what I learned in Ireland

ireland 1

The summer after I graduated from college, I went to Ireland with two girlfriends. We rented a flat in Galway for three months and, from there, traveled all around. It was an excellent and hilarious trip, mostly because because Cara and Marisa were a lot of fun. Whenever St. Paddy’s rolls around, I think of them and the country we traveled together. Here are some things I learned while there:

That it can actually be quite sunny in Ireland – it didn’t rain for our first 10 days there. Lots of pale people (myself included) flocked to the beach. I probably got more of a tan there than I have ever gotten since. The news reported lots of cases of sun poisoning and first degree burns. This photo was taken at Salthill beach in Galway:

Salthill Galway

There’s a preponderance of stones and rocks and they do impressive things with them – this photo was taken on the Aran Islands:

Aran Islands

They let you walk all the way to the edge of cliffs! We wondered: Would they let you do this in America or would there be a fence? (And I wonder now: should I have been that close to the edge? Sorry Mom.) Also taken on the Aran Islands:

Aran Island Cliffs

The road signage is brilliant. These kinds of intersections would surely drive anybody to drink:

signage ireland

Funghi, the Friendly Dolphin, who resides in Dingle Bay was exactly as friendly as promised but I failed to catch a picture of him with my disposable camera (I was probably winding it) when he made an appearance – Anyway, this photo was taken on the boat, while in hot pursuit of him. (Notice that my love of polka dots was well underway even at this young age):

dingle bay

The castles, abbeys, and forts are simply stunning – this was taken at Kylemore Abbey in Connemara. (This is, for me, the iconic photo of the trip – I have kept it framed on my shelf for all these years):

Kylemore Abbey

Understanding the rules of cricket is not exactly a cinch for tourists who are passing through (in other words, not even remotely possible) – taken at Trinity College in Dublin:

cricket dublin

Three things about Guinness – 1. It does actually taste better the closer you get to the source 2. It’s so thick that a match will indeed stand up in the foam 3. One pint of it will fill you up more than 47 milkshakes. Taken at the Guinness Brewery in Dublin:

guinness signs

You can only carry so many souvenirs (and hand-knit sweaters) in your backpack. But I did pick up this little tchotchke in County Cork. The back says: “Triple Spiral from New Grange, Co. Meath, 3000 B.C. (Symbol of three: male, female, child: birth, love, death; the flowing continuity of life.)” I keep this on my office shelf all year, but just brought it out to our living room in honor of March 17:

Triple Spiral

And finally, the coast of Ireland is simply breathtaking:

coast of ireland

What an incredible country and an amazing trip. Have you ever been?

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

305 replies

  1. wow, these pictures are amazing – the original instagram, but better….I can’t believe you were on the edge of that cliff??? I haven’t seen that picture before…it made me dizzy and afraid, but it is an incredible image!!!

  2. pictures are great! they give off a really relaxed, chilled out vibe. and yes, that cliff photo scares me. very brave of you to venture a little off cliffside to get the shot

    • Thanks! It makes me chuckle to think of the disposable camera – it was (and I suppose still is) a pretty cool thing…if you drop it in the a river, for example, there isn’t quite as much lost πŸ™‚

  3. Jocelyn-
    A great piece!!! Truly my favorite place to go, I have incredible memories of my childhood there!!! Thank you for sharing!
    Happy St. Paddy’s Day!
    Fiona

    • Thanks for reading – you are lucky to have such a close connection with the place. And I love that you are carrying on the traditions ie the step dancing with your kids – I am sure the show was great! πŸ™‚

  4. Thank for the lovely virtual and visual trip around my home country from an Irish woman living in London. The cricket pitch looks very much the same and holds some lovely memories of sunny afternoons. Happy St Patricks day! X

  5. We visited Ireland for 8 days, not nearly enough time….I envy your being there for 3 months! It looks like you had lots of fun!! We loved Galway and the area west of there, Connemara, so beautiful..all of it!!

    • It is certainly the longest “trip” I have ever taken and was fun to try to insert ourselves in the community and meet some people πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for reading πŸ™‚ Nice shots of Ireland on your site as well!

  6. Oh, I LOVE this post! I was in Ireland last year and traveled the island as well. I fell in love with the landscape, the culture, and the people. I’ve traveled to some beautiful places, but none of them hold a candle to Ireland (in fact, I loved it so much that I’m going back again this summer!).

    I agreed with absolutely everything you said that you’ve learnt about Ireland…especially about Guinness. It really DOES taste better the closer you get to the source! People laugh at me in disbelief when I say that, but now I have you agreeing with me! πŸ˜€

    Also, the road signs are ridiculous. I was the navigator as we drove around the island, but I figured it all out…after about 4 or 5 days. Haha!

