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Posted by on Apr 14, 2011 in Headlines, Links | 49 comments

20 Years of Ireland Dream Trip

Michele Erdvig's Ireland Dream TripWe’re proud of the Irish Fireside’s five exciting years on the internet… but our efforts pale in comparison to “Ireland Dream Trip” author and hostess Michele Erdvig. Her book has been providing expert Irish travel advice for twenty years — I’m sure the first edition was published when Michele was a teenager ;)

In honor of her landmark year, Michele is giving away a copy of “Ireland Dream Trip” to one Irish Fireside reader. The winner will be randomly selected from the comments below… simply leave a message telling us how you envision your own Ireland Dream Trip. The winner will be notified via email on Monday, April 25, 2011.

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  1. My Dream trip would be a trip that included the cities of both Ireland and Northern Ireland, and the surrounding countryside. Stayng at local inns, I would see as much as time would allow. Evenings would be spent in local pubs, soaking up the hospitality of the Irish people.

  2. My dream trip to Ireland would be a month long trip, arranged so that I could take in as many traditional music festivals as possible during that month! Dan

    • Dan,
      I am always in favor of taking in music in Ireland…

  3. WOW …. where does one begin to answer this question? I’ve dreamed of this trip almost my entire existence, but until last year I never in a million years thought would ever happen for me. Now here I am a mere 97 more days until I head to airport to catch my flight first to Boston and then onto Dublin for the adventure of a lifetime with my really good friend Kim who lives on the opposite side of the continent from me! We’ve been planning and plotting for over a year now but spoke of our trip almost from the first time we ever chatted on the computer in a Celtic Thunder chat room and eventually the telephone! We’ve become fast friends over the past nearly 3 years now. Even though she’s already been to Ireland once, she hasn’t really gotten to explore the country and so I promised her that this time we would see and do it all just like its the very first time she’s ever been! I have been researching online, have bought every trip planning guide known to man and watched every video clip and/or DVD I can possibly get my hands on just trying to soak up a glimpse of what we are both going to experience once our feet touch Irish soil in late July! I plan on filling every possible second of our 3 1/2 week visit seeing EVERYTHING, meeting the amazing people and just enjoying every possible moment we can while we are there! From historic sites and monuments to experiencing the nightly pub scene in Northern Ireland/Derry … we’re renting a car and we plan to leave absolutely no stone unturned. When we leave Dublin in mid-August to head back to the States we will surely feel that we’ve experienced everything we could possibly have while we were in the country and our thirst to return will only be stronger! Ireland …. here we come … ready or not!!!!

  4. I started doing some research into the origin of my maiden name a few years ago. While I cannot find anything substantial to prove it, I am convinced I am Celtic. I feel a very strong pull to Ireland and I am fascinated with the ancient spirituality of the Celts.

    When I was a little girl, I used to cut out pictures from magazines of Irish castles, green rolling hills, and horses. I now believe I know why I did that.

    I cannot wait to touch my feet to Irish soil and have feelings of belonging validated deep in my soul. I cannot wait to visit my first fairy fort; to find that special piece of Irish lace which I have longed for for many decades. I cannot wait to hear the brogue, the music, and the stories. I cannot wait to stand at the seaside and experience the smells, the sounds, and the colors in person rather than just in photos!

    My dream trip to Ireland will be just the beginning of my rediscovering who I truly am. It will deepen my love of life and my love of self.

    Yes, I will get there some day soon. I know there are many gifts, surprises, and glorious friendships to experience. Until then, I patiently wait… knowing that it will all unfold exactly the way it is supposed to.

  5. My Ireland dream trip involves buying a property and never leaving. :)

    My next trip will involve venturing into Northern Ireland. My 6 year old is beginning to learn some geometry (in kindergarten!) and is fascinated by Giant’s Causeway. So am I, truth be known!

  6. My dream trip would be to spend at least a month travelling about Ireland. I tried to get it done in 3 weeks, but it just wasn’t enough time. Would like to be able to spend more time chatting with the locals and just being a part of that oh, so beautiful country!!!

