Ireland
Leinster

Here you’ll find travel reports about Leinster. Discover travel destinations in Ireland of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

218 travelers at this place:

  • Day1

    Kilkeny

    September 11, 2017 in Ireland

    Streets of Kilkeny. We parked and walked to the Castle. The cafes with outside seating had blankets on the chairs to use. Found some charity shops, no treasures yet. Us at a pub. The umbrellas were an entrance to an outside mall. It made me smile! :)

  • Day24

    Dublin

    September 24 in Ireland

    A fantastic day in Dublin- we love this city. We were up early for a delicious breakfast cooked by Mick and headed into town for the 10am tour of the Guiness Storehouse which truly was amazing and so interesting. The building had 7 storeys, each with a different part of the tour on it. We learned about the ingredients, the process, the making of the barrels, the history of the brewery and visited the tasting room where we all had a small glass of beer. The floor showing how Guiness has been advertised over the years was interesting and finally on the 7th floor we were on a glass observation deck where a free Guiness was on offer, as well as spectacular 360 views over the city, made even better by the beautiful sunny weather. We left the storehouse and headed off for a walk to a lovely big cafe for lunch. We then walked across the road to Trinity College which was buzzing with students and tourists. We visited the Book of Kells exhibition and the Old Library which really was incredible. Angela and Mick then left us as we wandered around the main shopping area before searching out Temple Bar. We just loved the hour and a half we spent in the Temple Bar listening to Irish music and enjoying the atmosphere. We then wandered along the Liffey River to the oldest bar in Ireland, The Brazen Head. It too was full of atmosphere and people. We then caught the bus back to Angela and Mick’s and after the half hour journey through the suburbs of Dublin congratulated ourselves on finding their house again. It was 7 15 and we then enjoyed chatting with Mick and Angela over dinner.Read more

  • Day26

    Dublin

    September 26 in Ireland

    Wow! What a day. Had such a cool day. Up early and off with Mick to a lovely modern cafe to meet up with Niamh Griffin and her 2 half year old daughter Sadhbh( pronounced Sive) for breakfast. One of the best breakfasts we have had. Left them to do the Kilmainham Gaol tour. It was amazing as the wonderful guide led us round the gaol and through the history of Ireland. Visiting the site of the 1916 executions following the Easter Rising was incredible and very moving. We departed the gaol and met Angela at the Irish Parliament buildings. Her brother John Lehart is an Irish MP ( TD) currently in opposition and his parliamentary assistant met us and escorted us into the members restaurant for a lovely lunch. We were joined by John before heading to the viewing gallery. We were fascinated to see a debate in progress with the prime minister, Leo Varadka in action. Interesting discussion about how much support children with special needs need in schools and the shortage of housing in Dublin. So lucky and such a privilege to be there. We then had a quick trip around the buildings before leaving Angela and Mick for a coffee and then to catch the Hop On Hop Off Bus which took us all around Dublin. We disembarked at Temple Bar and found our way back to the bus stop to make the return trip to Mick and Angela’s. We then left for a half hour drive up through the most beautiful hills on the outskirts to a pub called Jonnie Fox’s, where we enjoyed a lovely Irish meal and music in a truly Irish pub. We carried on at 9 for another pub down the road called The Blue Light. It was the true Irish experience as we huddled in the smallest of rooms listening and singing along to a 5 piece Irish band (average age was at least 70). We just loved it and the view down over Dublin city was amazing. Mick finally drove us home at midnight. It truly was one of those days you just want to savour forever.Read more

  • Day41

    Ireland's Ancient East

    October 14 in Ireland

    Today didn’t turn out quite as I’d planned. I had a list of ancient and medieval sites to visit. While I visited most of them I didn’t get to see much. I went to Loughcrew to see ancient burial sites but they were closed due to surveys being done.
    I came across The Spire of Lloyd (not on my list) which is a folly in the shape of a lighthouse. It was at the site of a famine mass grave. No markers or records. Quite sobering.
    It was raining quite steadily by now so I was looking forward to Slane Castle and distillery as I would be indoors. As I drove up to the castle I saw a lot of vintage cars out the front and was hoping it wasn’t closed for a wedding. I’m not sure whether it was a wedding but the castle was closed for a private function. Not to worry, I’ll just go to the distillery. Unfortunately that too was closed for a private function.

    After a late lunch in a gorgeous hotel in Slane I headed for the Hill of Tara, an ancient burial site. The visitor centre was closed. I was still able to walk over the site although I spent more time looking at the ground dodging the sheep manure than looking at the surroundings.