    Great post and Happy St. Patrick’s Day! πŸ™‚

  7. I lived in Ireland for a year but I did not have the opportunity to do a lot of exploring. I do agree with you – it does not rain as much as everyone would would like to think, but it did rain an awful lot!

  8. Great intro. I’ve been many a time but I didn’t know anyone played cricket there. The things one learns in WordPress! Galway City is my favourite.

  9. Certainly have! I shared a tour of the Dingle Peninsula and Ring of Kerry with two lovely ladies in a campervan a few years back. The rain was as soft as they say it is and I managed to stay friends with Beryl (just!), who was doing the driving while I shared navigating/tea making duty with Sunny.
    They left me to my own devices for a few hours in Dublin while they returned the van. Happy days! Would love to see Galway and the north west.
    Thanks for the memories. Happy St P’s!

    • My friend Marisa was in charge of the map, thankfully! She got us around very well. I suppose there are intersections here in the US (especially on big interstates w/ clover leafs etc.) that are just as confusing. πŸ™‚

  10. I’ve never been, but I would love to go not only because there’s Irish in my ancestry, but because of the Nora Roberts novels I’ve read that were set in Ireland. Sorry about the Guiness. I tried it once. It made me gag. It looks like molasses and has the warmth and mouth feel of phlegm. I guess it’s an acquired taste.

      • Practice makes perfect my friend, as with all things. Persevere with the guinness and you will be rewarded… (although you may end up with a bit of a beer gut at the same time!)

  11. When I was dating my wife in 2009, I visited her hometown Armagh, in Co. Armagh in Northern Ireland where St. Patrick has both of his Cathedrals. (One Protestant, and one Catholic). It was beautiful, and yes I did find it to be quite sunny. Good read.

    • I don’t think we visited New Grange…but I will have you know that we were able to get library cards while we were there (because we did have an address albeit temporary) – we were all big readers, and quickly went through the books we brought, so this was wonderful πŸ™‚

    • We were shocked – it was a funny and surprising start to our trip – we wondered if we should have packed all that rain gear – and then, well, we were quite glad that we did.

  12. Lucky to say I lived in Derry, Northern Ireland for half a year. Time was spent as semester abroad but I learned way more outside the class room. Ahhh, those days were brilliant and I miss the green rolling hills dotted with sheep. If I wouldn’t have to earn money I would move there, buy a tiny farm and just live my life away.

  13. These are gorgeous pictures. The one of the cliff made me feel uneasy just looking at the cliff to the ocean. I’ve been to Dublin once when I was in high school and would love to go back. Ireland is truly beautiful.

  14. First of all: Brilliant post. Those street signs made me laugh out loud!

    Second: Your reading list and my reading list are identical. I think we share a sense of humor!

    Congrats on FP, and happy Saint Patrick’s Day! I’ll have a bowl of Lucky Charm’s in your honor…they’re magically delicious, after all. πŸ™‚

    • Thank you! Yes, I find that there are too many “dark” books out there – many are well-written and beautifully rendered but mostly, these days, I just want to laugh, so sue me…:) Thanks for checking out The Home Tome!

  15. Born and raised there now living in the US… thanks for the trip back home.

    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed and Happy St. Paddy’s Day!

    • And I don’t understand American football either – I don’t think understanding “games” is my forte. BTW: I am trying to cut back on coffee, but those pix on your site do entice…

  16. Such a great post and a lovely trip down memory lane. (I think I have that same Kylemore Abbey pic – well, without you & your friends, but with my Mom and Dad!) Thanks & Happy St Patrick’s Day!

  17. Lovely! My mother is from Galway and 12 years ago, she, my sister & myself to the SAME trip, going to the SAME places you visited. Nice reminders. We stayed in a B&B right outside the city centre in Galway. LOVE the daily Irish breakfasts!!! Fried tomato ~ yum! Thanks for sharing.

  18. I’m 20 and I’ve lived here in Dublin my whole life. Most people who live here want to leave for different countries but I really want to travel around the country. You post has made me want to get out of Dublin and explore my country even more. Beautiful post πŸ™‚
    Happy LΓ‘ le Padraig

    • THANK YOU – that means a lot. I have not traveled extensively, but I was there when I was 23 and it left a huge and lasting impression. BTW, I am on the same page with you on high heels!

  19. My first thought when I saw this was “How did she get my photo from Muckross?” I have many of the same photos from my trip in 2005. Why didn’t I think of putting them up for St. Patrick’s day? Congratulations on your second FP!

