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Favorite thing: There is no comparison to Ireland when it comes to it's people. I will never forget the twinkle in their eyes, and the nod of their heads when you pass them by, and even if they are busy with both hands that friendly quiet nod is sign to you of "welcome" and "we know you are here".
Fondest memory: My fondest memory is probably the random times I have stopped into a Pub while traveling and coming upon some local musicians playing the Irish traditional tunes.
No matter where it is, they welcome you, and want you to join in the best you can. Or at least enjoy what they have to share and it is always a rare treat.
My favorite day is the first day touring from sun up to sun down. From Shannon through Co. Clare, Galway and Mayo to Achill Island.
Written May 28, 2005
Favorite thing: When you travel in Ireland you are bound to come across some thatched cottages - a favourite object for a photograph. They look so romantic, even idyllic: whitewashed walls, smoke curling from a chimney, colourful windows with flowers. In fact some of these cottages have been built only recently as summer homes or B&B guest-houses. But of course there are still some coming from the past centuries.
A census taken in Ireland in 1841 showed that 40% of the population lived in one-room mud-walled cottages. I doubt whether life there was so idyllic. They were usually overcrowded and equipped only with very basic objects. Floors were made of dried mud and the centre of home was always a fireplace built of stone. In some of these traditional cottages a half-door was used. It was a very good invention. The top and lower halves could be opened independently, which allowed airing or letting the animals in or out of the house easily.
Written Sep 15, 2006
Favorite thing: There is every reason to call Ireland the Emerald Island. The green colour is predominant here as pastures and meadows are a prevailing feature of Irish landscape. But this green of many shades is dotted with other colours, so that you should not be bored with it at all. First of all there is the white colour of stones scattered over the pastures or made into stone fences separating pieces of land. Then there is the abundance of colours of Irish flowers and plants. I was speechless at the sight of hills covered with carpets of purple heathers, roads lined with hedges of red fuchsia or gardens with enormous bushes of pale-blue or pink hydrangea. The plants which in Poland demand much care and reach only mediocre sizes here amaze with lushness.
And one more thing; palm trees are not uncommon in Ireland. They seem well-settled here, which was another surprise for me (am I so ignorant?)
Written Sep 15, 2006
Favorite thing: Some of the most important tips I could give from my two past trips in general, is:
#1 Get the smallest Rental car you can find, and if you are a group of 5 or more, get two small cars, roads are very narrow, a small car is much easier to manuveur in most situations, gas petroil is expensive, you get alot more mileage to the gallon. AND for (driving on the left), a small car is easier also.
I would in addition recommend the extra cost of an automatic, will help you concentrate more on staying on the left, then shifting gears.
#2 Pack light, especially for a small car, and will be moving from place to place more often in different B&B's. (unless you have a self-cater cottage or apartment) in one place. One bag each plus your knapsack or pocketbook, (try using a fanny pack instead of pocketbook), you will appreciate those free hands.
Layers is the best way, even in warmer weather, it can get cool. In April and February when I went, I slept in my long johns which I could use under my jeans on really cold days, same with my turtleneck, slept in it, or wore it.
Bring a good pair of hickers, low ones might be more comfortable being in the car for touring, but then you are ready to jump out and explore rocks, trails etc. Two pair are good if one pair gets wet, but not necessary.
Two pair of good hiking socks (one for drying, one for wearing).
Wind-rain light weight with hood jacket is great, heavy sweater, fleese vest, 2 turtlenecks, 2 jeans (not tight for comfort in car and plane), stretchie gloves and scarf for fall and spring travel. For the ladies, I wore a large loose jumper over turtleneck and tights with hiking shoes, sometimes. Comfortable and nice for eating in nightime restaurants.
#3, Small flashlite...Good map, Digital camera AND film camera, just in case you loose your memory card, or erase the photos, or fill up your memory...you will have a backup. The disposable camera's are good for that also.