    I was quite wet by then and it was getting late so I headed for the airport. Ive handed in my car with no issues. I’ve driven nearly 3500km in 20 days although I didn’t drive at all in Belfast. I’m staying in a hotel at the airport and will have plenty of time in the morning before I have to be at the terminal.
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  • Day21

    Wicklow mountains national park

    September 24 in Ireland

    Today was the start of the driving part of the trip. I picked up my car in Dublin. I had originally booked an intermediate size car but upgraded to a diesel car and I think I’m glad I did. The original car looked like a station wagon. The car I have is a VW Passat. It’s a bit fancy which means it has unnecessary bells and whistles. It keyless, stops itself when I’m stopped in traffic and has a tiny handbrake which makes hill starts quite hard. The first time I parked I couldn’t get it in reverse. There is no manual and eventually I had to ring the car hire place to ask them. It turns out you need to push the gear stick down and then put it in first to put it in reverse! Who designs these things??
    One thing I forgot to check before driving off was the speed limit! Fortunately I didn’t get too far before I saw a sign saying it is 50 km/hr in built up areas. Thank goodness for GPS! I don’t know where all the street signs are but I couldn’t find them. I saw three street signs, for minor streets off the major street I was driving on, on low walls. I didn’t see a sign for a major road.

    I made my way to Glencree which is at the northern part of the Wicklow Mountains National Park. From there to Glendalough I took the Old Military rd which was stunning. I don’t know if it is technically moorland but that’s what it reminded me of.
    The roads were every bit as narrow and windy as I had been warned they wold be. Even so I was still surprised at how long it took to get anywhere.

    I stopped of in Glendalough to take a look at the upper lake and all the beautiful scenery. I would have liked to spend longer but I was still a way from Waterford. I got here about 7pm. I’m staying in the industrial area of the town but the hotel and room are fine.
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  • Day23

    Betws-y-coed to Dublin

    September 23 in Ireland

    An uneventful trip to Liverpool Airport apart from having to be there two hours early since we couldn’t check in on-line as they wanted us to do. Left Bets-y-coed very early as we were nervous about driving into Liverpool. The road out of Wales was a beautiful drive with very little traffic and surprising the road into Liverpool was amazingly quiet and not at all as major as we anticipated. The airport itself was smaller than Christchurch airport and was old and pretty run down. We dropped off the car, checked in and then filled in two hours having a coffee and reading in the book shop. Our flight was smooth and similar to flying JetStar. We arrived in Ireland an hour later which was 2 30. Mick and Angela Griffin were there to meet us and we loved seeing them again. We drove to their lovely home and Angela produced cups of tea and delicious ham sandwiches. At 4 30 we headed out first to an Irish bar for a drink and then to a lovely modern restaurant for dinner. It had been the site of a shoe making factory and the wall of shoe mounds was a feature. Went to bed looking forward to exploring Dublin, and in particular the Guiness Storehouse visit in the morning.Read more

  • Day9

    Guess who's back?

    September 29 in Ireland

    Berlin does a lot of things well and extremely efficiently, but one area where they score an own goal is Tegel airport. What a clusterf&*k of epic proportions. It's like two German guys had a few too many steins and decided to knock up something like an airport with some stuff they found lying around a building site. It makes bush airstrips in wildest Africa seem sophisticated. Literally it is like a prefab garage with about five short haul jet's worth of passengers jammed into it, with one small food kiosk and a bathroom from a down on their luck football club. That would be bad enough, but getting through what passes for their security area is much slower and more difficult than it should ever be. It took so long to get from the front of the queue to nearly the other side of security that some of my clothes had started to go out of style. Luckily by the time I got all the way through my clothes had come back into fashion. I swear it would have been easier to get over the Berlin wall in its heyday than it was to pass through security at Berlin Tegel.

    Once we were on our Aer Lingus flight things picked up and we had a smooth and on-time trip to Dublin. Dublin airport is quite large and spread out, so we had a long taxi to the terminal before I could finally set foot on Irish soil for the first time in over two decades. Customs was easy and friendly, which was no surprise and the girl dealing with us asked if we were visiting family when she saw my passport. It's fantastic to be in a country where you don't have to spell out your surname.

    After clearing customs and collecting our bags we trundled our stuff to the airport hotel, via a few false starts and wrong turns and made it to our room about 12.30am.

    The next morning, Saturday, we were up by eight and back to the airport to pick up our rental car from the Avis counter. We were on the road by nine, headed all the way across Ireland, from east to the Wild West coast to visit the home town of my ancestors and try and find the burial place of my great-great-grandparents.

    The main road from Dublin to Galway, the M50 is fantastic. It's what New Zealand highways should be. Two lanes either side, a median barrier and smooth tarmac, plus a speed limit of 120kmh in most places. It's glorious and makes the journey so much faster and easier.

    We pulled our Renault Kadjar into Claregalway, County Galway just after midday. I had followed on some research carried out by one of my uncles and thanks to the reach of the internet had located my great-great-grandparents grave in the cemetery at the Franciscan Friary church burial ground in Claregalway.

    The friary has not been used for a while, but it must have been a very impressive building back when the guys with itchy cloaks and bowl haircuts were doing their thing. I had narrowed the search for my ancestors to this location, but this burial ground is several hundred years old and there was no directory to follow, so I thought it might take a while. To my surprise and delight I managed to find the headstone after about only twenty minutes of searching. It was a powerful and quite emotional experience to be standing in my forebears home town and final resting place. It was a full circle moment, that their great-great-grandson had returned to the place from which their daughter had left Ireland forever, for a life in an unknown and distant land. It had taken over 150 years, but blood will out and family finds a way.