    • Thanks for the thoughts on Ireland’s economy – when we arrived, we intended to get summer jobs, which everyone thought was sort of funny – but in fact, in Galway, which host a lot of tourists, lots of Americans and European kids had gotten summer jobs – we were just a month late. We ended up volunteering for the Galway Arts Festival and while that didn’t put any money in our pockets it was a very enriching experience…

  20. I loved going to Ireland when I was little. We only live in Wales, so we used to go quite often. Every visit Mum would take me to Dublin and I’d get my hair braided in the street and then we’d go see Molly Malone.

  21. Thanks for this! It’s always interesting to see my home country from another’s point of view, makes me appreciate it more! I especially love the picture of the pitch in Trinity with the School of Medicine in the background and the Pav (our student bar) off to the left! LΓ‘ Fheile PhΓ‘draig Shona Duit and hope ye have great craic with friends and family!

  22. okay, first off…. the pictures are amazing! The one of the cliff scared the crap out of me though. Can’t believe you were that close! Second, love the blog. Very interesting to read. I have roots in Ireland but have never been. Coming from Newfoundland, Canada, we really know how to celebrate St. Paddy’s day here but there’s nothing like being in Ireland. Hoping to go someday. Third, thanks for the pictures. They are fab!

    • Thanks so much for taking a look! I don’t really remember how I took that pic on the cliff – something tells me I was on my stomach or I stretched my arm out to the side…eek. We do sill things when we are young…

  23. I love your post and your pictures. I have been to Ireland ten times and am trying to figure out a way to move there. The first time i was there, my friend, Amy and I decided we need to own a pub, until we found out how much they cost! Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you!!

  24. I really enjoyed your post and your photo’s are amazing… I travel to Ireland a few times a year and when I saw the images it just reminded me of my travels throughout the country. Thanks for the post and refreshing my memories of my travels to such a beautiful country. Happy St. Patrick’s day….

  25. Great pictures of a gorgeous country. Was there and in Scotland for a few weeks 3 years ago. Had an absolute wonderful time, including the pubs. Would go back in a heartbeat. Well done

  26. Done research about Irish economy(in tough situation now,but i hope they will make it).The reason why i have chosen Ireland, is its history and beauty of borders.Great Photos and very interesting story!

  27. fantastic pics, esp. aran island edge of cliffs and the coast of ireland. And yeah…i miss the dolphin pic. Enticing Landscape! Never been to Ireland, but this makes feel that I must.

  28. I rarely say this, but I really enjoyed this blog. I live so close to Ireland, but I’ve never been. However, some of the things you have mentioned here just made me wanna jump on the next plane over there!
    Thank you!

  29. Lovely post. Happy St. Patrick’s Day from Dublin, Ireland. Thanks for helping the world think of us over here. It’s nice to be in the green spotlight on one day a year, at least.
    Best,
    Conor

  30. Feeling very home sick today… Here in South Africa where, surprizingly most people have no idea what St Patrick’s Day is! Happy St Patrick’s Day πŸ™‚

  31. Hi there! I’m a fairy artist living in Co. Wicklow, on the east coast of Ireland, and I loved your post πŸ™‚ Your honesty & humour definitely brought a smile to my face! And it’s really lovely to get an outside perspective on our beautiful & quirky little country. Saint Patrick’s Day is here, we’ve had fine, dry weather for days and now suddenly the heaven’s have opened and it’s lashing rain…oh the joys of the unpredictable Irish weather, hehe! πŸ™‚
    LΓ‘ FΓ©ile PΓ‘draig Shona Duit!
    (that’s Happy St. Patrick’s Day in Irish) πŸ™‚
    Hope you have a lovely day!

  32. What a lovely post, and what glorious memories it has given you – for life.
    My father was from Dublin, and I’ve been back there and done a little exploring (I still have relatives in Ireland).
    There are so many beautiful spots in Counties WIcklow, Cork and all over the West that I could bore on about them for ever (I’ll spare you!). Dublin’s a great city, one of my favourites; built on a human scale and buzzing with life – there’s always something interesting happening, especially in the arts. Your cricket players on the green at TCD reminded me of watching just such matches in the summer of 2005: happy days!
    Thank you, and all the best for Saint Paddy’s.

    • Thank you so much for sharing – we also had a fun time in Dublin! It seemed an intimidating place to me at that age – big and quite bustling – this was long before I lived New York City…would love to go back again!

