Picking the Perfect Day Trip in Ireland: Kissing the Blarney Stone & the Beauty of Cork/Cobh
As long as we live in Germany, I will have my birthday, October 3rd, as a work holiday, since it is German Reunification Day. This year, the holiday fell on a Friday, meaning we had an extended weekend. We decided to take a couple of extra vacation days and visit the beautiful country of Ireland. Since we have been taking cruises lately, we really like the ‘excursion’ type of trips where basically someone else is taking us around different places. We Googled tour companies in Ireland, and quickly found the organization RailTours Ireland.
RailTours offers various trips from single day trips to multiple packages. We chose the “Grand Atlantic Tour” as this enabled us to see as much of Ireland as possible over 4 days. Additionally, with RailTours, you can add to the package where they transfer you from the airport to your hotel before and after the tour you booked. We have nothing but absolutely fantastic praise for RailTours as they were very organized, informative, and very helpful in making our Irish vacation very memorable. The cost of the tour is very reasonable, especially when you compare the price of the same hotels stayed at during the tour.
We left Frankfurt after work on Wednesday, September 30th, and arrived in Dublin at 10:30pm. The driver from RailTours met us at the airport and took us to the Ashling Hotel in Dublin across from the Dublin Heuston train station. By the time we settled in for the night it was close to midnight, and 6am came very early the next morning.
Our first full day in Ireland started early with our 6am wake-up call. We checked out of our hotel and walked across the bridge to the train station to join our tour group. We boarded our train with our group of about 15 and left out for our two hour ride to Cork. On board, we experienced our first full “Irish Breakfast” with eggs, bacon, sausage, etc. Once in Cork, we boarded our tour bus with our first destination to the Blarney Castle, where we kissed the famous Blarney Stone. We then left to the port town of Cobh, where the Titanic made its last stop to pickup passengers before heading out across the Atlantic for its ill-fated voyage. We arrived in Killarney and checked into the Scotts Hotel Killarney at about 8pm, where we ended the night with dinner in an Irish pub. We had excellent weather for our first day in Ireland.