    After spending some time to soak in this special moment we eventually left Claregalway to head for the Cliffs of Moher. This is only about 70 kilometres from Galway, but it's over some very narrow and windy roads, so it took well over an hour. We did get the bonus of passing through The Burren and driving by a couple of dramatic coastal castles on the way.

    After negotiating the trail to the cliffs we braved the winds and the crowds to climb the path and peer over the edge to the wild Atlantic pounding relentlessly against the shore hundreds of feet far below. It's a stark, dramatic landscape and I immediately liked it.

    I found it comforting that my forebears who left this part of Western Ireland to make a new life in New Zealand chose to settle in another beautifully wild coastal place, Southland.

    Finally tearing myself away from the view and the wind we left Galway and the Atlantic behind to made the return 300k trek back to Dublin, arriving just as the sun set. Tomorrow the delights of Dublin await. Slainte!
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  • Day11

    Today we broke the long standing world record for the number of hop on hop off bus tours taken on one holiday, when we orbited fair Dublin city in the 'Do Dublin' bus tour.

    Starting in O'Connell street we first passed the iconic Dublin GPO, scene of the fiercest battles in the 1916 Easter Rising. The Irish Republican in me always gets a lump in my throat when thinking of the Easter Rising and seeing the GPO again was another misty eyed moment.

    We then continued around the most famous sights of Dublin, which come thick and fast, even though the full circuit takes two hours to complete. The weather was typically Irish, so the Southlander in me felt right at home, but the North Islander beside me was shivering, so we soon abandoned our perch on the upper deck and adjourned to the slightly warmer climes of the enclosed lower deck. The more climatically comfortable surroundings of the bottom deck allowed both of us to take in more of the sights and terrific commentary from Gareth Lawless our driver and tour guide. I know gift of the gab is an Irish cliche, but cliches evolve because there is always a kernel of truth in them. Gareth gave the best tour commentary I have ever heard, along with regular Irish songs as we passed the Irish Writer's museum, the famine memorial, the Irish Emigration Museum, St Stephen's Green, Trinity College, the Guinness Storehouse, Kilmainham Gaol and Phoenix Park.

    What an amazing, vibrant and history filled city Dublin is. The real highlight of the day though was the visit to EPIC - the Irish Emigration museum. This museum only opened in 2016 and it harnesses the most engaging and creative technology to tell the story of how the Irish diaspora has altered and affected every corner of the globe they have settled in. It charts all aspects of how it has come to pass that Ireland has exported so many of its people. It is by equal measure sorrowful, celebratory, proud, defiant and unbroken. It would make anyone with even a single drop of Irish blood cherish the gift of such an incredible heritage. I know I am far from an unbiased commentator when it comes to this issue, but the bottom line is that Ireland's greatest export has always been its people.

    After an incredible two hours we exited EPIC and headed back to O'Connell street to visit a souvenir shop, which are very hard to find. Why in one twenty metre stretch of the street I was lucky to find only four such shops. Handing over my crisp Euros I walked out with a Maloney key-ring proudly advertising my family coat of arms, a commemorative Easter Rising coin and a bag of Baileys chocolate, for emergency purposes only. Souvenirs secured we caught the Airlink Express back to the hotel and a meeting with an old friend from Southland.

    Tomorrow we touch down in good old Glasgy. Come on the Bhoys!
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  • Day2

    First day in Ireland

    September 15 in Ireland

    OK, getting the hang of this posting thing, so I will correct my previous little blurb--we ended up with an empty seat between us, of which I took full advantage for about an hour of the 6-hour flight.😀
    Our first day has been good. Arriving to dreary, overcast skies, we picked up our little rental car and headed 15 mins away for our first castle, Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, enjoying rain-free skies and cool weather. This castle gives a very authentic glimpse into life in a medieval castle and village. From there we drove 1.5 hrs to our first castle stay, Kinnitty Castle. No rain today (yay!), so we took a walk through the castle's forest and have decided to have an early dinner and get some sleep (3 hrs of plane "sleeping" for Bruce and 1 hr for me over the last 32 hrs is catching up with us and we've got places to go and castles to see!) and aside from the lousiest sandwich we've ever had (can't recommend the tea room at Bunratty) and the flat tire we got on our way into Kinnitty's grounds (thankful it didn't happen on the road, and thankful for renter's insurance, although they could only put the spare on until we get to a larger town, but at least we can keep going!), we are very happy with our first day in Ireland😊 Good night!Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Leinster, Laighin, لاينستر, Ленстър, Cúige Laighean, Ленстер, Leinsteri provints, لینستر, Còigeamh Laighean, Queiggey Lion, לנסטר, レンスター, ლენსტერი, 렌스터, Lagenia, Lensteris, Leinster Séng, Lagénîn, Leinsteri, لینسٹر, 利揚省, 倫斯特省

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