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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Ireland is Irresistible

Romping through rolling fields of green in Ireland has been a dream for as long as I can remember. Being named 'Erin,' the Anglicized version of 'Eire' or 'Ireland,' it seemed natural to visit Ireland--and it may have taken 21 years, but it was worth the wait.

Not that a weekend in Ireland can even begin to capture this mysterious, overwhelming country. It just sparks a desire for further exploration of rugged cliffs, rocky mountains and emerald fields.

Dublin can be summed up in one word: Guinness. It's everywhere. Ads cover many buildings and no pub is complete without a giant Guinness sign in front. The main tourist attraction in Dublin is, you guessed it, the Guinness Storehouse where, for 10 Euros, you can watch barley, water and other ingredients combine to produce the dark, bitter ale. The highlight is a glassed-in rooftop bar overlooking the entire city.

This is also home to the greatest meal ever invented: Guinness and beef stew. Served with a heaping portion of mashed potatoes--yum, what could be better?!?

Ireland's capital also houses two stunning cathedrals, St. Patrick's and Christ Church, that will take your breath away with their grandeur. But the real attraction of Ireland lies in its countryside, so it's away to Wicklow and Glendalough for a whirlwind day trip through the hills and to see ancient runes.

Okay, so maybe November isn't the ideal time to visit Ireland. It's cold, windy, gray and rainy--actually, that sounds a lot like England come to think of it! Nevertheless, Ireland retains its immaculate beauty year-round. Driving through Wicklow, it's obvious why so many writers have been inspired by these parts--there is nothing but green for miles, the only activity coming from sheep grazing throughout the hills. It's peaceful and pristine, as if no human has set foot here.

The personal highlight, however, took place in a little town pub. Handing the owner my credit card, he saw my name and immediately exclaimed, "Well, that's a good name to have around here! You fit right in!" Finally, a little validation for my name!

It will take more than this one weekend to fulfill my desire to see Ireland. Kissing the Blarney Stone, exploring castles, seeing the Cliffs of Moher...all of these activities will be waiting for me next time...now I just need to book the trip!

1 comment:

  1. I used to live in Wales in former years... Ireland is just very much the same... great stuff.

    I'll give you a shout on mine tonight

    all the best 2u

    "vol 2"...