Author Archives: Rhonda Krause

Travel photographer and writer. Founder of Travel? Yes Please!, a travel inspiration and information blog.

Glendalough Monastic Site- Visiting One of Ireland’s Premier Monastic Settlements

Tucked into a forested valley in the Wicklow mountains are the remains of Glendalough, one of Ireland’s most important monastic settlements. It’s an evocative site- ancient stone buildings surrounded by Celtic crosses and gravestones, while two lakes and a river flow nearby. As the first stop on my Ireland road trip, Glendalough monastic site was…

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Killarney National Park, Ireland- Photo Series

When I was visiting Killarney, I kept thinking how nice it must be to have such a beautiful national park right at your doorstep. Just steps away from the centre of town, Killarney National Park encompasses some of the best scenery in Ireland. Killarney National Park is a sublime collection of lakes, mountains, woodlands, and…

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The Gap of Dunloe- Boat and Bike Trip From Killarney, Ireland

My favourite memory of my 2 week trip to Ireland is my day in Killarney, where I did a boat and bike trip to the Gap of Dunloe. A boat tour of the Lakes of Killarney, followed by a bike ride through the Gap of Dunloe, showcases the very best of Killarney National Park and…

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  • Danielle - Do you remember the name of the boat tour company you used.January 27, 2019 – 2:47 pmReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Hi Danielle. I went with Gap of Dunloe Traditional Boat Tours. Definitely recommend them!February 8, 2019 – 5:47 pmReplyCancel

Gokayama, Japan- Enjoying Historic Architecture and Traditional Crafts in Ainokura Village

As with most places I travel to, I was inspired to visit Gokayama by a photograph I had seen. It was a scene I couldn’t resist- a tiny village of thatched roof houses, their steep, sloped tops covered in snow, perfectly complementing the mountainous backdrop in the distance. From then on, I often dreamed about…

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9 Ways to Experience Japanese Traditions in the Chubu Region of Japan

Each country has its own unique culture, but there’s something really compelling about Japan, a place that widely respects and complies with tradition. Japanese traditions, whether it be those associated with architecture and craftsmanship, ceremonies and celebrations, or etiquette and hospitality, are a big reason why I keep returning to Japan. On my previous two…

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How to Spend 5 Days in New York City- Itinerary for First Time Visitors

New York City is a place I felt like I knew even before I’d ever visited. A backdrop to countless movies and television shows, New York City has been making appearances in my living room for as long as I can remember. Planning a 5 day trip to New York City felt like making plans…

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Photo of the Week: Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty is an icon of the United States, standing in New York Harbor as a symbol of freedom and democracy. A gift from France, the Statue of Liberty commemorates their alliance with the United States during the American Revolution. The idea for the monument was proposed in 1865 by Edouard de Laboulaye,…

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Photo of the Week: Brooklyn Bridge, New York City

The Brooklyn Bridge has long been an icon of New York, so walking across it was one of the first things we did on our trip to New York City. Crossing the East River, the Brooklyn Bridge has connected the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn since it opened in 1883. Not only was it the…

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What to Expect on Your First Trip to Ireland: A First Time Visitor’s Guide

As I was leaving for my first trip to Ireland, I felt more relaxed than I usually do before visiting a new country. The excited anxiety that I normally experience was replaced by confident anticipation. Since I was going to be travelling solo for my first trip to Ireland, I made sure to do plenty…

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  • Alouise - I’ve been living in Ireland for a year and a half now, and I agree it’s a great place for solo travel. I was surprised when I got here that there weren’t any paid toilets like you see elsewhere in Europe. I think I saw one at a beach outside Dublin, but that was it. Usually if you’re by a pub (and in Ireland you probably are) you can pop in to use the toilet if you need it.January 8, 2018 – 2:00 pmReplyCancel

  • Joel - ireland is always my most favourite one destination to visit as travelling point of view. I really like to see its most fabulous adventuress places which attracts the visitors towards it each year. I had a great time there but I will love to make a tour there for again and againMay 10, 2018 – 3:42 amReplyCancel