  33. Lovely photos! I went there a couple of years ago, same island (Inis MΓ³r / Inishmore) and same fort on the cliffs (it’s called DΓΊn Aengus, don’t ask me how to pronounce it, I forgot!) and it wasn’t sunny, it was very windy, made it all even more thrilling to be able to lean on the edge (lying down… it was too scary *and* risky to stand up). Gorgeous places, can’t wait to go back too πŸ™‚

  34. Loved reading through your blog post! How timely, because I actually just returned from Ireland! I posted in four parts, but they can be accessed via the link below in case your curious. We had some similar observations. For example, my friends and I also noticed the brilliance (read: maddening) signage, and I’m pretty sure that the weight I gained on the trip was in direct proportion to the amount of Guinness I drank ;). Cheers and happy St. Patricks Day!
    http://jesuisaimee2.wordpress.com/category/working-my-way-down-the-list/travel-abroad/

  35. I’m an Aussie and cricket is quite popular here. I don’t understand it at all, I suspect that not that many people do! These were great photos, Happy St Patricks Day πŸ™‚

  36. Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Ireland is great, it has a heart and soul, and great, friendly people. I’ll drink a Guinness to your continuing good health!

  37. Looks beautiful there. Always wanted to go to Ireland, maybe one. I β™₯ your photos, they have such a lovely feel about them.

  38. It’s been twelve years since I’ve been there! Many happy memories, and somewhere, I have my photos (pre-digital) buried from that trip. I need to find them. Your pictures are beautiful, and made me long to go back again. Thanks for posting!

  39. Thank you for these great images of Ireland. I want to go there someday myself. Your images and words have strengthened my desire to get there. Thanks again so much!

    Cheers!
    ~Michelle

  40. I’ve been there to visit a teacher friend from county Cork. I want to return to spend a month or two there, seeing all the counties and meeting wonderful people. LOved reading your piece and seeing your photos! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

  41. Bravo for Pressley Freshed!! Yes, been on the River Barrow canal boating with ridiculous friends who love the ridiculous rain…which was good since it rained the entire time!! Brilliant hire car adventure, too…especially Doolin. Going back to find the freckle family I inherited them from.

  42. Beautiful pictures. Ireland is one the most fascinating countries my wife and I have visited. The people of Ireland are absolutely lovely and certainly welcome Americans. We look forward to our next visit. You must visit Trinity College when you go! A real treat. I am convinced that once you visit Ireland, you can never come all the way home again.

  43. These pictures are fantastic. You certainly took great care of scanning them in and preserving the vintage quality of them. How many times have you gone back since? I’ve been to Ireland only once and the countryside still looks the same from your pictures.

  44. I’ve only been once, had a fabulous time too (hospitality and FUN factor second to none!) and can’t wait to return……Thank you for bringing back such happy memories and Many Congrats on being Freshly Pressed! Happy St. Patrick’s day!

  45. Oh, sweet memory! Lovely images … it all makes me want to go back. A rich land, a rich folk – ah and the Guinness! I do remember standing at the edge of the unfenced, unfettered Cliffs of Moher in gale winds, laughing at the reality and knowing that it would NEVER be possible to do the same back at home! Thank you!

  46. Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you, too. Interesting pictures and descriptions of your trip. I have traveled to Ireland. It was 2 generations ago. We traveled by sea to arrive in Dublin, in the morning about 6 am, to a marching band. The countryside is really emerald. The Guinness was the preferred choice
    in the pubs but we also chose Harp Lager.
    The bus trips were fun and interesting.

    Cheers to all celebrating St. Patrick’s Day !
    Anthony from Tokyo, Japan

  47. Absolutely loved this blog because I was there last year!! Hired a car and went round the whole country. What a truly magnificent place. It was the best place I’ve been to – and I’ve been all over the world. The friendliest people, the best looking guys…., the most incredible scenery, and cutest sheep and yes I too stood on the edge many many times! Did come arrive 4kg heavier due to the Guinness, but hey, it’s good for you!

  48. These are so beautiful! I’m insanely jealous that you spent 3 months living in Ireland. I’m planning my first European visit for next year, shooting for a 10-day England & Ireland trip and your pictures have made me even more anxious for it!

    Thanks! Great post!
    -Nikki

  49. I have not been but with the surnames of Lynch, Doherty and Shepherd I’d say it’s high time…all I need now is a magical flying horse or unicorn…I wouldn’t care how I got there as long as I woke up with a Guinness and a Jamesons’ one in each hand…without having spilled a drop…of course! Thanks for this post….you have inflamed my wanderlust…I think that’s a good thing! Happy Saint Patrick’s Day from South Boston, Massachusetts!

