If you were to do away with the liberal press (US AND Ireland), and take on the thoughts, blogs, posts, from the average person who has visited Ireland, you'd want to visit in the best way!
The beautiful Irish countryside, extremely friendly people, the proximity to the sea, what else could you want? There is always a warm welcome and an openness of the way you are accepted, not as a tourist, but as a friend. The informality, hospitality, friendliness, and helpful tendencies, are all part of the Irish culture. They may make a joke, they may call you a yank, but there is a friendless, a playfulness that shows straightway through.
When my husband I were in Dublin last, we were on our way to rent a car, and for the life of us couldn’t find it. A young mother pushing a pram was coming towards us, and like the bold person I am, I asked her for directions. She not only gave us excellent directions, but walked us more than halfway there, and gave us a hug before she turned around and went the direction she was meant to be going!
The diverse Irish landscape is absolutely intriguing, and not just the western coastline. I’ve spent time from Dublin, to Cork, to Killarney to Limerick. From Limerick to Galway to Westport and Sligo, to Ulster, Belfast, Ballycastle, Meath and Dundalk, it’s all been so beautiful, wind-swept, frozen-in-time beauty. You hear about the horrible weather from the liberal press, but I have never had bad weather on any trip I’ve taken to Ireland, and the warm and cold fronts flowing over Ireland from the Atlantic shape their lives and culture.
I’ve studied and read about Ireland. There is something special about being in a landscape that has been occupied since Mesolithic times, that still has megalithic tombs and evidence of occupation over the centuries. The history of Ireland is rich in history and their rich historical Christian heritage, including Croagh Patrick, Skellig Michael and St Brigid’s Well, among many others.
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Admin Comment by Joe Gannon on March 20, 2013 at 4:19pm
Nice post, Pamela. My wife and I have been visiting Ireland every summer for the last 6 years, so I know exactly what you are talking about regarding the beauty of the county and the hospitality of the Irish people. I must say though that I hadn't been aware that there was a conspiracy in "the liberal press (US AND Ireland)," to make Ireland look bad. I'll be on the look out for that from now on. ;-)
Maith thú, Pamela! Well done! It is what I try to do with my writings, carry the reader into the moment which I am describing in such a way that hey feel the essence of the moment themselves. Ireland's draw is more in the intangibles, the spirit and kindness of her people, the scent of peat and sea salt on the breeze, the lilting song of the birds' call mixed with the murmured bleats of new lambkins and their mothers' deep bleated answers, the feel of ancient stone in walls, fence and ruins, that whisper of ancient voices still striuving to be heard.
I don't think that the media is trying to make Ireland look bad. I think what they are focusing on are the tangibles, tourist spots that "draw" people, places blessed by "St. Rick", the hustle and bustle of the bigger cities and the sort.
My clients always come to me wanting the "Disney" trip to Ireland. I build them an itinerary that, whilst it doesn't ignore the tourist sites, gives them more. I also discourage them from the belief that, thanks to a few media outlets, they can see ALL of Ireland in 8 days. It is up to all of us to tell teh story and let teh voice of Eire speak
Och, I see your meaning, Bit! My hard headed Irish-Viking husband wanted to come for 5 days, no more. Well, he got to see Dublin and Wicklow, so he knows he needs more time!
It's just 10, even 30 years ago you heard nothing on the downfalls of Ireland (really, news about mugging,, murders, and such), but now, every one wants to know every thing! I wish we'd go back to the days where I didn't have to see so much 'news.'
Have a pleasant week-end!
We finally got back to Ireland, last year. we were in Dublin for 2 days at the Shelbourne, and Cong for 4. Ashford Castle was the most wondrous time, and I did go on a hawk walk. Loved it!
We also stayed in the Lodge at Ashford Castle, very nice! And the food! OMG I love lamb, and cook it truly almost every day here!
Very bland, but I'm in my mid 60s, and just want to relax (though we did do an awful lot while there - Guinness, St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin Zoo, Phoenix Park, Cliffs of Moher, Wild Atlantic Way, and so much more!