Dublin and St. Patrick’s Day

When we first began planning for this trip, we didn’t initially set an objective to be in Dublin, Ireland, (pics) for St. Patrick’s Day.  But when we laid out our timeline and found ourselves ending up in Ireland in early to mid-March we figured it made sense to time our arrival into Dublin to coincide with this event.

Dublin

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Kilkenny, Ireland

Kilkenny (pics) looks like you would expect a small Irish village to look.  The town sits alongside the River Nore with a well preserved 800 year old castle on one end and St. Canice’s Cathedral with its 10th century tower on the other.  The town center is compact with tangled passageways, brightly colored old-fashioned shop fronts and centuries old pubs.

Kilkenny Castle

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Waterford, Ireland

The city of Waterford (pics) celebrated its 1100th anniversary in 2014, making it Ireland’s oldest city.  As such it has Ireland’s oldest complete building, Reginald’s Tower, built in the 12th century.  With 10 to 12 foot thick walls, over the years it has served as an arsenal, a prison and a mint.

Reginald's Tower

The city sits along the River Suir only about 10 miles from Ireland’s east coast.  And of course, this is home to Waterford Crystal which has been making glass here since 1783.  After more than 230 years, today they turn out around 60,000 pieces of crystal each year.

Cork, Ireland and Cliffs of Moher

From Liverpool, we took to the air and flew on Ryanair from Liverpool John Lennon Airport to Cork, Ireland.  Cork (pics), in the south of Ireland in County Cork, is considered Ireland’s “second city”.  It sits along the River Lee with the city center actually occupying an island with the river split around it.  This island center is compact and very walkable with a mix of narrow pedestrian lanes.

On River Lee

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Will that be Cash or Credit?

When you prepare to travel outside of the United States you will want to consider this question in the context of your trip.  Will your credit cards be commonly accepted?  Can you easily get cash when needed?  Will you be able to purchase items with US dollars or will you need to deal with foreign currencies?

Whether you’re traveling with an organized tour or if you are an independent traveler planning and managing your own itinerary, you will need to pay for things:  hotels, food, tours, transportation, etc.  Many of these items will require the use of cash in local currencies so your credit cards alone will not suffice.  So, let’s look at your options. Continue reading