Fondest memory: My fondest memory of Ireland is the people and the music and the indescribable scenery. But that is three memories that all come together and make one.
I would have to say, I adore the West of Ireland. #1
Written Jun 12, 2005
Favorite thing: The Ring of Kerry is a 110-mile drive that can be taken in a day. There is so much to enjoy: Muckross Estate that covers 26,000 acres; Torc Falls tumbling down into the misty green; trickling creeks; 4,000 year-old Staigue Fort teeming with ancient mystery; lakes of cold and silent waters; hills and gaps with tranquil beauty; and fall colors of russet and amber. At one turn you will see sandy beaches with little cottages nestled in the hills nearby, then you can see far out islands in the ocean and then you may see a field of sheep (or sheep in the road).
The road is winding and can be stressful, but being able to take frequent stops to see these breathtaking views make driving it worthwhile.
Fondest memory: Ireland is unique in it's landscape, nothing I have seen to date can compare. There is an ambience of quiet contentment (but, then we went in the fall when there are very few tourists).
Updated Sep 10, 2003
Favorite thing: This is not really a tip - well sort of... .a while ago I came across a hillarious website that stars a MONKEY to tour the world....
To see his Dublin adventure > CLICK HERE
Fondest memory: The rough and rugged island and the people --- simply devine and the BEST storytellers I ever came across (wink wink)
Written Apr 14, 2006
Favorite thing: If music is your thing, then Ireland is the place to go. Everybody is a singer or musician of some kind. Buskers are plenty in the major towns and cities and they are all accomplished players. Stop and listen for a couple of minutes you will be pleased you did.
At night try to find a local pub that has live music, this will turn out to br great entertainment.
Updated Oct 4, 2003
Favorite thing: Dublin Film Festival
1 Suffolk Street
Telephone: 353 (0)1 679 2937
Fondest memory: I used to work once for the Film Industry in Ireland and in 1999 worked with the Dublin Film-festival crew - a mad but lovely bunch - met all sorts of famous faces too: Patrick Bergin (sigh)... ;)
Written Apr 14, 2006
Favorite thing: Ireland is full of myths and superstitions. Some stories have been in written form since the 8th century, but most originated over 2,000 years ago passed down from generation to generation by the druids. Many of Ireland's myths are linked to the ancient Celtic races throughout Europe.
The most famous story of the "little people" is of the Leprechaun. Legend is that if you catch one of these, he wil lead you to a pot of gold, but if you take your eyes off him he will vanish into thin air.
Fondest memory: In Ireland you can feel the presence of the little people, if you look closely in the mossy woods near Torc Falls, you may get a glimpse of one yourself - we did. Come now, you don't believe it the "little people"? If you have an ounce of Irish in your veins, you must believe.
Updated Sep 3, 2003
Favorite thing: >>Due to its isolation, the Romans never invaded Ireland.
>>The warring Celtic tribes were quick to embrace Christianity upon the arrival of Saint Patrick in 432 AD.
>>The first outsiders who waged war on them were the Vikings in the 9th Century. However, they never suceeded in gaining control of the island.
>>The Ango-Normans arrived in 1169 and many Irish chiefs submitted to Henry II of England who declared himself Lord of Ireland. When he left in 1172, his knights divided Ireland into large baronies among themselves.
>>When Henry VIII broke with the Catholic church in 1532, Ireland became a battleground between Irish catholics and the forces of the English Crown. The Irish were defeated and their lands were confiscated and granted to Protestants from England and Scotland which was sealed by the victory of William of Orange by James II in the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. Then, repressive penal laws denied the Irish their most basic freedoms.
>>During the Famine of 1845 - 1848, over two million Irish died or were forced to emmigrate. Many who stayed were evicted by absentee English Lords.
>>In 1920, after parlimentary infighting and bloody battles, the land was divided and the South became an Irish Free State in 1937.
>>Northern Ireland, where Protestants have a majority, has remained, despite bombing campaigns, part of the United Kingdom.
Updated Sep 3, 2003
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