irt1202_2015_best_of_ireland_tourSome say that taking a guided tour is for travel sissies, but I challenge them to keep up with our rigorous itinerary as we saw and did so many things I would have missed if I’d been there on my own. And having the added convenience of not worrying about any of the transportation, lodging, entry tickets to exhibits, and so forth and so on, makes tour travel my preferred way to see the world.

Our Irish Adventure started and ended in Dublin, moved clockwise, and took 10 days to circle the island. When you look at their map (above, left), you might think there were areas we were missing, but that was not the case. For instance, when going from Galway to Sligo, a distance of only 86 miles, you might wonder what we did for the rest of the day!

We started out at 8:30, went west, all the way to the coast, stopped for a time at the Kylemore Abbey, and visited Westport before meandering back along the windy, narrow roads to our evening’s destination, arriving very late in the afternoon. The coach driver has a 9-hour maximum for behind the wheel time each day (start to finish, disregarding attraction stops), and we pushed that limit pretty hard.img_6204

I loved the two-night stays the best. To have “BAGS OUT” at 7 a.m., then breakfast and boarding to leave by 8:30 every day was a pretty strenuous undertaking. But when we got an “extra day” in one place, it was not such a rush to reorganize (repack!) our bags, which were getting heavier and heavier with souvenirs.

We started with two nights in Dublin, one in Waterford, two in Killarney, one in Galway, one in Sligo, two in Belfast, and the final night back in Dublin. On day two in Killarney, we did the “Ring of Kerry,” and on day one in Belfast, the “Giant’s Causeway,” followed by the city tour and Titanic exhibit on day two.

NOTE: To enlarge any photos, just click on them!