  • Eric - I say this as somebody who’s been traveling to Ireland for 20 yrs. Ireland is the best “starter” country for people looking to visit Europe. For many of the same points you make Ireland let’s the first time traveler, especially Americans, experience the European way of doing things without having to understand a different language. August 12, 2018 – 4:59 amReplyCancel

Ruins Near Cusco- 7 Archaeological Sites Worth Visiting

Cusco is the point of arrival for people wanting to visit Machu Picchu, the most famous Inca ruin in Peru, but there are many fantastic, lesser known ruins near Cusco that are also worth exploring. As one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in South America, and capital of the Inca Empire, Cusco is rich…

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Hiking in Burren National Park- An Unexpected Landscape in Ireland

Standing at the trailhead into Burren National Park, fascination sets in as I gaze off into the remote, rocky landscape. This is not what I expected to see in Ireland. The land here is harsh, grey. The Burren most certainly is not the rolling green fields I’d come to associate with Ireland. Instead, I find…

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Photo of the Week: Long Room of the Old Library at Trinity College, Dublin

Not too many places in Dublin stood out for me, but one that did was the Long Room of the Old Library at Trinity College. The 65 metre long, 2-storey main chamber is lined on both sides with stalls of books- 200,000 of the oldest in the library’s collection. In between each stall on the…

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Exploring the Arashiyama District of Kyoto

On the last of our 3 days in Kyoto, we decided to explore the Arashiyama district, a mountainous, forested region in the western outskirts of the city. We were initially drawn to this popular sightseeing district by photos of its famous bamboo grove, but quickly discovered that Arashiyama has far more to offer, both in…

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Day Trip to Inishmore- The Largest of Ireland’s Aran Islands

On my solo trip to Ireland I was looking to visit places that combined my two favourite travel activities- exploring nature and visiting archaeological sites. Inishmore (Inis Mór) fit the bill perfectly! As one of the Aran Islands, Inishmore was a place that I could feel far away from everything while still being connected to…

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  • Lauren - Really does look like the best place for nature and archaeological sites. Love all your pictures and now I really want to go!March 17, 2019 – 11:10 amReplyCancel

Solo Travel in Ireland- 7 Reasons Ireland is a Great Place to Travel Alone

When I decided to do a solo trip to Ireland it had been 11 years since I last travelled alone. I was itching to do it again! I hadn’t done much research about travelling alone in Ireland, but instinctually felt that Ireland would be the perfect place for a solo trip. For one, I’d never…

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  • Valarie - At thiis time I am going away to do my breakfast, after having my breakfast coming over again to read
    other news.November 27, 2017 – 2:47 pmReplyCancel

Visiting Sacsayhuaman- An Inca Fortress in Cusco, Peru

The uphill walk from central Cusco to Sacsayhuaman was slow going, since our bodies hadn’t adjusted to the high altitude yet, but the excitement of seeing our first Inca ruin kept us motivated to push on. In between frequent breaks and gasps for air, I hoped that the effort would be worthwhile and Sacsayhuaman would…

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Dawson City- A Gold Rush Good Time in the Yukon

There’s no place in Canada quite like Dawson City. This quirky northern town in the Yukon will transport you back to a time when the streets were dirt, sidewalks made of wood, piano music spilled out of saloons, and striking it rich was everyone’s ambition. The Klondike Gold Rush established and shaped Dawson City. Its…

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Photo of the Week: Poulnabrone Dolmen, Ireland

One of the highlights of visiting the Burren region of Ireland is seeing Poulnabrone dolmen, an outstanding Neolithic tomb and National Monument of Ireland. Over 5000 years old, this portal tomb is one of the best preserved in the country. The dolmen’s classic construction consists of a large capstone resting on top of two sets…

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2 Weeks in Ireland- My Road Trip Itinerary

I’ve never met anyone who’s done a road trip in Ireland and not loved it. After spending 2 weeks in Ireland, I am now one of those people. My 2 week road trip in Ireland had it all: postcard-worthy landscapes, fascinating ancient sites, evocative ruins, gratifying outdoor adventures, colourful small towns, delicious food, lively music, fun…

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  • Anja - Hi Rhonda!

