Sunday, November 18, 2018

12 Ireland Travel Tips

Here are a few tips I’d like to pass on to you if you're thinking of going to Ireland.

Don't drive if you can help it. The Irish drive on the left side of the road (steering wheel on the right) and the roundabouts there are disorienting and dangerous for those of us who are used to driving on the right.

Do splurge for an automatic transmission at the car rental agency if you choose to drive. It will take your mind off of shifting gears with your non-dominant arm and focus it on the road.

Do go to Blarney Castle to kiss the Blarney Stone.

Don't worry that it has been kissed by millions of lips, not counting the hundreds who are lined up ahead of you in line. The climb up the castle’s narrow and steep spiral staircase, where there's hardly enough space for one person to fit through, is already worth the price of admission.

Do visit the Waterford Crystal Factory. The tour is of the actual production floor where the artisans are more than eager to show you their work and let you touch it. And if you buy something over a certain amount, it's tax free!

Do go to the Guinness Factory in Dublin. It's to Dublin as the Eiffel Tower is to Paris. The admission price includes a pint which you can redeem at the many restaurant and pubs within the premises, including the Gravity Bar, which boasts a 360-degree view of Dublin and is uncomfortably packed with too many people.

Don't expect a guided tour at Guinness. The part open to tourists is less a factory and more museum with exhibits that takes you through the history of Guinness and the beer making process.

Don't waste your money on food at Guinness. You can find better Guinness and Beef Stew, or just about anything else edible outside in the city.

Do eat fish and chips at Leo Burdock, which has been cooking the fried delicacy for 100 years and has a long list of celebrity customers to prove it.

Don't skip the salt or the vinegar. The fish, which is thickly covered with a batter almost as substantial as a beignet, is not seasoned. So pour it on!

Do eat a full Irish breakfast. They're everywhere, such as this one served from the breakfast buffet at the Cork International Hotel.

Don't forget the baked beans or the black pudding or the soda bread or the mushrooms. Forgoing any of it means what you're having is merely “breakfast”.

Izakaya Wasa - Irvine


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