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Old 09-23-2019, 05:17 AM
 
675 posts, read 907,428 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
I'll make my advice simple.

Don't try to drive on the wrong side of the road. Go on organized tours.

I'll recommend some tour groups I've used on different trips to Ireland.

Irishtours

Paddy Wagon Tours

Irish Rail Tours.

You might aim to spend five days in Dublin and do tours three of those five days out of Dublin. Use the other two days to see sights in and around the city.

Spend two-three days in Galway. Its a beautiful city on the west side of Ireland.

Maybe round out your tour with two days in Belfast in North Ireland.

When you get a tour aim to see at least these sights:

1. Ring of Kerry.

2. Giant's Causeway and Carrick a Rede.

3. Belfast taxi tour of Catholic and Protestant neighborhoods. Honestly, a fascinating history of the conflict that has occurred in Northern Ireland.

4. Dingle Peninsula.

5. Rock of Cashel.

6. Kylemore Abbey and the Burren.

7. In Dublin don't miss the National Archaelogical Museum, the Book of Kells at Trinity College, and the Kilmainham Jail.

Thank you for this advice.
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Old 09-23-2019, 06:26 AM
 
4,119 posts, read 2,143,277 times
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I've just said goodbye to an American family who spent a week at one of our rentals and drove all over the country.
Their final words were " You were right - it's really easy to get around."
It's no different from millions of Brits who hire cars and drive on a different side of the road when they travel abroad.
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Old 09-23-2019, 11:49 AM
 
9,364 posts, read 9,463,385 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadManofBethesda View Post
Oh c'mon, it's not that difficult or intimidating. I would much rather take my chances driving on the "wrong side of the road" than be stuck in a group tour and be told where and when I'm going somewhere, and exactly how long I have to spend there. And then the worst part of all, when you go back to the van or bus at the scheduled time, there's always some inconsiderate person or persons who are late so you're stuck sitting there waiting for them.

No thank you.

And speaking of organized tours, Thomas Cook just collapsed and immediately ceased all operations, stranding hundreds of thousands of travelers all over the world.

So much for the safety and security of organized tours.

"Longtime British tour company Thomas Cook collapsed after failing to secure rescue funding, and travel bookings for its more than 600,000 global vacationers were canceled early Monday.

The British government said the return of the firm's 150,000 British customers now abroad would be the largest repatriation in its peacetime history. The process is set to begin later Monday and officials warned that delays are inevitable.

The Civil Aviation Authority said Thomas Cook has ceased trading, its four airlines will be grounded, and its 21,000 employees in 16 countries, including 9,000 in the UK, will lose their jobs. The company several months ago had blamed a slowdown in bookings because of Brexit uncertainty for contributing to its crushing debt burden."


Read more here: https://www.miamiherald.com/latest-n...#storylink=cpy
People all vary in their level of physical coordination. My f-i-l was a surgeon and was used to responding to different situations under pressure. I'm sure if he was alive this wouldn't be a problem for him. For me, and many others, it would be.

I had a friend who rented a car in New Zealand (wrong side of the road there too) and literally looked the wrong way driving out of a rental car lot and was hit by a New Zealander who had the right of way.

Driving on the motorways and main highways is probably manageable for most people. The difficulty is when you enter major cities like Dublin. Intersections are crowded and often look differently than most of the ones we deal with in America. Than there are the round-a-bouts, You do everything the opposite when you go through them. Its easier to describe what to do than to do it because your natural tendency is to look the wrong way. Than there is fact that most rental cars in Europe have a manual transmission. Does the OP or her spouse feel comfortable shifting a gear shift with his/her left hand? Many people wouldn't.

This is the senior forum and I suspect some people here have issues driving in this country. I would certainly hesitate to recommend they drive in Ireland.

As for me, I drive routinely in continental Europe. I draw the line at driving in Britain, Ireland, New Zealand, and Australia when I have visited those countries. I'd be an accident waiting to happen.

Last edited by markg91359; 09-23-2019 at 12:02 PM..
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Old 09-23-2019, 03:39 PM
 
8,354 posts, read 12,104,805 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
I had a friend who rented a car in New Zealand (wrong side of the road there too) and literally looked the wrong way driving out of a rental car lot and was hit by a New Zealander who had the right of way.
Yes, I'm quite aware of that; in fact, I posted earlier in this thread that I spent a week driving around New Zealand.

As for your friend's unfortunate incident: just because he was incapable of following simple directions, doesn't mean that everyone else is. Hell, people get in accidents every day here in the U.S. for doing stupid things and failing to yield the right-of-way; that doesn't mean that you should warn everyone not to drive here just because some are incapable of doing so.


Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
Does the OP or her spouse feel comfortable shifting a gear shift with his/her left hand? Many people wouldn't.
That's a completely separate issue. I'm sure many people who've never driven a standard transmission car would be uncomfortable shifting with their right hand as well. There is a simple solution however. If you're incapable of, or uncomfortable with, driving a stick shift, then just rent an automatic. Problem solved.


Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
This is the senior forum and I suspect some people here have issues driving in this country. I would certainly hesitate to recommend they drive in Ireland.

As for me, I drive routinely in continental Europe. I draw the line at driving in Britain, Ireland, New Zealand, and Australia when I have visited those countries. I'd be an accident waiting to happen.
Nobody's asking you to affirmatively recommend that people drive in Ireland. However, stating flat out that no one should try to drive there is quite a bit different than simply not encouraging people to do so.
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Old 09-23-2019, 04:32 PM
 
28,472 posts, read 40,380,498 times
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I really messed thos up in my previuos post. This is my attempt to write it correctly.

Corrected post:

2. Place your left hand under your butt. This is to counter the lifelong habit of driving on roads that slope right to allow water to run off. In Ireland you are on the other side of the road and it slopes left. Driving with your right hand only helps with that habit we have of steering slightly left to account for the slope here. Right hand only really helped me keep a slight right pressure on the steering wheel to counteract the left slope of the roads.

Previous post:

2. Place your right hand under your butt. This is to counter the lifelong habit of driving on roads that slope right to run off water. In Ireland you are on the other side of the road and it slopes left. Driving with your right hand only helps with that habit we have of steering slightly left to account for the slope. Left hand only really helped me.

The link to Paul Brown for the Ring of Kerry tour.

www.kenmaretaxitours.com
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Old 09-24-2019, 11:24 AM
 
Location: Columbia SC
9,340 posts, read 8,075,278 times
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One of my Irish golfing buddies worked at Shannon Airport. He said driving to work in the morning was a horror show as that is when flights from the US and Canada arrived and them crazy Yanks were driving on the left for the first time. He claimed more accidents happen in the mornings near airports due to this. He said he always went in early to avoid the Yanks as he said.

Sad sad story. If I remember it correctly. Two daughters from the Mid-west were taking their Mom home to visit Ireland for the first time since she left Ireland as a teenager. First roundabout outside Shannon Airport the daughter driving went right and hit a truck head on. The Mother was killed.
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Old 09-24-2019, 10:06 PM
 
1,554 posts, read 439,916 times
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We just spent several weeks in Ireland after a Transatlantic cruise Fort Lauderdale to Dublin (no jet lag!).
Three days in Dublin. Favorite tour was musical pub crawl of traditional Irish Music. Then two day tour to Northern Ireland. We chose a tour to Belfast because when planning we were uncertain if Brexit would happen in May causing border headaches with a rental car. We visited Belfast, loved the Black Taxi political tour and Titanic and then up to Giantís Causeway and rope bridge. Then back to Dublin airport to pick up a rental car for two weeks. Rock of Cashel, Cork, Cobv, Kinsale, ring of Beara and three wonderful days in Dingle. Mostly B&Bs. Donít miss Newgrange. Great trip. Driving was fine if you have a small car and donít mind narrow roads and avoid big cities. Eating in pubs is a blast. A fun and very affordable trip. American retirees everywhere!
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Old 09-26-2019, 07:21 AM
 
14,636 posts, read 7,880,101 times
Reputation: 26797
Quote:
Originally Posted by MadManofBethesda View Post
Nobody's asking you to affirmatively recommend that people drive in Ireland. However, stating flat out that no one should try to drive there is quite a bit different than simply not encouraging people to do so.

Jeez. I've been driving regularly on the left hand side of the road since I was in my 20s. What's the big deal? It's not like they reverse the position of the gas pedal, brake, and clutch.


A favorite scene is Kevin Kline as Otto in A Fish Called Wanda.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlylQ8XYqx8


I've driven around Dublin a number of times to get to the golf courses when I used to work there a lot. Portmarnock a few times. Royal Dublin Country Club. St Margrets quite a bit. I'm a Boston driver. Dublin is pretty tame in comparison.


On the other hand, I prefer to avoid driving inside the M25 in London. The rest of the country is no big deal.
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Old 09-26-2019, 08:16 AM
 
3,418 posts, read 3,145,693 times
Reputation: 5027
Quote:
The practice of inserting the door key to activate the electricity is very common everywhere but the US.

Actually, I'm finding the door key/electricity becoming somewhat common in boutique hotels in California.


Agree about the Black Cab tours in Belfast. Very very interesting, especially if you know anything about Irish history.


I highly recommend staying in B&Bs if you can. Most hosts will be very happy to steer you to local places you might not read about otherwise.


And yes - the Guinness there is the best!
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Old 09-26-2019, 10:02 AM
 
Location: SoCal
14,235 posts, read 6,840,685 times
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I drove in UK, not Ireland and France. I stayed away from Italy. I found the round about a bit easier to navigate. But I always rent automatic, I don’t want to juggle with so many things in a foreign country. Even my husband and I had trouble it’s their SatNav. We didn’t understand what it was telling us, in fact we got lost with it in France, it was program in English I believe. We relied on Google maps after that. But my husband had to download the map before we left the hotel, we had no cell phone, just WiFi phone.
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