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
Did you ever feel ripped off? Anytime I wanted to buy a coffee and a muffin. it seems like a tenner is required for any measure of caffeine.
What did you think of our public transport? I love the wifi on Dublin Bus, but I cannot figure out the website or the pricing.
Oddest moment? Wifi at the Cliffs of Moher.
Best customer service? The animators at Bunratty Castle: warm, sincere, humble, homestyle welcomes at their very best. Runner-up could be the attitude-free customs staff at the airport.
Worst customer service? The Airlink bus driver who seemed incredulous that I didn’t have the correct change.
What would you change? Not a thing. The biggest change I’ve noticed is the smoke-free public spaces . . . now I’m experiencing Irish pubs for the first time.
What do you hope never changes? The weather. I’ve lived in the sub-Sahara; give me a season-changing country any day.
Ireland in five words? Imaginative, intoxicating, independent, intriguing, inexhaustible.
Advice for visitors? Have your wits about you when it comes to navigating rural roads. Avoid Dublin on the weekends to get the best hotel prices and know that a one-night weekend stay is nearly impossible.
‘I tried to take a bus in Dublin, but I couldn’t’
What surprised you most? The Irish language has no similarities whatsoever to any other European language. I’m developing a theory that it was invented the morning after they accidently discovered beer.
Best meal? Harvey’s Point, in Lough Eske, Co Donegal.
Best pub? Due to the nature of my tour and the conference so far, I haven’t yet stepped foot into a proper pub. I know. I’m outraged too.
Most memorable cultural experience? The Doagh Famine Village in Donegal.
Thoughts on public transport? I tried to take a bus to meet my tour group in Dublin, but I couldn’t make the route-planning website work. Then three generous people working at the hostel tried to help me manually plan the trip, but it seemed awfully complicated. I ended up walking.
Most scenic spot? The drive to Glenevin Waterfall in Clonmany, Co Donegal. Like being on Mars, but with moss and sheep.
Oddest moment? When it didn’t rain for four consecutive days in September. I understand this hasn’t happened since 1585.
Interesting new fact? Surfing is popular.
Worst customer service? The dolphins that swam next to our boat at the Sliabh Liag cliffs did not hold still enough for photos. It was like they didn’t care about satisfying tourist needs.
Biggest criticism? One day I had a hard time finding a trash bin. That’s all I can think of.
What do you hope never changes about this country? The tireless, astonishing friendliness.
In five words how would you describe Ireland? Green, welcoming, festival of culture.
Will you be back? Definitely. Probably with my parents in tow. Ireland is on their travel wish list.