Look out, Ireland — we’re on our way!

Where in the world?Off we go to the bus stop to get to the train take us to another bus to get to our terminal to check in for our flight, at long last, to Ireland. We’ve been meaning to visit Ireland since about 2004 or so, but it’s never worked out before. Here’s our rough itinerary:

  • fly to Cork, check in at the Lancaster Lodge
  • Hang out there and explore — our Frommer’s guide says Cork is the culinary capital of Ireland. We’ll see about that. I’m looking forward to corned beef and shepherd’s pie.
  • Snag a rental car and drive to Kenmare, check in at the Riverville House Kenmare
  • drive around the Ring of Kerry in a clockwise direction
  • drive home and fly back to Munich, fully refreshed, energized, and motivated for my upcoming trip to Romania (surprise — it’s not Iasi!).

Oh, and about the shirt: it was a very odd coincidence that this shirt arrived this morning in the mail before our departure. shirt.woot.com was offering three random shirts for $6.66 each + $5 shipping and I couldn’t resist. I’m calling it a good omen.

I can do it cheaper!!

This seems to be my motto of late – particularly when it comes to travel. Well, I feel like I need to share a new site I found today – agoda.com. Especially since it was my crowing about that Air France deal that sent several people I know to Paris. I’ve been looking for a hotel ever since that post. Through all eleventy-jillion hotels, B&Bs and apartments in Paris.

Normally, vacation apartments are the way to go for us. In Paris, they have a nasty habit of leaving the oven out of holiday rentals – at least in the price category I look at. And if you don’t have a functional kitchen, why bother with a whole apartment? So I chucked that idea. Then I went searching for B&Bs; more like B&Bust. Finally I gave up and started sifting through hotel listings. And got stuck doing so for a good couple of weeks.

I just can’t stay in a fleabag hotel. I’m simply too old for that crap. Last time I went to Paris, it was kind of last-minute and I ended up staying in a dormitory hostel situation. I felt like an idiot and slept with my wallet tucked into my pants. So I figured we had earned a stay in a decent place, but I was only able to find exorbitant or scuzzy – nothing inbetween. Kayak, my aggregator of choice, pointed me toward Agoda with several listings for hotels that I had seen before and coveted but for the prices. We ended up booking a hotel through Agoda right across from the Île de la Cité for about 40% off of the rack rate!

A warning about using Agoda: it’s not as nicely arranged and easily searchable as many of the other sites (Kayak, Hotels.com, Venere, etc.), so I did have to go through a good 10+ pages of results. Hopefully, they will slicken up the site features after the enormous traffic spike you’re all going to cause by running right over there!

But, you know, no obligation or anything…