  50. I just came back form visiting there. Absolutely amazing and I know I have to go back one day. And you are so right about the Guinness πŸ™‚

  51. I love the way they use there natural resources for the buildings and structures from rocks and stone.
    Great post and photos, it looks like a nice place to visit someday.

  52. I have been nagging my parents to take me to Ireland since I was ten or eleven, and I’m now sixteen and we’re not going this year. Maybe next year, though. I live in hope.

  53. Hi Ann,
    A few thoughts:

    The pictures are indeed great and last time I was in Ireland (yes, I was born there) I could still hang off the edge of the Cliffs of Moher, well, put my head over the edge and look down.

    I also agree Guinness fills you up. It is not a drink it is a MEAL!

    I took the hike up Croagh Patrick barefoot to follow the tradition and ended up helping a girl I met on route all the way down after she twisted her ankle.

    Rain in Ireland is the sweetest thing!

    Happy Patrick’s Day to all,

    David

    • Haven’t been to Montauk yet – but I am not far from there and intend to go – I will not be going anywhere near the edge – that was the stupidity of a kid! Thanks for stopping by!

  54. Woah! What did I miss?! Did you really have hundreds of comments/likes on one post?! πŸ™‚

    Must’ve been freshly pressed or something, whatever it was – CONGRATS and hopefully you didn’t lose any sleep responding to comments. πŸ™‚

    I was just popping in to say that your cliff photo made my stumach turn just looking at it, thereby confirming a serious fear of heights. Looks like you had quite the time in Ireland – thanks for sharing it with us! πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Suzanne – yup, a little freshly pressed will certainly brighten anyone’s day πŸ™‚ That photo makes me a little nervous – probably shouldn’t have been that close to the edge! Hope you had a great trip to TX and DC πŸ™‚

  55. I love, love, love this post!! One of the places on my bucket list is Ireland, and I’m preparing to take that trip in about a year. Looking at these photos gets me excited for the trip to come!! Thank you for sharing!!

  56. I have never been, but I want to go. There are only four places I want to visit outside my U. S. homeland. I want very much to visit England, Ireland, Scotland, and Israel. Doesn’t look to hopeful for any of them at this point, but I can dream. Love your photos — especially the cliffs!

  57. Happy St. Patrick’s Day! So many of those sites look familiar. I went to Ireland and Galway not long after college. I think I saw that castle and my brave friend walked the cliffs while I worried how I explained to her mother why I let her daughter fall off a cliff. Those cliffs are windy, too! I stayed away from the edge and actually clung to the ground. I want to go back this summer!

  58. I found out this week that I’m almost half Irish, although I’ve never been – feel like I should now πŸ˜‰ Great pics! πŸ™‚

  59. I have been to Ireland. Unfortuately not as long as you spent traveling. I went in July of 2009 after I graduated college. I had a friend who spent her 3 month intership in Dublin/Malahide. Her twin sister and I went to visit her for a week. With the little time that was spent there, we did as much as possible. We figured, we could sleep when we got home. I have been dying to go back ever since.

  60. Having been to Ireland three times (and yearning to go again!), I identified with much of what you wrote! I can recall saying that if America had the Cliffs of Moher, they would have ugly fences all along the edges with glaring warning signs. I appreciated the Irish government leaving that alone and assuming people have good sense. I also blogged about Ireland today–how the last time I was there I did what I called a “St. Patrick Pilgrimage” through which I visited the famous spots he is associated with. It was a very spiritual journey. Loved your blog post!

  61. What beautiful photographs! I went backpacking in Europe last summer, starting in Ireland, and looooved Connemara and Galway. I’m writing about it on my blog at the moment, too! Perfect holiday for it πŸ™‚

  62. Interesting pics of amazing scenes even though were taken with disposal camera! Happy St.Patrick day to you. Warm regard.

  63. Happy belated St Patrick’s day!
    And thank you for sharing your photos and memories, brought back memories of my visits to Ireland. Such an amazing country! Love it and I am sure I go back some day. Funny and good to see so many familar places!

  64. I have never been but would love to go. Your pictures are a butte and they show a lovely country waiting to be visited yet again. Nice way to pay homage on Patty’s Day.

  65. Thanks so much for the great article and lovely pictures of Ireland…my family and I have gone to Ireland twice, for 3 weeks each time, and after about 1 month of being home, I’m thinking about saving and planning for the next one. There is so much to love about Ireland, the scenery, the people, the music!

