Trip Report: Ireland (part 5) Rental Car, Powerscourt, Glendalough, and Blarney Castle

Part 5

Moving around Ireland

When planning our trip we decided that we needed to rent a car and go wherever we want, when we want.  However we were both fairly nervous to drive on the right side of the car and on the wrong side of the road!!! I rented the vehicle through Nova car hire. One of the hardest thing to do is rent a car and get the best deals. The reason I chose Nova is because their basic coverage on the vehicle is substantial when compared to other agencies. I was really nervous we could get into some sort of accident and didn’t want a nightmare situation to arise while on vacation.

We had a very capable Hyundai “something or other” (not a model sold in the states). I actually liked the cars handling and it was great for navigating the VERY winding roads. WHATEVER YOU DO PLEASE ADD THE GPS TO YOUR VEHICLE IF YOUR VISITING IRELAND AND PLAN ON DRIVING AROUND!  I cannot stress this enough. If we didn’t pay for the GPS option the trip would have been a disaster and there would have been a lot of stress in fighting.

DSC02964All smiles in the drivers seat due to the GPS.

DSC03292The wife getting a chance to drive.

Powerscourt Estate

On the way out of Dublin we chose to stop and visit the Powerscourt estate.  This is a very old and prestigious property known for its gardens and overall beauty.  This is only about 30 minutes outside of Dublin with traffic.

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DSC03037 DSC03039If you look close there are probably about 20 bees on those flowers alone! Everyone that knows me knows how much I love bees! NOT!


The next stop was Glendalough and Wicklow National park! Glendalogh is an early Christian monastic settlement from the 6th century. Whats left are some very old ruins and a gravesite.

DSC03053 DSC03055 DSC03059 DSC03061 DSC03062 DSC03063 DSC03065Trying to be a photographer with this shot! hehee

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Blarney Castle

The following day we drove up to the Blarney Castle since we were staying in Cork. This probably on everyone’s checklist for their first trip to Ireland. We got up early and went as soon as the doors open to avoid the crowds and lines. Make sure you have Euros because they didn’t take credit card when we were there.  The Blarney stone is at the very top of the castle however feel free to explore the rest of the grounds.  This is also a very big and beautiful estate.

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DSC03124View from the top of the castle.

DSC03134The line is on the right and center is the place where you lay down to kiss the Blarney stone.

DSC03135Narrow staircase with small steps.

DSC03130 If you have a back problem forget about trying to kiss the stone.

DSC03152Kissing the stone-view from the ground (zoomed in)

DSC03153Huge tree on the grounds! You can barely see my wife.

PointsPinnacle Breakdown

The rental car!! It was the biggest single expenditure of the trip. I did not use points for the rental car. Ireland is a very strange place to rent a car because a lot of credit cards will not be primary coverage providers if you use their card to pay for the rental.

nova Nova1

Here is the rental car confirmation details and pricing. However at the last minute I did add additional coverage to the vehicle. Basically it covered anything and everything and in hindsight I didn’t need it but the fear of driving in a foreign country and on the wrong side of the road I thought it good piece of mind. So that added $30 per day so another $150 to the price! I wish I had that $150 back because driving in Ireland wasn’t that bad at all. With gas for the week we are looking at over $750 for the car. Gas is EXPENSIVE in Ireland!

We stayed at the Radisson Blu Cork for 2 nights on points. Here is the email confirmation.


Email confirmation above.

Only 28,000 points and $0 for TWO nights at this property!!!  I want to say from the outside the hotel looks good however our room was in need of major refurbishment.  Very basic hotel with reddish/orange carpeting if I recall. Frankly I didn’t take any video or pictures of the room as it was embarrassing. There was a cookie in the room as a welcome gift. There was also some sort of high school dance at the property for one night so there were 100+ teenagers around the property for the dance. The children were well behaved so no complaints from us. The staff was nice but the hard product is hard to overlook. If I don’t take a few pictures of the room you know its nothing to write home about.  We didn’t spend a lot of time in the room it was just a base to sleep and shower then back on the road. However later in the trip we stay in an even worse Radisson Blu! Stay tuned for that one!

The next segment of the report we will visit Cobh and then move over to the ring of Kerry!



1 thought on “Trip Report: Ireland (part 5) Rental Car, Powerscourt, Glendalough, and Blarney Castle

  1. Pingback: Trip Report: Ireland 2013 The Gathering!!! Part 1 | PointsPinnacle

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