My husband fractured his knee two weeks & two days before our 23 day trip & he had to be non-weight bearing on his leg for 4-6 weeks.
We flew from Nashville to Dublin for 2 nights, took the train to Belfast for 2 nights, flew to Edinburgh for 3 nights, & flew to Copenhagen for 2 nights before a 14 day transatlantic cruise back to NY with stops in Gothenburg, London, Cork & Ponta Delgado.
We had trip insurance & could have cancelled our trip but this was my husband's bucket list trip & we had been planning it for over a year so I purchased a lightweight wheelchair & we decided to make the best of it. Sooo thankful we did! We had near perfect weather & our trip was amazing!
After my husband's injury we upgraded to first class on our flight from Nashville to Dublin with West jet & our flights were amazing. 36' inches of leg room, no luggage fees & free food AND drinks.
We left Nashville at 11:40AM September 22nd & arrived in Dublin at 7:10AM September 23rd.
We had already purchased the 3 day Leap Visitor card so we decided to brave the bus to our hotel.
I am sure we were a sight! My husband is a tall guy & outweighs me by a 100 pounds. I was pushing his wheelchair & he was pulling two 50 pound suitcases with a carryon in his lap & we hung a backpack & his crutches from the back of the wheelchair.
We found the bus & the bus driver took pity on us & got off & helped us get everything loaded. He was wonderful! He even googled our hotel & told us the best way to get there after we got off the bus. We got off the bus about 3 blocks from our hotel which normally would not have been a problem for us. We looked around & could not find a taxi so I started pushing 'all 350 pounds' to our hotel. A man showed up out of nowhere & took over pulling the suitcases. He said he didn't care where we were going he was going to help. Sooooo many nice people in this world & we encountered more than our fair share on our trip.
With our new friend's help we arrived at our hotel, the Drury Court Hotel. It is in the old part of Dublin & the cobblestone streets outside the hotel were broken up. I was trying to 'pop' my husband over the curb by the hotel & both wheels went sideways when they caught in the cracks. Another new friend, thankfully a really big guy, practically picked the wheelchair up with my husband in it, got him over the busted up curb & pushed him in to the hotel. So we started our journey with two new friends (plus the bus driver) & an easy entrance in to our hotel..
The Drury Court is an amazing hotel & the staff was extremely friendly & helpful. It is also one of the cleanest hotels we have ever stayed in & the location is PERFECT especially if you can walk.
We went across the street to the Metro Café & had a good breakfast & when we got back to the hotel our room was ready. We (I) took our luggage to our room & we took a taxi to Kilmainham Gaol where we had reservations at 12:45PM. I have to say this was one of the few disappointments we had during our trip because the tour is not wheelchair accessible which we knew but the guide said the stairs are not in great shape & would be very hard for my husband to climb on crutches. He said we could visit the museum & our guide could pick us up there halfway through the tour. The museum was very nice but we missed out on so much of the tour that I don't think we got the full impact of the Gaol & all that happened there. Also our female guide had a very high pitched voice & she talked very fast & was a little hard to follow.
We were a little discouraged after the Gaol Tour (plus we had been awake for way to many hours) but we took a taxi to Brazen Head (Dublin's oldest Irish pub) & my husband literally got tears in his eyes when the band played a song, maybe Old Ireland? He said the song made him think of his father. The band was great & the lead singer was so animated you could tell he loved what he was doing. We definitely fell in love with Dublin there!
We left Brazen Head when the band went on break & took a taxi to the Hairy Lemon across the street from our hotel. We enjoyed a great dinner & live music & made more friends.
The next morning we walked around the corner from our hotel & ate at Sasha Petite. It was amazing & the people running it were so down to earth & likable! I would highly recommend it! I did confuse the girl behind the counter when I asked for jelly instead of jam. Dang Americans!
We took a taxi to the train station & got off the train at Dun Laoghaire. I was glad I ate my Wheeties that morning because it was a wee bit hilly but we made it to the main street & had lunch with a beautiful young girl from the area who had just started a job as a pharmacist. She had such a pleasant personality & we made another new friend!
We got back on the train & went to Killiney but we did not explore there. We caught the next train & headed in the opposite direction to Malahide where we enjoyed a long, wonderful coastal walk that was all downhill. A little more challenging on the way back but it was a gorgeous day & we really enjoyed Malahide & I was building up muscles daily!
We had reservations for Dublin's Temple Bar Pub Crawl that night so we headed back to our hotel. I read on their website the pub crawl was not wheelchair accessible so we left the wheelchair at our hotel & decided we would do as much of the pub crawl as we could with my husband on crutches. We took a taxi to the first stop, Bad Bob's, where we met our guide & 10 other people (a group of six who already knew each other & 4 solos) who did the crawl with us. The pubs were not really wheelchair accessible but I wish we had brought the wheelchair to get between the pubs. They were much further apart than we were led to believe. My husband walked to the next pub but we took a Pedicab to the third pub & met the group there.
We had really been looking forward to the pub crawl but I could not recommend it. Our leader was a wonderful young girl, I don't remember what country she was from (nowhere near Ireland) but it would have been nice to have an Irish guide. She had the most pleasant personality but she did not have the group interact at all & we could have easily gone from pub to pub by ourselves. We did make friends with the solos in the group & we had a lot of fun but that was through no help from our guide. We dropped out of the crawl after the 3rd pub since it was hard to keep up with my husband on crutches & we didn't want to slow the group down. Plus our guide said the last stop was a place to dance & obviously we couldn't dance.
We went back to the Hairy Lemon since it was across the street from our hotel & had dinner & listened to live music again. Another wonderful night in Dublin!
The next morning we checked out of our hotel & decided to change our plans for the day. We went to the Irish Immigration Museum. What a great choice! Since the Museum was near the train station we took our luggage with us & they stored it for us. The Museum is amazing & very interactive. There were 20 different stations where you get your 'passport' stamped. The staff was so friendly & helpful. We had to catch the train to Belfast at 3:20PM but we could have easily spent more time there.
We really enjoyed our time in Dublin & Dublin was just the start of an amazing adventure!