  7. My dream trip would be to stay in Ireland for the summer in the County Clare area. I have family in that area and would love to rent a cottage by the sea and spend summer visiting, reading and taking hundreds of photographs

  8. My dream trip would last about a month. I would explore every public garden in the Republic and Northern Ireland. I would take a walking tour through Wicklow and a bicycle tour of Dingle. I would explore Donegal to my heart’s content and enjoy pints with as many locals as I could find and practice my Irish (I’m trying to learn it now.) on them!

  9. My Ireland dream trip would be renting a small cottage on the Dingle Peninsula. Somewhere overlooking the sea where I could sit and watch the sunrises and sunsets, meet my local neighbors and spend my days exploring the rich history of the peninsula, and areas farther afield.

  10. I’ve always had a facination with early architecture, I would tour castles stopping the night in a few. In each town I’d have to also visit the local pubs trying to find sessions to sit in with my tin whistles in pocket.

  11. Ireland in winter: people say I’m crazy for that, but I love it then, ice, snow, wind, rain, sleet, and all. Many places I love well, especially in the north and in Donegal.

  12. My dream trip is always my next one. It is time to spend with family and friends around a kitchen table with lively chatter and the eventual late night sandwiches or other food. Then every one breaks out their song (Sean Nos). Or a evening in the pub with craic and music by a roaring fire on a cold fall night.

  13. Each time I go to Ireland, with my wife who is from there and came to the US as an adult, it brings us closer together s I spend time with her family, meet old friends, and explore areas of the country where she spent her childhood and young adulthood. I look forward to our trip this year, where I will get, for the first time, to spend a week in Galway.

  14. My dream trip to Ireland is to return to the farm house in County Tipperary and explore all the places I never seem to have the time to see.

  15. Our dream trip to Ireland would involve staying at Knockahopple Cottage in County Tipperary and have Liam & Corey drive us to all their favorite stops. Hopefully this would include numerous pubs with lots of Irish music. Of course, we would like to see as many castles and landmarks as possible. Since time goes by so quickly when traveling, we would probably need several months to take it all in… or perhaps we should simply purchase something there and move to Ireland. I know the most difficult thing about our last trip was boarding the plane to leave.

  16. What wonderful dreams from everyone. Keep them coming. I would love to veg out in a cottage by the sea too.

    Good luck with the giveaway! I can’t wait to mail the book to the winner.


  17. My Ireland dream trip includes a bicycle in the countryside and lots of local music in the pubs in the evening!

  18. My Ireland dream would be to go for 2 months and visit our friends and meet new friends. We missed seeing them last year because of medical problems; however, we have a lot more to see in Ireland & visit everyone. Since we have seen lots of the South West & Cork areas, we would like to head North along the coast seeing the places we missed & experience the wonderful people and coast line. We would travel along the whole coast route to Dublin and then head West, towards Shannon, visiting people along the way and taking in all the sights—-hopefully nice and slow. Ideally I would move to Ireland and enjoy the rest of my retirement!! Ireland is such a unique country that I can’t get out of my mind ——

  19. I dream of taking a road trip around southern and western Ireland to see the amazing landscapes, hear some great music, sample local food and try the stout! Can’t wait!

  20. I dream of going to Ireland whenever I feel the urge…which would be VERY often. A week or more in each area, to explore both the touristy things I haven’t seen yet and the hidden treasures I haven’t found yet.

    I also hope to stay healthy long enough to take all the grandchildren there…two at a time is all the pocketbook can afford. Two down, two more in June and then two in 2013, one in 2015 and one in 2017. That sounds like a long way off, but it will be here before I know it.

  21. oh to drive in the country side on the narrow roads and view things in the God given beauty of Limerick and then have a fun adventure in
    Kilkenny City before flying back home…what a summer that would be.

