Ireland with Christine (Part 1)

Agent Name: Christine
Date:
September 2009
Trip Location:
Dublin & South East Ireland
Places Visited: Dublin, Co. Kildare, Co. Wexford

Waterford CastleOverall Impression: Beautiful, Scenic, Lush and Historic, that is how I would describe Southeast Ireland.

The Southeast of Ireland is a wonderful place to visit for anyone who enjoys areas rich in Culture and Heritage, Castles and Manors, beaches and countryside. The country is undergoing major road construction at the moment. Highways are being constructed to better facilitate the traffic and growing communities outside the major cities. Roads are narrow, and driving is on the left hand side of the road so renting a car and driving may not be for everyone. There are also, however, many tour operators operating set itinerary guided tours or are willing to customize itineraries to suit your preferences which will allow you a comfortable and relaxing journey to view the beautiful countryside via motorcoach or a private driver if you are looking for a more personalized way to tour this beautiful Country.

We started our weeklong journey from Dublin and traveled south to Co. Kildare to an area called Maynooth, a 30 minute drive. It is here that Carton House is located on over 1000 acres of stunning parkland. Carton House is one of Ireland’s finest stately homes that has been converted into a 165 bedroom four star hotel with two golf courses. It has a history spanning more than 8 centuries and while the original manor boasts the old world charm that many guests seek, it also offers a newer addition/building with more modern/contemporary rooms and a spa for those looking to indulge themselves with a relaxing and revitalizing body treatment. Golfing includes two courses, The Montgomerie Course and the O’Meara Course. The Montgomerie course is inspired by the greatest links lands of the world and has hosted both the 2005 and 2006 Irish Opens. The O’Meara course is a classic parkland course full of beauty. Two very different courses however, both challenging and beautiful.

Most ornate door in Dublin

Also in Co. Kildare, in an area called Tully, is the Irish National Stud and Japanese Gardens. The lands around Tully are known to have been an area of breeding of horses since the 1300’s. The Irish National Stud was established in 1946 and plays an active role in the development and promotion of Irish bloodstock. It is the only Stud farm in Ireland open to the public. It is here that owners can bring their mares to breed with champion Stud’s. The most famous Stud currently at the Farm is Invincible Spirit, Sire of a world record 35 individual first crop juvenile winners. Owners pay large sum’s to breed their mares with the Stallions at the farm however Invincible Spirit is by far the most lucrative Stallion bringing in between 50,000-80,000 Euro’s as his fee. A tour of the facility provides you with information and facts about the farm and a walk around the lush lands

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allows you to view the horses grazing amongst the fields. Also located at the Irish National Stud Farm is the Horse Museum and The Japanese Gardens, a commemorative garden dedicated to St. Fiachra, Patron Saint of Gardens, to celebrate the Millenium. Designed by Award Winning Landscape Architect, Professor Martin Hallinan, it captures the power of the Irish landscape using rock and water and takes the visitor through the many stages of life with each garden setting.
Other Interesting Attractions to visit in Co. Kildare: Straffan Butterfly Farm; Castletown House.

Further South I visited New Ross, Co. Wexford. It is here that a replica of the Dunbrody Emigrant Ship is located. The Visitor Experience provides a unique insight into a period of history which shaped modern day Ireland and America. You will, first of all, view a 9 minute audio-visual presentation which gives the historic background to the Great Famine, cialis and valium and the reason why so many people were forced to emigrate on sailing ships like Dunbrody to America in the mid 19th century. You will see fascinating footage of the building of the replica Dunbrody, the emotional day of her launching, and also her Maiden Voyage in 2005. You will then follow in the footsteps of a group of Famine emigrants as you board the Dunbrody. A ticket is issued as if it were 1849, and this replica ticket allocates your space and food rations for the voyage ahead as though you were one of the actual passengers on the ship.You will explore the ship, fitted out exactly as it would be for a voyage. You will encounter actors, playing the role of emigrants, in their cramped quarters with their meager possessions.

They will tell you their harrowing stories of being forced to emigrate. A member of the crew will tell you the story of other voyages and all about life on board a sailing ship. This authentic recreation with its actors, sound effects and smells, will transport you back in time and leave a lasting impression! After the tour, you can then visit the Irish Emigration database where records are on file for the passengers transported on the Dunbrody. This was definitely a very interesting tour and is highly recommended if visiting this area.

