Cliffs of Moher
My son Patrick has been studying at Trinity College in Dublin for the past academic year. When he finished his studies, I went to Ireland and we toured the country together. Here are a few highlights of the trip.
Patrick in front of St. Patrick’s cathedral.
We spent the first five days in Dublin, with Patrick showing me his favorite places.
We consumed a lot of really good ale.
We went biking in Phoenix park….
…which has a herd of very human-tolerant deer. There are about 450 head that live in the park.
We enjoyed the shops.
Lucky Charms for sale in a shop that boasts it sells the “finest confections.”
We took a tour bus to the passage tomb at Newgrange, an awesome example of human engineering from approximately 4,000 years ago.
We hiked on a rocky beach.
We saw these birds resting on a small ledge on a cliff.
Then we rented a car and went exploring further afield. I was a little concerned about driving on the opposite side of the road that I am used to. We did not have any accidents, but I must say that I found the two lane roundabouts terrifying. Our first day out of Dublin, we drove to Derry and then next day went to see the Giant’s Causeway.
Basalt columns at the Giant’s Causeway.
Mansion on a hike we took.
We drove through some very wild and beautiful places.
Cliffs of Moher
The trip was a marvelous experience and I am so glad I had the opportunity to go. Let me share with you what I did to make it more affordable.
Plane tickets between Chicago and Dublin were running $1,200-$1,400 for non-stop flights. By booking with the Swedish airline and accepting a 16 hour layover in Stockholm, I got my round trip airfare for $605. Patrick can fly for free, as his step-mother is a flight attendant. Even accounting for the $120 hotel I stayed at near the airport, this was a bargain. Plus, it helped me reset my sleep schedule to European time and I had time to tour the old town of Stockholm.
View from Stockholm’s old town.
Other than that one night in a hotel, the rest of our lodging was through Air B&B, with the cost ranging from $39 to $100 per night. Lodging costs for the entire trip were $880, for nine nights total. One of the things I really loved about Air B&B was meeting each of our hosts. They were as varied as they were welcoming. From a gentleman about my age, born in rural Ireland to a Turkish marketing student to a youngish couple with school aged children who cooked us dinner and served homemade pineapple wine to the real estate entrepreneur that served us fresh, homemade scones to the farm wife who funds her own travels with her Air B&B income–each host was warm and interesting.
We spent about $1,000 on eating out, ale, a few souvenir gifts, and local transportation (trains, buses, bike rental.) The car rental was $400. The total cost of the trip was $2,900. We could have saved a bit of money by not eating out as much, buying food at grocery stores for picnics, etc., but I enjoyed trying the new dishes and familiar ones, with an Irish twist. It was a great trip!