Our trip to Waterford, Killarney, Dublin
and the Dingle Peninsula, Ireland
October 1-12, 2009
Prep and Travel
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This was our third trip to Dingle in as many years,
we were travelling with
my in-laws, Elke and Herb,
who also happen to be
two of our best friends.
so I will focus on those things which were different.
Press here for 2008 Dingle travelogue (a new window will open)
Press here for 2007 Dingle travelogue (a new window will open)
I apologize for the minutia that most people will find irrelevant; but, because we use these logs to plan our future trips, I record everything that might come in handy later. We came home with over 800 pictures of which 336 were contenders and from which 252 were finally chosen (the 2007 log has only 122 and the 2008 log has 196). Herb’s (excellent) photos are interspersed with ours.
I’m SURE there are grammatical and spelling errors all over the place! I will correct them as I find them. If YOU find any, please let me know!
I have received many notes from strangers who have read our logs and used them to plan their own trips. If you are one of these people, please know that we really love hearing from you and are gratified that you enjoy these as much as we do. Thank you! Please keep your comments and suggestions coming!
Prep and Travel
Thursday, October 1
Yes, I know, we were originally going to go in April, as we have for the past two years; but when our neighbors invited us to join them at their time share in Kauai in April, we postponed our Dingle trip until October. We didn’t want to go during the summer and the weather in October promised to be similar to what we loved so much about April. My mother-in-law, Elke, had always wanted to visit Ireland and since the large cottage we’d stayed in last year was available we invited them to come along.
From right to left: Dublin, Waterford, Cork, Killarney, and Dingle:
Once again, we bought coach class tickets and used KC’s VIP upgrades to bump up to business class. Although we booked the trip almost a year in advance, we still had trouble getting award seats and could not fly on the dates we wanted (the cottage is rented from Saturday to Saturday) so we decided to come in one day early and spend Friday night in the Waterford Castle and then spend two days in Dublin at the end of the trip. We used KC’s Hilton Award points for a room at the Conrad Hilton in Dublin and his Marriott points to rent the car from Hertz.
The Marriott certificate entitled us to a mid-sized car but we upgraded to a Volvo S80 to give ourselves a bit more room. Nevertheless, we limited ourselves to one checked bag and one carry on apiece in spite of the fact that we’d be travelling for 2 extra days and would need ‘smart’ clothes for our nights in Waterford and Dublin. The Waterford Castle has a 2-star restaurant so I made a reservation for dinner at 7pm and afternoon tea in the ‘Great Hall’ for 1:30..
The day we left it started raining at around noon, traffic was gummed up, and the driver of the car we’d hired to take us to the airport was so infuriatingly slow that we were afraid we’d miss our flight. At a minimum, we knew we would have to hurry and would not enjoy the leisurely check-in we had last year..
When we finally got to O’Hare, 45 minutes later than we’d planned to, there were only 3 couples ahead of us in the Executive Platinum line but every one of them had overweight bags, forcing us to cool our heels while they rearranged their packing! Once we passed that hurdle, we breezed through security and paid the Flagship Lounge a brief visit before boarding. Herb and Elke had got in long before we did and were comfortable in the Admiral’s Club so we met them on the plane.
Our seats were the two in the middle. Herb and Elke had the two seats directly behind us. KC and I watched Ice Age, we both had the Chicken Masala for dinner, which was delicious, and then tried to sleep. He dropped off immediately and slept for 4 hours but I tossed and turned, slept fitfully, and woke up an hour later with a raging migraine. I had a (weak) cup of coffee and took a Zomig which mitigated the pain slightly but the trip appeared to be starting out badly. Herb and Elke slept 2-3 hours each.
Passing the time on the plane on the way over:
Because the weather had caused several connecting flights to be late, we departed an hour late and were on the ground at 9:00am the following morning, 30 minutes behind schedule. We walked the mile to baggage claim, retrieved our bags, got some cash from the ATM, and went to collect the car.
Huh? Rental cars are no longer conveniently located just across the street from the terminal! A new terminal is being built and the area where the cars USED to be was all torn up so we had to take a shuttle bus to their new location at a remote lot. There was a shuttle waiting and we sat at the back not realizing that we would then be last off, and last in line, when we got there. Not a huge problem except that I was worried we’d miss our 1:30 tea time at the castle…. .
The car we rented, a Volvo S80, which was classified as “Premium Sport” vehicle.
It had a 4.4 liter, V8, 311-horsepower engine and a 6-speed manual transmission.
KC said it was fun to drive but occasionally it was barely able to manage passing:
One difference between this year’s car and last year’s was that the windshield on this car was plastered with signage reminding the driver to “DRIVE ON THE LEFT!” There wasn’t just one sign, there were four, in three different languages, and KC had me in stitches making fun of them: “Achtung! Links fahren! Die dummkopf!”
We managed to get all our bags into the boot with not an inch to spare and were on the road at 10:30. Herb and Elke had the back (I get carsick if I don’t sit in the front) and Herb got the navigator’s job using the “best map ever” from
last year’s trip and some maps I’d printed from the Waterford Castle website and Google.
We used the M50 out of Dublin again this year but we didn’t miss the turnoff immediately after the tollbooth because there was no toll booth! They have a new barrier-free tolling system in place now, similar to our iPass, called eFlow , where instead of paying at a toll booth, your license is recorded via overhead cameras and you have until 8pm the following day to pay, either via the Internet or at a Payzone Outlet in selected stores. The rental office assured us there would be one in Dingle.
We did have some difficulty following the maps further on, but saw some gorgeous scenery as a result, and we got to the ferry at around 1pm.
The route from Dublin to Waterford:
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Note to self: bring the following next time: boat shoes, knife sharpener, speakers for MP3 player, adaptor plug.
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Last Revised: October 20, 2009
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