I also had the opportunity to visit The Dunbrody Country House and Cookery School in Kilmuckridge, Co. Wexford. Privately owned and operated, this manor estate has been transformed into luxury accommodations within its centuries old walls. The Dunbrody Country House currently holds the Gold Medal Award for Excellence 2009 & Country House of the Year 2009. Set on 300 acres of gardens with wonderful walking trails, it is a tranquil experience you will never forget. Vegetable gardens are abundant and the vegetables and herbs grown are used in the recipes served in the restaurant. The Dunbrody Country House also offers a spa for those looking for indulgence or, for those with a little ambition, a cookery school where you can learn to make gourmet Irish fare. I did have the opportunity to take in a cooking class and would highly recommend it. Our Chef, Edward, kept us entertained with his ability, exhilarating personality and wit, making every minute of this experience enjoyable.

Other Interesting Attractions to visit in Co. Wexford: Duncannon Fort; Wexford Heritage Centre; Dunbrody Abbey Visitor Centre.

Tea-Crumpets and....GuinnessFrom New Ross, Co. Wexford I travelled up to Waterford. The name Waterford is synonymous with the famous crystal that comes from this area. A visit to the Waterford Crystal Visitor centre is definitely recommended for those who love the best in Crystal. Waterford Crystal, just this past year, has viagra from pfizer online ceased production operations due to difficult economic times. Early this year, for over 7 weeks, workers sat in the factory protesting the closure of the facility. Eventually, it did close and production of crystal in Kilberry, Co. Waterford ceased. It is no longer producing the crystal it is so famously known for but the Crystal shop is still open and it is here you can purchase some of the most beautiful crystal in the world including some of the most ornate chandeliers you will ever see, some of which price out over 50,000 Euro’s and higher. While the fight is still on to try and re-open the production facility latest reports state that discussions have been in the works to outsource the production of crystal to Slovakia and Germany. accutane online pharmacy reviews

Also in Waterford is the Waterford Castle and Resort. Again, this castle has been transformed into luxury accommodations and is located a 5 minute ferry ride from Waterford over to its own private island. A tranquil escape with superb facilities, this 800 year old castle offers 19 guest rooms. Separately located a short walking distance from the castle accommodations are holiday homes. These 3 and 4 bedroom townhomes are perfect accommodation for families offering separate living areas, fully equipped kitchens and their own laundry facilities. Restaurants are located in the Castle and offer options for both fine

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and casual dining. True to form, there is also an 18 hole par 72 Championship Golf Course located on the grounds however, if golf is not what you are looking for there are several other activities to consider taking part in such as walking the grounds, tennis, archery, clay target shooting, a games room or enjoying afternoon tea in the Castle’s conservatory. For those looking to stay in central Waterford, the Granville Hotel offers guests 4 star accommodation offering easy access to stroll the city’s quaint streets and enjoy browsing the multitude of shops, restaurants and Nightlife without worrying about transportation. A historical hotel over looking the river, the Granville Hotel also has it’s own pub where you will find locals gathering nightly to enjoy a pint, enjoy some local fare, visit with friends, and where local’s, or visitors, can accompany the pub’s live band and practice their singing ability in front of a live audience. A very warm and inviting place to visit and it isn’t long before you feel like a local yourself.
Other Interesting Attractions to visit in Co. Waterford: Lismore Castle and Gardens; Christchurch Cathedral

Favourite Place: Glendalough

Favourite Hotel: The Ritz Carlton Powerscourt, Co. Wicklow

Local Foods to Try: Irish Soda Bread, Guinness, Butler’s Irish Chocolate

Best Time to Travel: April/May or Sept/Oct, both are considered shoulder seasons and can save you money pharmacy tech online schools california on airfares and accommodation

What to Bring: Umbrella, rain coat, good walking shoes, 220V converter

Things to Buy: Waterford Crystal, Butler’s Irish Chocolate, wool clothing

Travel Tips: VAT tax can be as high as 21% on some goods. You may be entitled to a tax refund as a non-European visitor to Ireland on goods bought in stores that display a “tax free shopping” sign in the window. To obtain a refund, complete a valid tax refund document on departing cialis low price the European Union. This can be done at the airport before departure.