The People of Ireland…

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I found the people of Ireland to be charming, though initially a bit reticent and more than a little suspicious of Americans. One of the high points of my visit was a half-hour chat I had with our bus driver during the ride from Wicklow town to the airport in Dublin. We talked of horses, his desire to visit Texas and Kentucky, Irish independence, American history (he knew more about that than most Americans do), the EU, and the value of the euro. He was extremely knowledgeable and a delight to converse with. (I have been kicking myself ever since for not snapping a pic before leaving him!) And then there was Anne…the owner of the B&B in Wicklow where we stayed. Shocked by the size of our suitcases, she had a mild panic attack upon our arrival. She recovered fairly quickly when it became apparent that we intended to treat her home with the same care and respect we would exercise in our own home. (How people travel for two full weeks through three different countries, participating in every type of activity imaginable…and pack everything in a rucksack is beyond me. But, I digress…) There is something special about staying in a personal residence—particularly when welcomed in by someone to whom you are a perfect stranger! We (my niece and I) shared a cozy bed and bath on the upper floor overlooking a beautiful garden that was lovingly tended by Anne herself. It afforded every possible comfort and was the perfect home-away-from-home during the week we spent there. Our hostess graciously offered to do our laundry and was quite persistent about it, so we indulged her once…and greatly appreciated her efforts!

There is much more reminiscing I could do about our visit to Ireland, but I will save that for a later post. Suffice it to say, the time we spent on the Emerald Isle was memorable in so many ways and I truly long to return sooner than later…

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When I think of Ireland…

 

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On this rainy April day I find my thoughts turning to Ireland, and a number of adjectives immediately spring to mind…picturesque, bold, verdant, lush, untamed, timeless. Did I mention green?? Its incredibly varied landscape was both unexpected and spectacular! Ireland is truly one of the most beautiful and fascinating countries I have ever visited. While much of Western society seems to have melded into a uniformity of sorts, the Irish have managed to retain their own independent culture and unique appeal—not to mention identity and superstitions. (Truly, I half expected to see leprechauns lurking among the Celtic crosses and Druids gliding through the monastic ruins!) Below are but a few of the thousands of photos I took during my seven day visit. Everywhere you look in Ireland there is another gorgeous landscape to amaze the senses!