  66. After college, we ended our 10-week back-packing tour of Europe in Ireland. Loved it! In fact, my husband and I are planning a trip to Ireland with his parents this year. (They have never been.) Your post is giving me ideas for “must hit” spots! Thanks. Cheers~

  67. So much stone and rain. No wonder the Irish are always drunk and angry. πŸ˜›

    It is in recollection that we strengthen our sense of who we are.

    I’d love to visit. I hear they have quite the booming film industry, so I might just go there for a while.

  68. If I had a ‘bucket list’, visiting New Grange would be on it. Thanks for sharing your photos, it’s refreshing to see a real view from a real person instead of a ‘travelog’ with ulterior motives.

  69. Your pictures are beautiful. I love to watch specials on television about Ireland. I studied abroad in England, and loved it. Your pictures of the coast are so pretty. You’re right about the rain. It is overrated all the way around.

  70. Wow, what an amazing experience! I just graduated from college last May and have been dying to travel. Do you have any advice? I find myself thinking that it’s impossible for a girl of 23 with very little income to just pack up and go.

  71. The day you posted this is the same day I found out I’ve been accepted to study abroad in NUI Maynooth! My friend sent it to me because she saw it on the front page.
    So no, I haven’t been. But I will be there for an entire semester next fall! πŸ˜€

  72. Great post, and great photos! Reading this made me long for a visit to Ireland again, it’s been to long since last time I went shopping in Dublin and relaxing in Temple Bar District…. πŸ™‚ Thanks!

  73. I spent only 10 wonderful days in Ireland but they live forever in my memory. My dream has always been to return and rent a cottage to use as a base from which to travel. Thanks for this blog entry. Brings back memories!

  74. Great post! I, too, dug through my photo files from Ireland for yesterday’s post… Hard to pick just a few! I thought everything in Ireland was photo-worthy!

    I love that Newgrange triple spiral… I had it tattooed on my hip, in fact!

  75. I’ve never been able to afford a trip to any foreign country except Mexico (I walked from El Paso to Juarez in 1987). But I’ve always wanted to visit Ireland–it’s my ancestral home, on my father’s side.
    These pictures are beautiful! Thank you for sharing them, along wwith your experience in Ireland, with us!

  76. Love it!! You’ll have to come back to Ireland to see what’s changed! Loved seeing my college – Trinity – the student bar is on that cricket pitch now!! :))

  77. Nice photos of your trip. Ireland is on my bucket list and after viewing your photos (and reading about the Guinness), the priority of that trip has been ranked higher.

    Congrats on Freshly Pressed!

  78. I love your post! I am going to work abroad in Cork, Ireland this summer. Has anyone ever been there? I would love to hear what it’s like and would appreciate any recommendations of places to visit! πŸ™‚

    • Cork is a beautiful part of the country, and a gorgeous city. Definitely visit Blarney Castle, and take a trip to the Ring of Kerry. Listen for the Shandon bells in Cork city on the hour every hour, and a horse and carriage ride in Killarney is a must πŸ˜‰

  79. Your photo looks like the Cliffs of Moher.

    I went alone in 1988 after my first marriage ended and have iconic memories of it.That trip reminded me of how much more myself I was when I was alone. I’ll go back with my grown daughter in the next few years.

    Your love of the place really comes through here. Thanks!

  80. I loved this post. I was in Ireland two years ago and it truly is a lovely place. Living and traveling in Ireland for a few months after graduation sounds like a great idea. I’m graduating from college in May and am hoping to get some traveling in again.

  81. Love it! You did such a good job with descriptions and pictures! My daughter has been wanting to go after she graduates. Makes me want to send her so she can see some of the beautiful things you’ve seen and experienced.

  82. i’ve been to northern ireland only – i’m australian and my grandparents were from coleraine so i got to see their home town πŸ™‚ beautiful place i can’t wait to go back to explore all of ireland πŸ™‚

  83. Because there was much there beyond any words I have. Something in the heart or spirit I had forgotten perhaps, or maybe misplaced. Yeah it all sounds very WGBH; but there was a genuineness in so much of the music we saw performed that reminded me of, or somehow I remembered. I remembered how much I like Rashaan Roland Kirk. Maybe it is the compassion in his music that matches the passion for it there, or maybe just a conversation we had in the van as we drove. I don’t know. But that combination of raw beauty, rage and heartbreak when he plays three saxophones at once; in on breath playing “The Inflated Tear” and shouting “Help him! Help him!” at the end, it kills me…But I digress.
    Ireland is beautiful.

