This contest submission is from LJR who creatively embellishes her vision of Ireland with the five senses. Well done, LJR! Sorry you didn’t win the trip but we sure appreciated your ingenuity.
What I find intriguing about Ireland is how it touches all the senses – sight, taste, touch, hear, smell. How can something so small – an island, roughly the size of West Virginia – contain so much life, so much energy, so much soul yet be so small? From the bustling city centers – like Dublin and Belfast – to the rolling farmlands, the secluded fishing villages, the worn structures of it’s ancient beginnings and ominous reminders of it’s glorious past one would find an endless stream of discovery and intrigue.
Sight: When I see this lush and verdant landscape on TV I think to myself, how could it possibly be real? How could a country be that green? How could so much sweeping farmland stand do close to a rugged shoreline? This island nation is truly a gem – a precious stone of deep color and bountiful facets where one could lose themselves in it’s endless beauty.
Taste: I’ve been known to sip on a good Irish Whisky and enjoy a pint of Guinness with my fish and chips. What does a “full Irish breakfast” taste like? What does black pudding taste like? Mostly, I want to know what Guinness tastes like when it comes straight from the tap at the Guinness factory [wink].
Touch: To stand in a field of barley as it bends and blows in the wind, or pants rolled up knee deep in the surf watching fisherman pull in their daily haul, or be shrouded, protected within the rough yet silk-like texture of an authentic Irish wool sweater as the “soft rain” falls. I love that term, soft rain. It makes me think the rain feels like cotton balls or maybe it’s what a cloud would feel like if it fell from the sky.
Hear: The first thing I want to hear is the lovely lilting speech of the Irish people. To listen to all the subtle and not-so-subtle dialects and nuances of each county’s inhabitants and train my oh-so-Midwestern ears to discern and deduce each and every word, to understand all the colloquialisms, hah – that would be “grand”! Then I would go out to a pub (to enjoy my Guinness or whisky with my fish and chips) where I would spend the evening listening to the wondrous, haunting sounds of Irish music. The music of Ireland has such a way of stirring my soul. Whether a fast romping jig or a heart wrenching lament I could listen for hours and hours to the full-tilt beating of the Irish drum, the breathless wail of the pipes, the fanciful whispers of the Irish flute and whistle, the full rich rhythmic sound of the guitar, the plucky meandering of mandolin and the sultry braying of the fiddle. To sit in a pub and listen to an Irish session would be an evening to remember, indeed.
Smell: I imagine what each of these experiences would smell like – the smell of rain on the wind, sheep in the field, the salt of the ocean’s spray, the pungent smell of freshly cooked fish and chips or a freshly poured whisky and the peaty smoke of a friendly fireside. I’ve dreamt about Ireland since for as long as I can remember. What child doesn’t dream of unicorns and leprechauns, rainbows and pots of gold. Well, those children grow up and here I am – still believing in leprechauns and pots of gold. And, still imagining Ireland.
If you’re itching to go to Ireland and can’t wait till our next contest, check out our diverse selection of vacations to Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales. From luxury chauffeur tours to guided bus tours to self-drive tours, there is definitely something for every budget at Authentic Ireland and did you know just 20% books your trip? To get started planning your vacation, reach out to one of our travel specialists either by chat, by phone or by filling out a quote form. Or you can always wait till our next win a trip to Ireland contest!