    I just found your post via LP pathfinders monthly roundup. :) Oh my, you did quite a nice round around the island!To me everything looks travelworthy, just to soak in that Irish atmosphere. I’ve been thinking of visiting either Ireland or Scotland next year, and like you said more for the nature and small villages, than for the big cities. Have you ever been to Scotland?

    AnjaNovember 23, 2017 – 3:04 amReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - No I haven’t been to Scotland, but it is very tempting from the photos I’ve seen!November 24, 2017 – 1:12 pmReplyCancel

  • Alexi Laishley - Hi Rhonda,

    I am planning on going to Ireland this summer, but am hesitant to rent a car due to the cost. I wanted to know how much it cost you to rent your car for 2 weeks? Also were there any restrictions on it? ie being 25 or a specific type of license?

    Thanks, I loved this post so much. I am using much of it as inspiration!December 3, 2017 – 11:23 amReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Hi Alexi!

      The car rental was just over $700 CAD for an automatic. It’s way cheaper to rent a standard. I hadn’t driven stick shift in many years so I didn’t want that stress on top of driving on the opposite side of the road that I’m used to.

      As a Canadian, I didn’t need an International Driver’s license but had to have my Canadian driver’s license for a minimum of 2 years. Not sure about the requirements for other countries and if there are any age restrictions. You should be able to find all that info on the car rental company’s website.

      I would definitely rent a car if you can afford it. It’s by far the most convenient and flexible way to see Ireland!December 3, 2017 – 2:08 pmReplyCancel

  • Tracey - Wow! Ireland looks amazing. It is on my trip to-do list. Thank you for these gorgeous pictures and helpful post. Love that pic of Hore Abbey – I have to go there now!December 8, 2017 – 6:59 pmReplyCancel

  • mark & lyndon - Great trip info, you have given us a great deal to consider and your photo’s were excellent! Thanks!!January 11, 2018 – 8:34 amReplyCancel

  • Jennie Mauger - Hi there! This has been EXTREMELY helpful. I am wondering what type of camera you used during your trip? Your photos are excellent! My boyfriend and I will be travelling to Ireland to visit my cousin for 2 weeks in July. We are also not big on the touristy part and are looking for some amazing hikes. I’m really looking forward to the Cliffs of Moher coastal walk. I’m afraid because we will be going in July, there will no doubt be lots and lots of people! We are definitely thinking of doing this exact itinerary but we will have to stay and visit Dublin for an extra two days. Is it possible to still do this itinerary but in 14 days? Anything you would fast track? We will be renting a car, manual, did you know how much cheaper it was? Gas efficiency? Thank you for this blog post!! Jennie :) February 15, 2018 – 10:21 amReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Hi Jennie. Glad you like my photos! I use a Canon 6D with L-series lenses. July will definitely be busier than Sept/Oct when I was there, but I’d suspect the majority of people still don’t do the full coastal walk. I would have liked to do more (and longer) hikes but the weather was not on my side during this trip!

      I did this itinerary in 13 full days. It sounds like a lot but was manageable. Getting an early start meant that I could linger at sites longer and make more photo stops. Perhaps I could have done more of the Ring of Kerry and Skellig Ring in one day had I not needed to spend the night in Portmagee for the Skellig Michael trip that never happened. I’d skip Inch Beach if I was short on time. I also really took my time doing the Slea Head Drive. But if I needed to cut something out, it would be Northern Ireland because I wasn’t a fan of how “touristy” it felt.

      I don’t remember exactly how much cheaper it was to rent a manual, but I seem to recall it was around half the price of an automatic. I was shocked at how much gas I went through! Maybe a diesel would get better mileage?

