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Thread: Let's get this party started

  1. #11
    Senior Member karlusmagnus's Avatar
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    Uli, some others will have to clue you in on the Belfast/North/Donegal area as its not my forte. I can say that from Sligo along the WAW (Wild Atlantic Way) over to May and down to Galway is well worth the drive. We stayed at the Stella Maris hotel in Mayo, not far from Sligo and loved it. Small, intimate, good food, friendly hosts (she is irish while he is american - they winter in Florida where he is a golf writer). Nice country house feel. http://www.stellamarisireland.com/
    From Mayo, you head south to Connemara. I would stop off to visit Kylemore Abbey (I think John Huston sent Angelica to school here -
    waterside, Gothic Benedictine nunnery with restored Victorian rooms and free garden tours ... www.kylemoreabbeytourism.ie). Well worth the visit. Connemara is stupefyingly gorgeous. From there you head to Galway, which is the best small city in Ireland. Great little town center, and lots of great pubs. Next Clare, the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren (the Burren is a region of County Clare in the southwest of Ireland. It’s a karst landscape of bedrock incorporating a vast cracked pavement of glacial-era limestone, with cliffs and caves, fossils, rock formations and archaeological sites. On the Atlantic coast, the precipitous Cliffs of Moher are home to thousands of seabirds, including puffins. Nearby Doolin village is a renowned centre for traditional Irish music). When we visited Galway, we also went to the Aran Islands, off the coast, & to Inis Meain in particular. Why? Only the best food and most relaxing hotel we have been to in years (https://inismeain.ie/). Now it is discovered and books out usually 8-10 months in advance as they only have 5 rooms, the island is part of the gaeltacht (irish speaking) and remote. The owners father has a high end clothing factory on the island and his uncle is one of the top architects in ireland and designed the hotel. The owners have a background in the restaurant business and the restaurant is amazing with quality ingredients and top notch cooking. We were due to fly there in a little 7 seater plane, but the weather was bad so they said we will take a boat across. All of a sudden the pilot ran into the waiting room of the airport, and said "grab your stuff, there's a hole in the clouds, and we're going to go for it !" So we jumped into the aircraft, and 3 minutes later we were airborne, and the weather had abated allowing us to fly across, albeit at an under the radar flying altitude. It's only a 15m flight over to Inis Meain.
    From Clare, you could take the Tarbert Ferry over to Kerry (where I am from - the Kingdom as its referred to locally). Killarney is the center of attention with lakes and hotels galore. Foley's restaurant is top notch for steak, seafood, kerry lamb, etc. They also have a superb wine list as the younger son has a wine consultancy business. Full disclosure - my sister works there so let me know if you visit and I'll tell her to expect you :-)
    Plenty of drives out to Molls Gap, or Muckross House and Gardens, or Ladies View (out Kenmare Rd - was there myself last weekend). Rally of the Lakes is held every year 1st weekend in May and this year our very own Michael Fassbender is Ambassador for the event (in a 911). His parents had a fabulous restaurant for many years until they retired. My mother said the best Steak and best Creme Brulee were prepared by Michael's Dad. Lovely people - father from Germany and mother from Ireland, and they settled in Killarney).
    From Killarney, you can do the Ring of Kerry, Dingle, Kenmare, Sneem etc. Near Dingle, you have Sceilig Michael, where they filmed Star Wars scenes so the island is quite busy with tourists https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skellig_Michael. It's a Unesco world heritage site since '96.
    In Killarney, you + your wife might enjoy afternoon tea at the Killarney Park hotel (nice respite from hustle and bustle of outside world in a top class hotel). For a quiet pint with a great view of the lakes, I would either go to the Lake Hotel out Muckross Road, or up above Killarney to the Aghadoe Heights, or out Fossa direction past the golf club to the Hotel Europe. (Killarney has lots of Germans due to Liebherr factory opening in the 50's and bringing many of your countrymen over who subsequently intermarried. Germans also constructed some fabulous hotels on the lake like the Europe and Dunloe Castle to accomodate the business they brought in). If you're into the golf, I could probably hook you up with my Dad who is a member and can show you the ropes. For pubs, The Laurels is one I like, or Courtney's, or Reidy's if you want to stay out late as they have some sort of late license and have a very retro look. For great Guinness, try an old man's pub like Hussey's as i did last weekend.
    Moving into Cork, I would work my way along the WAW towards Kinsale. Food and yachting capital of Ireland, its like a mini San Sebastian - fabulous restaurants, and pubs.
    Last edited by karlusmagnus; 05-17-2019 at 03:02 AM. Reason: spelling
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  2. #12

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