept saying we'd get lost and wanted us to go on the main roads. We persisted, found our way, and enjoyed the scenery and the ambience of Ireland.
Part of our large group took an extension (guided) to Northern Ireland and they could not stop talking about how very nice it was.
Others from the group took a private tour of the area around Cork and liked that.
Hope that helps.
Gretchen from South Carolina