  84. Music is really important to people there. People listen. We walked into the session at McGrory’s and there were people, people of all ages sitting around playing music. It was kind of shocking.
    They hate the song “The Galway Girl” in Galway and in Wexford “Fisherman’s Blues” doesn’t have much of a following.
    Gremlin is a banjo brand name there. (How appropriate is that?)
    Actually Joe Henry, who is about 65 years old lent us his Gremlin; told us hilarious bad jokes and played harmonica beautifully on this song he made his daughter Lorna sing (It was the Rattling Bog I think).

  85. Thank you for sharing your wonderful photos and amazing information/descriptions about Ireland. One of my dreams is to travel to Ireland (along with all of Europe and as many places throughout the world as I can go). There is unsurpassed beauty, History and culture in Ireland-it truly is a remarkable place. Your pictures and words capture the greatness of Ireland perfectly-makes me want to visit even more! πŸ™‚

  86. I’m from Northern Ireland but living in London – am taking a whole bunch of friends home at Easter to show them the wonders of our wee country, will have to use your post to whet the appetite and get them excited about what they might see πŸ˜‰
    Love the soft exposure on your pictures. Thanks for posting.
    PS My granda is from Dingle in County Kerry which is why I was named Kerry

  87. My husband and I spent a week in Ireland in a rented home and spent a week living like locals for our honeymoon. We stayed in Kenmare and it was hands down one of the best experiences of my life (for lots of reasons.) At least once a week we talk about it ( and it has been 4 years) and we fully intend to retire there, at least part time. Thank you for sharing your memories.

  88. havent been there ever. but reading the post makes me somewhat familiar to the place. was surprised to read abt the sunny days and also the numerous road signs which can also induce dizziness in me i think. great post!

  89. I have just moved to the UK. Ireland has been on my list for years, so I am looking forward to seeing this beautiful place. Thanks for sharing your photos. Way better than the Irish Spring adverts πŸ˜‰

  90. You have some lovely shots of Ireland here with some great writing. I live in Galway currently and its nice to see some shots from the past, though little has obviously changed from the shots that you’ve posted. Take a look at my daily photo blog from Galway at http://www.feargalnorton.com and maybe you’ll recognise some sights. Cheers.

  91. Wow! Ireland was in my list of places to visit until recently when I have change my mind and removed it from my list. Now you are making me think about it again. Thanks for sharing some brilliant picture but I would also like to say that most of your picture are lacking brightness for some reason.

    If I ever go to Ireland I will definitely come here again and let you know. Thanks for the inspiration.

  92. So many wonderful things I’ve never even seen, despite being Irish! This post made me a little nostalgic, as I haven’t properly been home in months. I did my Undergrad at Trinity College, and those same men playing cricket are probably still there to this day. ❀ Ireland.

  93. Nice pictures ! Iv’e never been to Ireland, but after reading this post I’m surely going to put Ireland in my list of the next countries I want to visit !
    Thanks for sharing your beatiful experience !

  94. Great post! My husband and I went there a few years back for our anniversary. Loved it. Flew into Galway, hung out there for a few days and went to Connemara (including Kylemore Abbey of course), then drove down and spent time in the Dingle Peninsula – AWESOME. (En route checked out the Burren and Cliffs of Moher). Then on to Kinsale and Kilkenny for a few days, and flew out of Dublin.

    Loved all the stone structures in Ireland, the hiking, the trad music… and you’re absolutely right… Guinness IS better closer to the source!!

  95. Beautiful photos! I spent a semester studying abroad in Galway–loved every minute of it! I, too, was surprised at how sunny it actually was in Ireland. Have you been back to visit since your initial trip?

  96. loved your post about Ireland. I lived there for 6 months between Oct 2001 and March 2002 and absolutely loved it. Went back for another few months in April 2002 till July 2002. What an amazing country. I too visited Connamara and the Aran Islands, visited the Cliffs of Moher where I defied gravity and hung over the edge (heehee), kissed the Blarney Stone and walked for miles along numerous rivers and clambered through a multitude of castles and monasteries. We travelled extensively from east to west, south to north and back again….amazing country, wonderful people. The only thing I can disagree with….Guiness; can’t stand the smell or the taste…urgh! The most marvellous and amazing country and truly the emerald isle. I have been back 8 times since…and now you’ve made me want to go back again!! πŸ™‚ Thanks!!

  97. I love your photos of Ireland! I’ve been twice, once on business near Shannon and more recently I attended the wedding of a former au pair and brought my whole family with me. We started in Dublin, then up to Belfast, around the Anterim coast, to Derry, then Galway, then Lusty Beg for the wedding. I would love to have a little flat in Dublin and live in Ireland for part of the year.

