This following Travel-Report is a result of my several journeys through Ireland by my bicycle and by bus and car. This should give you overview about my experiences in Ireland.
Preparation and Planing
In 1992 I bought me my bicycle and then I planed my Irland-Trip within two weeks. In this time I haven't any travel-experience by bicycle but that doesn't matter. Everyone can do a bycycle trip, there is no condition necessary. The bicycle should have 21 gears but it isn't necessary also I bicycle with three gears is o.k.
I did this journey alone and with my tent and self accomodation. Mostly I choose my overnights in my tent only if the wheather was too bad I stayed in Hostels and B & B's.
Because I choose this trip with my bicycle and my tent I could drive without planing for the accommodation. That means I could stay whereever I wanted. That was absolutely perfect! At Home in Germany I prepared my bicycle with the Lowriders etc. for the bags. Then I removed the wheels and stored this bicycle into a bag. This bag I brought it to the Railway-station and send it to the Ferry Port in Le Havre, France. The staff from the railway-station must laugh so much because they never saw a bicycle in a bag. However after one week later I picked up my bicycle in Le Havre and put it together for my trip through Ireland. The next following day a arrived in Ireland by the Ferry.
Direction of my Journey
My trip lead me from Rosslare in the South of Ireland clockwise to the West and the North and back to Rosslare again.
|From Rosslare I choose my way to Wellington. At the evening I stayed at the ground of an Irish family. It was a pleasure to speak with these persons. The next morning I continued my trip to Waterford and then to Ballycotton. This village is a small but very nice place. From my tent I had an beautiful view to the sea; look at this picture. After this I drove to Cork and I stayed there a little bit longer. At this time I haven't expect that I would live there for an half year some years later. In Cork City it is possible to visit the Brewery of Beamish & Craword and that's really interested. More than the Guinness Brewery in Dublin because in this Brewery you can see the real production. After this visit you should try a pint of Beamish in the Fialpin Spialpin opposite from the Brewery.|
|Now I took my way to Blarney where the Stone of Blarney is waiting for my Kiss. Every year thousands of people kiss this Stone. This tradition means you could speak very much more but not maybe more intelligent..... There is a typicall phrase if a person speak too much but he doesn't know what he is talking: This is all Blarney!|
|After this I have decited to drive to the Rock
of Cashel. These ruins of the bishops of Ireland are really impressive
and don't miss this.
In the village Cashel there is also a nice privat Folk-Museum. In this museum is a painting of Jesus with the sacred Heart with a really interested story.
|From here I have further gone to the County Kerry. In the Hostel Loo Bridge, close to Killarney, I have spent a wonderful evening and night. This Hostel was former a Railway-Sation and now a Hostel. This house lies in the Kerry-Mountains, you can sit on the old platform and enjoy the scenary. It was unforgetable for me.|
|The next day I proceed to Killarney and then further to the Ring of Kerry and of course a visit of the Muckros House stood on the programm. After I finished the Ring of Kerry I must recognized that the Ring of Kerry is not the Highlight of Ireland. Since my other trips I saw the peninsulas of Beara, Mizen Head and Sheepshead.|
These peninsulas are more attractive than the Ring of Kerry. In my opinion the Ring of Kerry is only so famous, because only this Ring can droven of the big tourist-buses. The roads of the other peninsulas are not so wide and it this reason no tourist-bus will be go there. But that's really o.k. because the cyclists will enjoy these peninsulas without buses etc. During my last bicycle-trip I visited the beautiful scenery of West-Cork. This county is not so known as the the county Kerry but in my opinion very attractive. Also it was importend to visit the village Clonakilty, where the National-Hero Michael Collins lived. You'll found more details at my website about him at the section Michael Collins.
|Now I took my way to the peninsula of Dingle. This village and peninsula is one of the nicest places in Ireland and I was many times there. On this peninsula I visited the Gallarus Oratory and the Blasket Islands.Theses islands was evacuated many years ago and if the wheather is not too bad you can visit these islands. You can still found the old houses and some new houses as a sommer-residents. If you wish, you can stay for a night on this island at the Hostel but it is necessarry to book in advice. Please have a look at the following website: Greatblasketisland. Before I left Dingle I booked a swimming-trip with Funghi, the Dingle-Dolphin. This dolphin live since twenty years in the Dingle Bay and every day Boat-Trips will visit him in the Dingle-Bay. There is a typical phrase at the boat-trips: No Dolphin, no Charge. As you can see every boat-trip will see him. Funghi is approxmately 4 metres long and a weight of 300 Kilogramms. If you want to book a swimming-trip with Funghi in the morning please contact the following E-Mail-Adress: Brosnans Wet-Suit Hire||
Funghi, the Dingle Dolphin
After the swimming-trip with Funghi I took my trip back to Tralee and I had the choice to took the same way back or the steep way over the O'Connor Pass. Of course I took the O'Connor Pass. This pass is 6 kilometers long and steep but challenges arre there to master this! During this fight with the pass it was still raining but the scenery was beautiful. At the top of this pass it was a good feeling to took this pass. I recomend every other cyclists do take this pass. After a short break I drove the way back to Tralee. For minutes it wasn't necessarry to push in the pedals. Only you need good and perfect brakes at your bicycle. My brakes left many rubber. But if you don't have good brakes don't worry. There are some iron net at the abysess for safety. The problem is only that the net are from sting wire.......