  22. I spent ten glorious days rambling around Ireland all by myself last summer. Oh the things I saw the great people I met. I am going back this summer… not finished yet…don’t think I’ll ever be. Fell in love with your sweet little slice of green heaven. :-)

  23. I have been dreaming of a trip to Ireland for years. So my dream trip would include soaking up the beauty of the isle in all of its areas of music, land and most of all its people. I want to explore the least traveled areas by tourists as well as take in the most known areas. I have Irish ancestry so it would be lovely to trace my roots to the area before arriving so I can make that emotional and spiritual connection to Ireland.

  24. My dream trip would take three weeks – the first in a rented cottage on the Old Green Road on the Beara Peninsula near Ardgroom. I’d spend the week hiking up and down the ancient road, visiting stone circles and surveying the undeveloped landscape. A few dinners out – maybe in Glengarriff or even up to Kenmare, and certainly visit McCarthy’s Bar for a pint in Castletownbere. I’d take the cable car to Dursey Island and spend a full day. Then on the return I’d stop at the four stones marking the graves of the Children of Lir who returned here after 900 years of exhile, victims of a spell cast by their jealous stepmother.

    The second week of my dream tour would be spent in Dingle staying in a rented house in Castlegregory. One day for climbing Mount Brandon and many days for walking the strands on the north side of the Peninsula. Maybe a day on the Great Blasket Island and a few evenings in Kilshannig watching the sunset from the old ruins of St. Senan’s chapel.

    The final week I’d spend in Donegal near Glencolumbkille in a rented Irish cottage with thatched roof owned by my O’Donnell friends. I’d do nothing but walk and think and look and be … and do a lot of listening with the heart.

  25. Wow…My Dream Trip to Ireland would begin on the plane ride over! I would be reading all the guide books and making lists of specific places I’d want to visit: Then when I land, first thing, I will do, is kiss the ground and thank the powers that be for bringing this most wonderful Dream come true for me! :)

    Then, I would visit the beautiful castles, take TONS of pictures, hold up signs of my loved ones and friends and take pics, in effort to share my excitement with them and ‘place’ them there with me :)

    I would run barefoot on the grass of Ireland, visit and admire the raw power and beauty of the Cliffs of Mohr.

    I will drink Ale and enjoy the local meals and talk with as many strangers as I can, for there’d be no ‘stranger’ to me, only friends, I hadn’t met yet. I’d learn to dance, too, not caring how I may look! :)

    I also love historic, cemeteries and churches, so I’d aim to stroll through at least a couple..hopefully on a foggy morning and post pictures to my Facebook of the experience.

    I’d also do my best to learn some words of the beautiful language of Ireland.

    Visit and stay at the local B & B’s to help the local economy and enjoy the families that run them.

    Indeed: My Dream Trip will be memorable and life-changing, I only hope I’ll make just a good of an impression on Ireland! :D

    Michelle W.
    Wichita, KS.

  26. I’d fly into Shannon, then spend the day in Ennis. The next morning I would drive up to Kilcar, Co Donegal, and spend a week or tow at this lovely B&B, which I will not name, as I do not want it overrun with tourists. ;=) I would set out from there and explore Fanad Head and Inishowen. I’d also take a 2 or 3day trip to explore Omagh and on to the Mourne Mountains.

  27. I have had dream trips come true without even knowing they were my dream trips.

    Rainbows over the Burren. Mists over the tombs of Loughcrew. Red sun setting in Sligo. Icy stars in the Wicklow Mountains.

    Good friends singing in a pub over a couple of pints. Strong tea and biscuits. Hot fish and chips after a hike.

    But I haven’t been back in a while, and I’d like to see what sort of dream trip is waiting there for me. Every trip is one.

    • Wow, CapallGlas… I knew you were an artist but had no idea you were such a talented writer. Loved Irish Dream Trip comment!

  28. Ireland has been in my heart for a very long time. Its almost crazy that I actually feel like I’m missing a place that I’ve never been to! I want to meet the people and work and play along side them. Find out how I can be a part of each place I visit even if it’s just for a few days. I would want to lay down in a few pastures and hug a few sheep! Cause that’s just me. I would want to meet local craftsmen and women. I also would like to worship with believers of my faith. I have many other things I want to do but already I’ve take up at least the first few trips I WILL make to Ireland!

