SIXT

Trip Report: Ireland – Day 6 & 7: Powerscourt to Dublin

After a wonderful stay at the Ritz-Carlton Powerscourt my wife and I departed around 8:30 AM for a quick trip to the Dublin airport to return our rental car.  While the experience of picking up the rental car was painful, our experience dropping it off at the SIXT off-site location was pretty easy. (As a tip there is a gas station about 1 KM past the SIXT drop-off location on the right hand side)  We returned the rental car and within about 10 minutes were back at the terminal catching a taxi into the city to our hotel, the Conrad Dublin.

The taxi ride took about 25 minutes and cost approximately 35 Euro plus a (small) tip to get to the Conrad Dublin.  We arrived at the hotel pretty early (10 AM) but we were allowed to go ahead and check-in since I am a Diamond member and they had already cleaned our room.  Here are a couple of pictures of the room:

Conrad Dublin ($$$$- We used HHonor’s Point for the 2 night stay)

Bathroom

Exterior of Hotel

Once we had thrown our stuff in the room we headed out to explore Dublin!  The city itself is lacking of truly “historical” sites like a London or Rome so we did not set out like we normally do to conquer a number of sites.  We set out with the purpose of relaxing for 2 days while walking around and drinking a pint every now and then.  It worked out well!  With that said, the one thing we did take the time to see was the Book of Kells at Trinity College (6-8 Euro admission, **** – worth it just for the library alone).

Since we didn’t do anything in particular I will let our pictures speak for themselves, enjoy:

St. Stephen’s Green (very close to Conrad Dublin, free entrance dawn to dusk)

Another

Grafton Street viewed from side street (Pedestrian shopping street with good street performers)

Trinity College (Home of the book of Kell’s discussed above)

Temple Bar (Good bar, even though it is touristy, for a drink) (Please note the guy in front with the women’s swimsuit on)

The Dublin Spire (right up there with any other weird monument I have seen)

Inside Temple Bar (sorry for getting out of order the with pictures) (This must be an Irish/British thing to have Stag parties where everyone wears matching shirts, see the guy in red)

Me with a Guinness inside Temple Bar courtyard

River Liffey in Dublin City Centre

That concludes my trip report for our 7 day trip (quick) trip through Ireland.  As I am sure you can tell if you have been following along we had absolutely fantastic, and unusual per the locals of Ireland, weather during our trip.  Seven straight days of cloudless sunny skies with high’s in the upper 60’s (F).  Look for a post tomorrow with some remaining pictures that didn’t make the initial cut for my trip report!  Cheer

Trip Report – Ireland: Day 1 – Dublin to Galway

My wife and I arrived into Dublin around 11:30 AM local time on Sunday, September 2, 2012.  We were quite tired from traveling but we had made our first nights destination Galway, on the west coast of Ireland.  After an on-time arrival into the airport we had an approximately 35 minute wait to get through immigration due to extremely low staffing levels at the Dublin Airport.  Makes for a rather lackluster first impression of the country.  After making our way, finally, through customs we began to search for the SIXT Rental Car Desk.  Unfortunately, the rental car desk is located in Terminal 2 and we had flown into Terminal 1. (As a side note, when you think you can’t go any farther and that the SIXT rental car desk is not there, turn the next corner.  It is hidden back there).  To continue with our first day misery we had to wait about 55 minutes at the SIXT desk prior to being helped.

After all of that wasted time spent in the airport we were very excited to finally be out of there (we did have a 15 minute wait for the rental car shuttle bus but that is besides the point).  Here is a view from the rental car shuttle bus pickup point of Dublin Airport:

After retrieving our car from the off-airport lot, we made our way to Galway.  Driving on the wrong side of the road was quite challenging on that first day!  However, we made it safely and checked into our hotel, The Galway Harbor Hotel ($$$$).  The hotel is located approximately 3 minutes, on foot, from the old city centre.  The hotel itself was nice enough but was nothing remarkable.  It was clean which for me is honestly one of the most important things.  Here is a view of our standard room:

After getting checked into our room we made our way into the city centre which was quite lively, even for a Sunday evening.  We strolled for a bit through some of the old town and eventually decided on having a pint or two in a few of the pubs (obviously that is not Guinness, it is Smithwick’s):

Our dinner was nothing special that night so I won’t mention it other than to say that it is recommended not to wait too long to eat dinner on a Sunday night in Galway or you may risk all the good restaurants being closed for the night.  Eat prior to 8 PM!

Overall, I must say that I was slightly disappointed with Galway.  Everything I had read or seen recommended it so strongly but all we saw were approximately 2 streets worth of old town with a large industrial center surrounding it.  Maybe we were there at a bad time or missed seeing what makes Galway special, not sure, but for right now I probably wouldn’t recommend people to stay here unless they are looking for a good jumping off point for touring the Cliffs of Moher.

My next post will cover Day 2: Galway to Tralee, with stops at Cliffs of Moher and Limerick.