      Hope you have an awesome trip to Ireland!February 16, 2018 – 2:08 pmReplyCancel

  • mikala - thank you, this was so helpful!June 10, 2018 – 4:43 amReplyCancel

  • Jennifer - Wow there is so much useful information in this article! I love that you include the hits and misses of each day, it really gives me insight into what to skip if we don’t have time. My partner and I are planning a 12 day trip for November of this year and will definitely be using this as a rough guide, thank you so much!July 9, 2018 – 10:05 amReplyCancel

  • Michael - Hi, 
    I would like to thank you for sharing your itinerary.  I was pressed for time so I used your itinerary for planning a trip for my family (2 adults and 3 kids).  It worked very well for us.  With 3 kids we went a bit slower and skipped a few visits, but that was fine.
    We did stay in Londonderry 1 night and Belfast 1 night.  In the end, that really wasn’t necessary.  We didn’t really like these two cities and to me they felt much more English than Irish.
    On the other hand, we loved Galway.  It has a great walkable pedestrian area and street performers.    
    Thanks again, we had a great vacation and your blog was a huge help.July 31, 2018 – 2:41 pmReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Hi Michael! I’m glad you used my Ireland itinerary and had a great trip! I agree with you about the feel of Londonderry and don’t regret skipping Belfast for that reason. Glad you had fun in Galway!August 3, 2018 – 10:03 amReplyCancel

  • Emma Coulter - How much was your budget? I’m hoping to do this next fall and want to figure out how much to save. August 2, 2018 – 10:51 amReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - I actually didn’t keep good track of how much I spent. I know my flight from Canada was exactly $1000 and the car rental was $720. Food was expensive and gas was very expensive, but I was able to find decently priced accommodations (less than $100/night). I’d guess that I spent around $4000.August 3, 2018 – 10:09 amReplyCancel

  • Dana - So enjoyed reading about all you saw! We had less time to tour the west of Ireland so we never made it farther south than Dingle (our favorite town), so there’s lots more for us to see. And we ran out of time and didn’t get to visit Newgrange. Kudos to you for driving solo. I’m not that brave! (The roundabouts! Driving on the other side of the road, etc. And the Connor Pass!) Also was glad to read I wasn’t the only one not wowed by Galway. (We liked nearby Salt Hill better.)September 20, 2018 – 5:49 amReplyCancel

  • Rob Webb - Hi Rhonda. Many thanks for your sharing your experiences. My wife and I did a similarly focused tour of Scotland earlier this year and we now have Ireland in our sights. I found your travel-log very helpful and will revisit when we plan out our trip. We are not group tour people preferring to do our own thing in our own time. We hate crowds and being rushed. Being a bit older (65+), we do prefer the more comfortable places to stay. Scotland was a bit hit and miss as far as accommodation went but can you give us a brief summary of the types of accommodation you experienced in Ireland, B&B’s, hotels etc. Thanks.October 9, 2018 – 3:56 pmReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Hi Rob. I mostly stayed in B&Bs but a few hotels as well. I was happy with all my accommodations except for one. I wasn’t sure I would like staying at B&Bs but they kind of felt like a home away from home. It was pretty easy to book rooms that had a private bathroom, so to me it wasn’t much different than being at a hotel.November 18, 2018 – 5:48 pmReplyCancel

  • Marni Richardson - hello Rhonda – we are planning an Ireland trip in March.  Were wondering where you stayed in Dublin and where you stayed near Bru na Boinne…if you thought the places were worth it!  ThanksNovember 18, 2018 – 11:48 amReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Hi Marni. In Dublin I stayed at the Conrad near St. Stephens Green and it was great. For Bru na Boinne I stayed in Donore at a place called Newgrange Lodge (which I wouldn’t recommend, but the location was very close to Bru na Boinne and the price was cheap). I really enjoyed visiting Newgrange and Knowth. Newgrange is the “main” mound everyone chooses to visit, but I would recommend the tour that visits both since I actually preferred Knowth. As for Dublin, I wasn’t that interested in the city and thought one was day plenty for me. Hope this helps!November 18, 2018 – 5:41 pmReplyCancel