  98. A THOUSAND THANK YOUs to everyone for your thoughtful comments and kind words! I loved hearing everyone else’s experiences in Ireland. The response to this piece from around the world has been absolutely thrilling…in fact, I did have an amazing St. Paddy’s, mostly because of all the support coming from YOU. Much appreciated. Truly.

  99. I’ve been to Ireland twice..The first time I went for the day to Dublin..what I remember most about that trip is sitting on a marble like seat in the city centre, eating my Gran’s gingerbread.:-)

    The second time was when I did a cycle tour trip in Northern Ireland from Larne to Londonderry and back.(in two weeks, by bike) It was an amazing trip.

    πŸ™‚

    Great pictures.

  100. I have been as a child though my sole memory is of Blarney Castle and kissing the Blarney Stone. We spent that summer over thirty years ago travelling by car and sleeping in a tent across much of Western Europe.

    I had an opportunity to go back to Europe about ten years ago, but only London and a couple other places in England.

    I’d love to go back again to Ireland, but that’s probably not on the near horizon.

  101. Great post and very nice pics. My husband and went on a ‘world tour’ of Ireland when he was working for a local radio station here in Phx. We had such an amazing time, and met so many wonderful people. We have not traveled much and talked about seeing other places and countried before we re-visited a place we’ve been already, but Ireland is an exception. We would re-visit it in a heartbeat! I’ve never seen such beauty. The Cliffs of Moher … speechless!

  102. I have never been to Ireland, but I’ve seen lots of pictures of this wonderful country and someday I would like to visit its cities and villages. I’m Spanish and the nearest I’ve been to Ireland is England. I stayed in london for three weeks and visited also Oxford,Windsor and Eton. Actually, you can read about my experience in Windsor if you want to =) Nice post. Regards from the Sunny Spain.

  103. I have a couple questions about Guinness in Ireland. My American relatives visited Ireland last year and said two things about beer: 1) It’s very expensive, at least in pubs; and 2) it has low alcohol content.

    True?

  104. Always wanted to do Ireland – one of the places that is highest on my list but have not yet had the opportunity to make it so.
    Thanks very much for sharing, some of these things I knew, others are news and its always good to learn something new everyday! πŸ™‚
    Cheers.

  105. As for cliff edges in Australia, they don’t have fences (do you really have them in America?) but I’m usually too afraid to go so far to the edge. Others are more daring.

    Nice picture of the view from the edge. Also, nice picture of you in the shorts. You look like you’re dressed for the 80s, to me. But, how would I know? I was only born on the tail end of the decade.

    And finally, as for the view, it certainly is, both in the first and last photo of the blog post. No, I haven’t been there, although I have been to Hawaii, and I got some great photos from the air as we came to land.

    Beautiful island.

  106. Not only have I been, but I am lucky enough to live here. I am Irish born and bred, and I love my country. I think we are the luckiest race in the world, to live in such a friendly, pretty, and yes confused country…. LOVE the roadsigns photo, what you didn’t mention is that sometimes after one too many Guinness, the local lads might have switched a few of those signs around, to confuse the tourists πŸ™‚

  107. That’s awesome. I’ve been trying to get my parents to take a family trip to Ireland because we’re part Irish. My grandparents went and loved it. I think it is one of the most beautiful countries in the world and the grass is so green and the coast is enchanting! How I long to visit Ireland<3

  108. My daughter did the same thing the summer before she graduated. She and two friends lived in Galway also. It was great because it gave me an excuse to visit Ireland. I probably would have never gotten my husband out of the States if it wasn’t for our daughter. The country is beautiful and your pictures brought back great memories. Thanks for sharing.

  109. My Aunt, a wonderful Artist and woman -rented a cottage near Waterford for a month and painted her heart out! Our family has roots in County Cork. Sadly, I’ve not been there but its on my bucket list! thanks for sharing! Best, Donna

  110. After great trepidation and against the wishes of my family, I travelled solo to Ireland (Belfast and Dublin) for five days in total. Oh, how I regret that I was not there much, much longer. After travelling through Europe, I was starved of humour and just talking with strangers. The Irish are one of the most friendly and humorous of people and their wonderful accent is music to the ears. The country itself is stunning and I would go back again. Loved it! Good luck and thanks for your story and amazing photos.

  111. Never been, but traveled there through your photos.

    The difference between seeing photos of a place when researching it online and reading a blog with personal photos is that…, you feel the place through the experience of a real individual. Somehow, if only for a moment, their photos and stories transport you there and you even think to yourself “i can’t wait to go back”. Because momentarily, you were there.

    Thanks for the trip!

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