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
Best thing you overheard? Two elderly gentlemen sitting on a bench actually speaking Gaelic with each other. They are fluent in it and can only speak it with each other, not their families.
Best example of customer service? My Airbnb host Austin going out of his way to pick me up at almost midnight from the airport.
What do you hope never changes about Ireland? The people and their passion.
Advice for people coming to Ireland? Bring a raincoat and your roving eyes. There is bound to be something wonderful just lurking around the corner. Old buildings are full of interesting details . . . Don’t just keep to the main roads; explore the alleys and farther afield.
‘A truly authentic, beautiful place’
What was the best thing about your visit? The Irish people
What was the biggest disappointment? Didn’t meet any Leprechauns
Best meal? Dinner at Ballyfin Hotel, Co Laois
Best tourist attraction? Guinness Storehouse
Did you ever feel ripped off? Never.
Thoughts on public transport? I took multiple trains and was impressed by how efficient they were and that they offered free wifi.
Oddest thing you overheard? A drunk tourist tell her boyfriend to “smell my finger” while on the tram in Dublin.
Best customer service? The first line in the priest’s homily for Sunday Mass was, “Welcome to any visitors who might be passing through.”
Ireland in five words? A truly authentic, beautiful place.
Any other observations? I knew Ireland was going to be special the moment the passenger sitting behind my wife and I on the plane tapped our friendly seatmate on the shoulder to tell him the restaurant he’d just suggested to us was crap. When we arrived we ran into the opinionated bloke who had been sitting behind us. He warned us not to take one of the airport taxis since they’re a rip-off. Instead, he offered to call us a cab, which he said would be a lot cheaper. He then offered to drop us off at our hotel since he was going that way and wouldn’t take any money for the ride.
‘It seems any measure of caffeine costs a tenner’
Writes at turnipseedtravel.com. A freelance writer based in Ottawa, Canada. @turnipseeds
What was the best thing about your visit? We had an incredible tour guide, Tony Kirby, to take us through Limerick and the surrounding areas. He was so passionate, welcoming, and knowledgeable. From native trees to popular poetry, it seemed like there wasn’t an area of Irish life he wasn’t well versed in.
Biggest disappointment? The horrible instant coffee in all the hotel rooms. It seems strange that hotels will provide North American compatible plugs in each room, while the real power surge comes from good, real coffee.
What surprised you most? The weather isn’t all that bad. I live through Canadian winters, so a spot of rain in an otherwise lovely autumn is easily tolerated.
Best pub? The Hairy Lemon in Dublin. The service was warm, friendly and helpful.