Travel bloggers rate Ireland
Travel bloggers from all over the world came to Ireland this week for the TBEX travel bloggers' conference. Their consensus? We’re funny, friendly, and sometimes pricey. And our dolphins are way too jumpy
‘Breathtaking, belly-shaking good times’
Heather Greenwood Davis
Writes at Globetrottingmama.com. She and her family were named travellers of the year by National Geographic magazine for their year long round the world trip. @greenwooddavis
Best thing about your visit? The surprises. I’ve met incredible people with personalities that will stick with me for a long, long time. Every cab ride has had me laughing.
Biggest surprise? The small museums in Limerick. We visited Foynes Flying Boat Museum and the Hunt Museum.
Best pub? It’s a tie. Loved chatting with the old-timers at Flannery’s Bar, in Limerick, but the Literary Pub Crawl through Dublin – especially O’Neills – was unforgettable.
Tourist attraction? I write a lot about family travel, and so for me I’d say King John’s Castle, in Limerick, was the best. It paired interactive exhibits with history and provided plenty of great spots for learning and photo-taking. I hope to bring the kids back to see it.
Most memorable cultural experience? Learning to pour the perfect pint at the Guinness Storehouse. Learning to pour the cream just so on my Irish coffee.
Ever feel ripped off? Not once.
Most scenic spot? I know I should say the Cliffs of Moher but I loved the ragtag mix of Temple Bar.
Oddest moment? Hearing a story about a wedding dress made out of chilli peppers by a local fashion designer, in Cow’s Lane, and watching my husband get his head massaged in a vintage chair at Waldorf Barbershop.
Most interesting new fact? That Foynes was the site of first passenger transatlantic flight.
What do you hope never changes about Ireland? The humour. Deadpan and common. No high-brow pretence.
Ireland in five words? Breathtaking, belly-shaking good times.
Will you be back? Absolutely. (Hope you don’t mind if I bring a few friends.)
‘Bring a raincoat and your roving eyes’
Best thing about your visit? The weather. Even the drizzle and the rain because it brings lush greenery, great clean air. It’s a high point these days, especially for people who live in megacities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Sao Paulo and New York, where the air quality is truly miserable.
Biggest disappointment? Durty Nelly’s Pub across from Bunratty Castle. Very much a tourist trap, though the staff were friendly.
Most surprising? The personal involvement of every staff member at every institution I visited, be it the curator at the Hunt Museum, to the guide at the Foyne’s Airship Museum, to Jackie at Bunratty Castle.
Best meal? Brasserie One at No 1 Pery Square Hotel, in Limerick.
Did you ever feel ripped off? The prices are higher than they are in Berlin, but I didn’t feel ripped off.
Thoughts on public transport? Luas is modern, efficient, clean and well lit: a great system.
Most scenic spot? Cliffs of Moher. The grounds of Adare Manor.
Most interesting new fact? Hurling and its unique rules. There’s no pay for its players, and they must come from the county they play for.