We have always dreamed together to going to Ireland, and recently a new addition to the idea came up: Biking around Ireland!
**Note: None of these photos are mine! We haven’t gone yet, but when we do go you can bet your booty that I’ll post my own. These though, are from other fantastic sources.
We bike quite a bit. We’re not tight-pants, neon-shoes, cut-you-off-in-traffic bikers, we trail ride, and scurry through town as fast as possible, trying to stay our of the way and get where we’re going. We communte to work via bikes 3ish days a week. (Right now I have what we think is a torn mediscus, so i’m taking a bit of a break, but i’m SO anxious to get back to it.) Most of the guided bike tours I see are a bit different that what we’d want. Not too hard, I don’t think, but different.
I think our perfect trip will be something like this:
($ has to do with how nice where we’ll stay that night is. $ = Hostel, around $20ea, $$= cheap hotel, around $90, $$$=nice hotel, around $150)
Day 0. Prep. I’m a strong proponant of preparing properly (say that 3 times fast…) for a vacation. I like vacations to go smoothly, otherwise the additional stress isn’t a vacation at all! So day 0 is packing, planning, last-minute checking, getting the cats settled into whereever they’re staying, talking to neighbors, stopping the mail, Etc, then going to be early for the inevitable red-eye flight.
Day 1: Arrive in Dublin, sleep off the jet lag. $$
Day 2: Explore Dublin. Particular sights to hit: Book of Kells & Old Library at Trinity College, Dublin Castle, picnic, lunch at Steven’s Green, Talk to some locals and wander(photos! pictures of those gorgeous doors!). In the evening, the “Traditional Irish Music Pub Crawl.” (we will be doing a lot of these, i think. ) $$
Day 3: Rent Bikes, Bus approx 80km, then get off and ride the rest of the way to Kilkenny Castle. Lots of Photos along the way. Visit St. Canice’s Cathedral & Kilkenny Castle. $
Day 4: Bike to & visit: Rock of Cashel. This castle is HUGE and is an event unto itself. We will likely spend the rest of the day here. Then, if possible, bus/train onward.
Day 5. Kinsale- Blarney Stone & Blarney Castle. I have wanted to kiss the Blarney stone since I heard about it when I was little. Though, I have such a glib tongue already that my family jokes it’ll make me mute. Still, it’s a dream and i’m looking forward to achieving.
Day 6. Dingle! $$$ We have been looking forward to a traditional, rexlaxed stay in Dingle for a long time. Everything in town is in biking distance, the local shops scene is wonderful, and the bar/music scene is legendary. Hopefully we’ll stay somewhere at least this nice, but I hope to find something a little more secluded.
Day 7. Dingle! As these aren’t that many tourtist scenes here, this part of the vacation is really boring in description, but should be wonderful in action. We’ll get a lot of pictures like this.
And maybe some like this….
Day 8. Dingle! It’s not all about lazy walks and shut-in mornings though. Exploring town and interacting with the locals (who, reportedly, are very friendly to tourists.)
Day 9. Galway. Lots of these!
And a few of these…
Day 10. Galway. Once hangover-recovery is well underway, (aided by mimosa’s, I’m sure,) we’ll actually get to explore Galway. We’d like to see sights including, the Latin Quarter, Collegiate Church of St Nicholas (shopping!,) Cathedral of St Nicholas, and maybe a play at the Druid Theatre.
Day 11. Cliffs of moher/ Aran Islands. Dún Aenghus. Need I say more? This place is amazing.
Day 12. Dublin: Grafton Street (shopping!) Logistics stuff- like shipping things home, returning bikes, repacking. $$$ (gotta get one last luxurious nights’ sleep in)
Day 13. Return. (It’s a long flight.)
Day 14. Recover. Unpack, fetch kitties, get mail, all that Day 0 stuff in reverse.
That’s all I’ve got for now. This takes research and planning. I’m sure once I get down to the nitty-gritty travel arrangements this will change a bit. We’d like to bike no more than 50 miles a day, so there will certainly be some bus trips. Bus + bike will still be less expensive than renting a car though. And in many of the smaller towns we’ll have much greater maneuverability.