It’s always been dream of mine to spend time in Ireland, since my early 20’s. My ancestors came from Ireland and many are buried there, traced earlier then when the Spanish Nobleman “Menary” arrived, whose kinswoman married into our Irish family. Some of us went to America and some of us came to Australia but we’ve grown up hearing of the magical stories passed down through the generations. We still have the letters written from 1848 onwards which demonstrated the closeness of family and community as well as spoke of the devastation of famine and plague.
Any trip would include our ancestors’ trail but learning of Ireland’s history first hand, seeing the castles and scenery for itself would be mind blowing. Dublin would be a must, and I’d have to visit St Peter’s cathedral where it’s said the head of Oliver Plunket is in a glass box. As well as St Nicholls and St Catherine’s where many of our ancestors are resting. This would be followed by a trip to Newgrange to see the stone age monument and have some of their famous seafood, then visit some of the oldest pubs on the way to Boyne Valley where I hear the landscape is littered with tombs, monastic ruins as well as a history of bloody battlefields; and to see Trim Castle.
My visit would have to include Killarney and the Ring of Kerry believed to be the jewel in the kingdom of Kerry’s crown and hopefully stay in some castles on the way. I’d enjoy hearing the stories about St Patrick and the early kings of Ireland at the striking Rock of Cashel, a monument that’s just not to be missed.
I’d have to organise a stay in Bunratty for a while and visit places in the West of Ireland including Galway’s Eyre Square, then listen to some of the traditional folk songs that I’ve heard my Irish friends sing around camp fires as well as seeing the breath taking mountain scenery of Connemara. I couldn’t miss Cork, that, friends tell me is a county of colour and contrasts where you can explore the ports, Bays and islets.
The dream’s big because it also includes the magical vista of the Cliffs of Moher, then walking through time at The Burren seeing the distinctive limestone terraces and pavements created by God and Glaciers. Not to mention the beautiful lakes of Killarney and of course Bunratty castle.
I’d have to stay longer than six days to ensure I visited the giant cause way and take the wild coastal route with its little villages and cliffs.
But I can’t forget Belfast where the Titanic was built, the iconic Harland and Wolff cranes to Belfast and Hillsborough castles. Somehow from Belfast I’d visit Donegal the said wild child of Ireland, with its misty mountains, vivid cliffs to bog and heather. While there I’d explore Inishowen trails.
Ireland, a majestic place steeped in mystery, history, beauty and culture, who wouldn’t want to visit there!
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