My fiance and I are both part Irish and we have longed for the opportunity to visit the Emerald Isle. We’ve done a bit of research on it and planned to visit sometime in the near future when we’ve saved enough money to do it right. This would be a once in a lifetime trip. It would be wonderful to explore this land of enchantment and beauty and to reconnect with our ancestral roots. My fiance is especially fond of beer and would love the chance to sample the recipes from the local breweries there, especially the Guinness Storehouse. He would love to raise a pint in a toast to Ireland with the locals there. I’m an avid photographer and this would be an incredible opportunity to capture fantastic images. I would like to visit the Boyne Palace in Meath to see the megalithic ancient passage tombs, graves that date back to ancient times. I understand that these tombs are even older than Stonehenge and the Pyramids of Giza! We’ve heard a lot about Kerry and would love to immerse ourselves in their philosophy, spirit and lifestyle while driving along the Ring of Kerry. We’d like to see the cliffs, lakes, rich flora and fauna, the yellow checkered hills and the beautiful beaches. We are both nature lovers and would like to visit the spectacular Cliffs of Moher and from there I could get shots of the incredible views. We’d travel to the Giant’s Causeway to see the basalt columns and then go to the Aran Islands of Inishmor, Inishmaan and Inisheer. I understand these are mystical places, frozen in time and are famous for their preservation of a rural existence. You can often rent bikes there and see the islands close up. They even have small houses for leprechauns which I’d like to see with my own eyes!
I’m especially intrigued by the Burren, an area with limestone karst plates and some of the most diverse and beautiful floras in Ireland. There are over six hundred different plant species, including over twenty species of orchids. I was surprised to find that orchids could survive in Ireland. I thought they only thrived in hot, tropical environments. I also heard they have something called a carnivorous pine marten, a snake-like slow worm and a horseshoe bat. If I could get a shot of one of them or one of the hundreds of breeding birds or butterfly species, I’d be in photographer’s heaven! We’d have to make a stop at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, but our hearts lean more towards nature and the people than man-made structures. We’d rather visit the Gap of Dunloe, Killarney National Park. Even so, we’d stop at the Blarney Castle and do the tourist thing by kissing the Blarney Stone. The Rock of Cashel and Bunratty Castle would also be on our list, because who doesn’t love castles?
Most of all, we want to get to know the real Ireland: her people. While we’d love to attend some of their jazz festivals or experience the Puck Fair, we’d most likely engage the locals at a pub. A trip to Ireland would be one of the most interesting and enriching trips we could ever take!
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