  • Rob Templeton - Rhonda, tripped upon this browsing for a fall trip my wife and I are planning in September/October. We hope to have 16-18 days and will for the most part try follow your recommendations, this looks amazing. Is Lonely Planet the better of the books? Pubs and hiking will be our focus but the bike tours sound interesting, any one of them really stand out? Thanks for all of this, I’ll be doing some reading!    RobJanuary 2, 2019 – 3:16 pmReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Hi Rob. I used Lonely Planet for this trip but have used Eyewitness Travel books for other destinations and have really liked them. Both are good for different reasons. As for bike tours, my favourite one was the boat & bike trip I did of the Killarney lakes and Gap of Dunloe. The tour is really only the boat trip, then after that you can ride your bike (which you need to rent on your own) independently through the Gap and back to Killarney. It was a great way to spend the day!January 7, 2019 – 2:21 pmReplyCancel

  • Asha - Hi Rhonda, 
    I absolutely enjoyed reading about your 2 week trip around Ireland. I’m also from Canada! :) My mom and I plan to go this August 2019 and I have a few questions for you.

    1. Do I need to book accommodations early, or can I just drive into a town and be able to find somewhere to stay for a night?
    2. Do I need to pay or book to see any of these places of interest? Places such as the tombs at Brú na Bóinne or any of the castles you stopped at for pictures from outside. We are both mostly interested in a scenic journey instead of taking tours.
    3. Flighs are around $500-$600 each for end of August. Would you think they would increase as the summer months approaches? Same for car rentals. I see that manual is alot cheaper so I don’t want to miss out.
    Thanks again for sharing your experience with us. It is very well-written and photographed.
    AshaFebruary 5, 2019 – 10:58 amReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Hi Asha,
      Glad to hear you’re planning a trip to Ireland and found my itinerary helpful. I’ll try to answer your questions:

      1. I always book early and didn’t try to find accommodations the night of. I went in October and in some popular places (Kinsale and Galway come to mind), the pickings were slim even months in advance. I’d imagine with August being high season, popular destinations would book up in advance. Maybe you’d be able to find accommodations in smaller towns the day of (I don’t think my B&B’s were always sold out).

      2. Some of the sites I paid to go in once I arrived (Rock of Cashel, Blarney Castle, Kilkenny Castle, Bru na Boinne, Kerry Cliffs, Giant’s Causeway). Glendalough doesn’t have an admission fee. You can get pics of Rock of Cashel from the road (but better ones if you go in), and you can photograph Kilkenny Castle from the grounds for free. Most everything else I saw didn’t have an admission fee or I could photograph from outside. You wouldn’t be able to get pictures of Bru na Boinne since access is through the visitor centre and by guided tour only. This is also the only site I’d recommend booking in advance if you can, or else get there as soon as it opens. Blarney Castle you’d need to go in to get pics of as well.

      3. My flight from Edmonton was $1000 booked really far in advance and I didn’t notice the price changing too much. In general, I notice that flights cost more as it gets closer to departure, but who knows what those airlines will do. Not sure about the car rentals- I’m a planner so like to book everything in advance! But yes, manuals are cheaper (maybe they have more of them available too?)

      Hope this helps. Have fun on your trip!February 8, 2019 – 6:31 pmReplyCancel

      • Asha - Thank you Rhonda. You are so helpful and this blog is the best I’ve read. Take care!February 21, 2019 – 5:42 amReplyCancel

  • Seda - I live in Ireland and was looking for a weekend Itinerary in the west coast. I’m extremely impressed by this web-site and I can say that the information you provide is accurate. Also, It includes so much important details that I had to note down. Thank you very much for your great effort! This is one of the best travel blogs around for sure.February 7, 2019 – 6:38 amReplyCancel

Romantic St. Augustine- Our Favourite Activities for Romance

It was 11:00 pm when we pulled into St. Augustine, Florida. The historic downtown was quiet, moonlight shining down on the empty streets as palms and oaks gently rustled in the warm breeze. It was the perfect first impression of a city that during the day can be bustling with tourists. Still and peaceful, after…

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