|My tour lead me to Tralee and then to the Cliffs of Moher. These cliffs are one of the most tourist attractions of Ireland. These cliffs are not the highest but the the nicest. After this my way lead me to Galway. This city is the third-biggest city in Ireland and a typical Tourist-Place. Since 1992 I was several times in Galway and I must recognized that Galway loose more and more his charm. Only Cork has still the typical irish charm. Because I lived in Dublin I miss the typical Dublin Slang of this people. For all the persons who are interested at Irish music they should visit the Aras Gael Club in Galway. I don't know the street but you should able to find this club if you ask some persons of Galway. This Club owns a blue door that leads you to a courtyard and than to the club. A visit is really unforgetable. These musicians are to be found who spontaneously meet to a session and play together. The instruments they play are the Bouzoukies, guitars, Tin-Whistles and Uilean Pipes. After my stay in Galway I proceed my trip to Connemara. This ist one of the nicest landscapes of Ireland and very lonely. When I passed Connemara I stayed in Westport.|
This is also one of my favourite places of Ireland. One reason is the pilgrimage of St. Patrick. This Bishop is the National Saint of Ireland who brought the Christianity to Ireland and the legend told that he expelled the snakes from Ireland. However at the last sunday in June many irish people went up the Holy mountain Croagh Patrick to bless him. Some years ago the pilgrims dit this walk barefoot but the were too much accidents and the pope forbidden this. This pilgrimage ist very hard and every walker need a walking stick; it is really helpful.
The next day I went to Sligo. This town itself has not interested sightseeing but the tablemountain "Benbulben". However at this reason is it nice to come in conversation with the people of Sligo because there are not so much tourist there then in Galway.
From Sligo I took my trip to Glencollumcille. Occasinally I had stoped at Sleave Leaque because there are the highest cliffs of Europe. Personelly I like these cliffs more then the cliffs of Moher because there are not so much tourist because they are so up in the north of Ireland. For me they are more impressive but decide for yourself
I arrived at the Hostel in Glencollumcille (the oldest hostel in Ireland) I got a very warm welcome of the owner of this hostel. Meanwhile if I am in this area I try to stop at this hostel because it is really nice. If you see the beautiful view at the mornings from this hostel you will understand why I like this hostel.
Now I took my way to Donegal. This scenery is similiar the same of Connemara. Also here I have done lots of picture stops for this beautiful landscape.
My way lead me to Inishowen at the northest point of Ireland. At this peninsula you will find the words "Eire" in stones.
At the village Malin Head you find the best hostel of Ireland; don't miss it to stay there!
During my next day I left the Republic of Ireland and I cycled to Northern Ireland.
|On this way to Belfast I stoped at the Giants Causeway where you find the hexagonal stones. This place was the native country of the giant Finn MacCool. Also I took the opportunity to visit the oldest Whiskey-Destilleery in the World; the Bushmills Destillery. Please note that in Ireland the Whiskey spells with -ey.|
|The next stop was the capital city of Northern Ireland: Belfast. One of the magnificent monument is the City Hall. In Belfast you can feel the unmistakable influence of Queen Victoria by the Victorian building. This visit in Belfast should also include a visit to the False-Road and the Shankill Road in order to understand the problem of Troubles.|
|Now I went further into the south in the direction of Dublin. Here I made a stay in Monasterboice to me the biggest high cross to Ireland. Furthermore, I also visited on the Boyne River Gang grave Newgrange. If you previously or in the interior of this tomb, it is hard to believe that 5000 years ago has been built.|
After visiting the Irish capital, I went on to Rosslare, where the ferry to get to France. While the crossing was but I quickly realized that this is not my only stay on the island should be. There followed a lot of vacations and always took me to the parting all the more harder.
Whoever heard of the beauty of this country and the friendliness of the Irish experience has come again and again.