Ireland
Swords

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

20 travelers at this place:

  • 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 ontime 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. 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 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 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 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 am I 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 keyring 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!Read more

  • Day14

    Malin Head

    October 16 in Ireland

    This was a morning when we didn’t have to be up early, and given that the sun is up fairly late anyway it was good to be able to have a leisurely breakfast before heading off for a walk.
    The walk up to the point was relatively easy until the wind started. By the time we had reached the top it was really strong, enough to almost blow Robyn off her feet! From the top we could see the place where there were white stones set into the grass spelling EIRE. This was done during WW2 to let pilots know that they were over Ireland, a neutral country.
    On our wind-assisted return we then walked in to the Farrens Arms for a coffee and to check our emails. There were two behind the bar and one customer, so there was plenty of time for them to chat to us. They were really quite interesting, and friendly.
    Trying to buy groceries in this part of the world has proven to be a challenge. We are self-catering and trying to eat well, walk well and drink well, but when potatoes and carrots are about all you can rely on it is slim pickings for the cook! In desperation we went in to Malin village itself, to no avail,
    The last thing for the day was to join the locals for a pint (or glass of wine) and this time there were a few more customers.
    Our walk home was just beautiful, with the sun going down and the sea just below us.
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  • Day17

    Ballinasloe, Athlone and Dublin

    September 30 in Ireland

    Today we have a simple plan, drive from Galway to our hotel near the Dublin Airport, return the car and have an early night as we have to be at the airport at 5am. It’s a two hour drive along the highway. We quickly find our way to the highway and put the foot down till we reach the 120km per hour speed limit. Along the way we decide it is coffee time and take the turnoff to a town called Ballinasloe. Off we go when all of a sudden we are brought to a stop by the traffic jam in front of us. What is happening in this town but then it crosses my mind there is possibly a local football game on or everyone is off to church. Then we overtake a horse and buggy. In Barellan, NSW, they have the Clydesdale Weekend where there are a few horses but here we are seeing hundreds and probably over a thousand gathered in the local show ground. This is part of their horse fair week. There was absolutely no parking available unless we paid €10 to park in someone’s driveway. We meandered through the town, passing many fabulously groomed horses. There were even donkeys in the street. No shops were to be found and access to the main street was blocked. Back on the highway we decided coffee at the next town.
    Next town was Athlone, a town with medieval castle, churches and rivers. The only place we could find to get a coffee was a pub which we stumbled across and became the first customers of the day. Also toilets were available, coffee not too bad. We continued walking with MDW confident we would find our way back to the car. She was right as we walked down a road where people were taking photos of this road so I did too. Not sure the importance of it.
    We got back on the highway and the Navman kept trying to divert us onto a side road. I checked the Navman settings and it had avoid tolls. This might be why we didn’t drive through the tollway out of Dublin, the one that you can’t avoid, yet we did. We checked into the Premier Inn, reliable hotel with a good bed. MDW did some hand washing whilst I returned the car and found my way back to the hotel on the shuttle bus. We finished off the evening with a nice meal at the hotel.
    Ireland has been lovely, even with the cold weather at times, got to see lots of great scenery and towns.
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  • Day1

    Flughafen Dublin

    July 23, 2017 in Ireland

    Nach einer einstündigen Zugfahrt nach Nürnberg sind wir weiter mit dem Zug nach München. Von dort ging es dann mit einer fast zweistündigen Verspätung in den Flieger nach Dublin. Nach dem Abendessen ging es nochmal kurz in die Temple Bay Street, in welcher, trotz dass es Sonntag Abend war, noch sehr viel los war mit vielen Straßenkünstlern und Musik in den Pubs.

  • Day1

    Departure Day

    October 28, 2017 in Ireland

    After running a personal best, again, at Cabinteely park run - and celebrating MTC's daughter's 50th park run, we set off for the airport. The plan was to keep my promise not to eat at Burger King again, by going to Esquires in Swords. We'd had a delicious breakfast there a few weeks earlier after the River Valley park run. It didn't disappoint on the return visit. Full Irish, non-vegetarian version each plus a good cup of coffee. The airport long term car park is about 6 minutes from the restaurant.
    Smooth through security, time wise. Until I discovered that my jacket was missing, plus my shoulder bag (there is no other way of describing it), which was with it. It had been selected for an extra check. An apple seems to have been the offending article. The security were double-checking a lot of stuff. The queues for security were short. So they probably decided it was a good time to up the rechecks.
    Flight was full. Loaded early. Priority boarding. Arrived before the scheduled time. Caught the bus to Bergamo station, with about a 3 minute wait. Some fooster with the ticket machine. Got assistance from a fellow traveller. Mercure hotel is 5 minutes from the station. Registration in almost complete silence, the way I like my haircuts. Room is fine. Decent AC. Big bathroom , 8/10 for cleanliness. Photos are Milan or Turin
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  • Day39

    Ely/Birmingham/Dublin

    August 9 in Ireland

    Most of the last couple of days have been travelling and waiting to travel. Neither the train or air employees are very accommodating in England. Little bit more friendly in Ireland where I will meet Sharon in the morning. Yippee, then we start a new adventure (yes, looking for dead people) as John puts it. More family research. Met and befriended 8 young lads on the plane coming to Ireland for a ‘stag couple days’, god knows what they will look like when they arrive home!!! No photos until tomorrow. Don’t think you want to see train stations or airports.Read more

  • Day40

    Dublin

    August 10 in Ireland

    Of course I didn’t meet Sharon this morning, she arrives tomorrow morning, must have been those grumpy poms I was focused on. Spent the day in the middle of the city, very busy and the main part very dirty. Lots of building along the water way and will be great when finished. Rained and was cold, I had to buy a rain jacket, no doubt it will come in handy for the rest of the trip!!! Looking forward to getting out into the country.Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Swords, Суордс, Sord Cholmcille, اسوردز, Sord, סוורדס, 스워즈, Sordsas, Сордс, Сордз, سورڈز، ڈبلن, 斯沃司

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