|Waterfall at Killarney National Park|
Practical Things. Keep these in mind if you plan to travel to Ireland.
· A UK power convertor is a great thing to have. It adds a lot of weight to your suitcase but we used it with a power strip, every other night to charge our cell phone & iPads. There are not many outlets in the rooms. You may have to unplug a lamp to plug in the convertor.
· An International Driver’s License is not required. AAA had told me it was.
· Have Euro coins at the ready for parking [needed most every where] and tolls [needed rarely & just on the main highways which we seldom used].
· Car parks are small & hard to find. We often based our hotel selection on places we could park the car.
· Places are difficult to find. They often have just a street & town [no street number] or just a town & county name for an address. Small rural roads seldom have road signs. Update your GPS to include Ireland but don’t expect it to show small rural locations.
· Skype or Facetime are great inexpensive ways to stay in touch with home when the internet is available. We had wifi about 75% of the time.
· When I told my bank I was going to Ireland they did not include Northern Ireland and my card was refused there. If you are going to both, do better than I did and tell your bank or credit card companies.
· A merchant in a little shop in Ireland told us about Fexco tax free shopping & gave us a card. Show it to each merchant and you will save the Irish tax. www.shoptaxfree.com
· My daughter has the book, 1000 places to See Before You Die & it led us to places most tourists don’t see & delicious places to eat.
|Cross at Rock of Cashel|
Genealogy. I am not at expert on Irish research but I learned a lot on this trip.
· Do all the things you read about such as being prepared by doing as much research here as possible before you go. Have your information with you. A paper copy is best. Don’t count on the internet to be available to see your information.
· Know where you are going, as specifically as possible, whether it is a church, library or town. If there are hours to a library or archive, know the hours.
· This may sound basic but: Have clear goals in mind. Are you looking for records, such as marriage or death certificates? Locations, such as the town where they lived or a cemetery? Or are you trying to find living relatives? I wanted to find the tombstone in Clonmel for my Mullanes but did not. I did find the Carrick church where my Coyle ancestors were married.
· As I traveled I learned how I can search more effectively from home and on my next trip.
|Ruins on Inis Oirr|
Ireland, a terrific place to visit!
· The people of Ireland were very friendly. We saw smiling faces everywhere we went. A smiling face on the young man walking his dog at the Blarney Castle waterfall who gave us tips on places to visit. A smiling face on the woman on the sidewalk in Clonmel who gave us directions to the archives. A laughing face on the bartender who thought my name [the Irish first name & Italian married name] is ‘dodgy’ [he’s right. Ha!]. A big smile on the woman in the woolen shop who offered us free cups of coffee because it was our first trip to Ireland. Be polite [of course] and praise their country [it is lovely] and you’ll see lots of beautiful smiling faces.
· Each part of the country has a unique beauty: green hills, dramatic cliffs, ocean views, majestic mountains, ancient ruins and bustling cities. See as much as you can. Don’t limit yourself to genealogy and library stacks or you’ll miss a lot.
|at Giant's Causeway|
· Most of all, enjoy the visit to Ireland!