  29. My dream trip would be an entire summer, unplanned. Rent a cottage in the west of Ireland, and take each day as it comes…

  30. My dream trip would be a trip for the whole summer, living in a different area of Ireland for one month each. I hate that our upcoming trip is only going to be two weeks!

  31. My dream trip would be to have the time to soak in each location I would visit. I’ve been back several times and never seem to have the time I want to take. Days along the Antrim Coast, more days over on the Connemara Peninsula, more days up in Donegal, not to mentions days in the Wicklow Mountains or in Kerry. I’m still finding hidden gems and new adventures that I have missed previously.
    Talk about big things coming in small packages. :)

  32. Simple–to go back to Ireland and see it, the entire country, from the air!

  33. I have just returned from my 13th tour and agree that the only bad thing was getting on the plane to come home. tears!!! My Ireland Dream Vacation would begin with a week in Dublin followed by a week in Belfast travelling by train or bus – get to meet the locals that way. Following that – three days each in Derry, Donegal, Galway, Dingle. Killarny, Cork, Kilkenny and back to Dublin, Meeting new friends all along the way. You are never a stranger in Ireland. I would also love to have the opportunity to learn some Gaelic. Most of all I just enjoy being in Ireland – just happy to be there and breathe the air…

  34. I dream of spending an entire September in Ireland. For a traveling companion, I’d choose my husband. We’d fly into Shannon, pick up our rental car, and take off to wherever looks best. We’d spend four weeks roaming all over the island, never booking a B&B ahead of time but relying on friendly B&B owners to steer us to a hidden gem if they’re full up. We’d spend a week in Kenmare drinking at McCarthy’s and taking daytrips on the Beara Peninsula, stay in Dingle for a few days, visit Kells Priory, sit on the steps down to the harbor in Dunmore East, stand on the edge of the Slieve League, travel through Ireland’s only fjord in soft rain, sniff the peat burning in Connemara, sip a pint or two or three in a local’s pub in Donegal Town…And never want to come back to Wisconsin. Never ever.

  35. I have been to Ireland 5 times, each time was so wonderful! my dream has always been to rent a oottage or a room over a business maybe a pub? and live and work with the local people as one of them. I come from an all Irish background, Belfast and Tipperary. I dream of just soaking up the Irish culture and just enjoy!!!

  36. After visiting the Leprechaun Museum in Dublin, (to see if I am recognized as the only American-Irish Leprechaun,) I want to relive my 2008 trip organized by of Allegan, MI USA. Only this time, I want to expand it to the north, and spend some extra time in Donegal. (A friend owns a few pubs there that he has invited me to visit!)

  37. I’ve been to Ireland twice already, and am planning for my third trip for the end of May. I did the southern coast loop – Dublin to the Aran Islands via Waterford, Cork, Kerry, Dingle – the first two times. This time I’m going to complete the loop by starting in Inishmaan, Aran Islands, then continuing clockwise through Connemara, Mayo, Donegal, Derry and Antrim and back to Dublin.

    I love the west coast and I love islands, so I think my dream trip would be one island-hopping up the west coast from Clear Island in Cork to Tory Island in Donegal. (And if I continued on to Islay, Jura, Iona, and so on in Scotland, it would be absolutely perfect…)

  38. I would spend my time exploring castles ruins and researching locally to answer the question that has drawn me to the castles “How were these castles Ever constructed, without the use of cranes, bulldozers, welders and all the modern construction resources we have today! I would also love to research who designed these castles, the architects of yesterday.

  39. Every one of them has been a dream trip as far as I’m concerned but here is a tidbit from my last trip…

    We were in Westport and had spent a night playing at Molloy’s and as we finished, Matt came in and we had a short conversation with him … so it turned out to be a late night. The next morning, we woke to wind and sideways rain.

    The plan had been to drive along coast of Connemara and find some little gems that no one ever finds, but the rain made that a little less appealing. As I pondered at a crossroads as to where to which way to turn, my girlfriend suggested that maybe a trip to where my ancestors were from would be fun. It was the wrong direction and well out of the way so it seemed like a perfect idea. Off to Strokestown we went.

    I had left the directions to my GG grandmother’s grave behind, but still found it easily and then back to Strokestown to visit Beirne’s grocery and pub. The tiny store was empty and neither of us could see a pub so we started to wander off. J changed her mind as I ran to protect my camera from the rain and she went back in to find the mysterious missing bar. She has a nose for such things and soon came running giggling across the road to me that she had met my namesake and that I had to have a pint with him. (OK, he just had the same last name). I’ll never turn down a pint.

    The locals asked me the townland and parish the family was from and were astounded that I knew of it. As it turned out, Dermot, the local historian on Toberpatrick was sitting right next to me. He was a gnarled old fellow with a brogue so rich I missed about 40% of what he was saying. “Oh, Toberpatrick, they have beautiful walls there” he said. I had not found it the last time I was there, but after a while he suggested that we run out to his place and I could see some of the writing he had done.

    So off to Dermot’s place we went stopping on the way to view the beautiful walls and the lands owned for years by the English land load. The building were now pretty much derelict. Dermot’s wife was waiting when we arrived with tea and biscuits. Dermot showed us a poem he had written and some of his published writing. In one of the publications was a picture of his primary school class, likely taken in the 40s (by the quality of the photo). He quizzed me as to which one I thought he was, I failed and he pointed himself out. At one end of the photo was an older woman, not particularly handsome but designated as one of the school teachers of Toberpatrick. Her name was Mrs. Beirne. Really, Mrs. Beirne from Toberpatrick??? He said yes, she was indeed from Toberpatrick and with a twinkle in his eye said, “She was me grandmother”.

    He no doubt knew from the start, that sweet old man, that there was little doubt he and I were related. There, at Beirne’s Grocery and Pub in the village of Strokestown I had found myself sitting next to a family relative. He had the Griffith’s land valuation from 1859 showing a William Beirne as a tenant holding a land lease in the townland of Toberpatrick. That William Beirne was my GG Grandfather. Only in Ireland.

  40. My dream trip will be next year to Ireland for the second time, to celebrate 25 years of marriage to my dream man. Thanks honey for all the great times past and to come.

  41. Congratulation to Jenna! She was chosen to win a copy of Dream Trip Ireland!

    Just because the winner has already been picked doesn’t mean we don’t want to hear about more Dream Trips to Ireland… so keep posting.

  42. I am an “Irish Wannabe” ever since I traveled there on Company business over 10 years ago. Sinc then, I’ve been back with my wife on vacation for two additional trips and we hope to go back sometime again soon (we already have the money saved – we just need to schedule the time). After my first trip to Ireland, I have become enamoured with all things Irish – history, liturature, food, holidays, and anything else I can get my hands on. I love the country and the people – everytime I have been there I enjoyed myself thoroughly – even in the rain. My ideal Irish vacation now would be to visit sites that we haven’t seen on the two previous trips – I think that would be done best on B&B stays but I would also like to travel some of the inner canals by boat – I saw a PBS special on that over a year ago and that looked intriguing. I just realized now that the winner was already chosen but I don’t care – I still want to share.

  43. My dream Ireland trip would be finding my relatives. My great grandparents came over from Ireland and my Mother always talked about them and she had their chest that they brought with them. I don’t have a lot of info about them but would love to find exactly where they lived in Ireland. Then I would love to visit with my family and see the real Ireland, not just the tourist attractions. I love Irish music & dance so I guess a few pubs would be a great place to visit also. I really feel drawn to Ireland, maybe it is because my grandparents were all gone before I was born. My mother was the youngest of 12 children but they were all told about their Irish heritage and how lucky they were.

  44. My dream trip would be 3 weeks travelling on country roads and staying in charming b&b’s that were near small towns or the sea.

    Trying local food and getting to know the beautiful people of Ireland.

  45. As I’ve been to Ireland 4 times, and am planning my 5th trip, I would have to say that my dream trip to Mo Anam Bhaile (my soul’s home) would be to live there!

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