Why I Love Ireland

Posted by on Dec 14, 2011 in Blog, Featured | 9 comments

Remains of Castles Dot the Land

I have been fortunate to have lived in lots of countries all over the world for various lengths of time. I am an international house sitter. And although I do not consider myself to be a tourist, I feel very qualified to make recommendations to tourists. Why do I recommend Ireland? In many ways Ireland is one of those countries that seems to have it all. For most Americans who travel outside of their own country, Ireland tends to feel like home, I think. First of all, the Irish are very welcoming. I quickly discovered that the Irish enjoy sharing the beauties of their environment with travelers. Many of the Irish people have strong connections with the United States through relatives who live in the United States. To me, there seems to be a bond between the peoples of both countries. But that’s not all! The Irish landscape is second to none.

Our House in Ireland

When I decide to spend time outside of the US, I always seek an area of outstanding natural beauty. Ireland fits that requirement to the tee! Whether passing the time in one of the picture-perfect villages or driving the lonely passes on an Irish peninsula, I am guaranteed a visual feast. Did you know that Irish villages actually compete for tidiest town award of the year? That’s right! There is great pride taken in how a village presents to the public eye. What a delicious treat. I’ve spent most of my time in Ireland in County Kerry. There are three peninsulas that I have had easy access to during my time there. The Ring of Kerry, the Dingle Peninsula, and the Beara Peninsula are all worth seeing. Although I rarely rent a car, as I prefer using public transportation or walking when I am abroad, I have made a rare exception for the peninsulas. There are bus tours that are easily available for these three peninsulas and are not extravagantly priced. Usually these bus tours make stops along the way as well as a planned lunch break at an Irish pub or restaurant. It is nice to be able to leave the driving to someone else and immerse yourself in the natural beauty, unencumbered. However, if you want to get off the beaten track renting a car is a good option.

What I discovered when driving a car were the numerous lonely passes that connect both sides of the peninsulas. These passes are absolutely stunning. Since I am a lover of traveling during off-season, I escaped the crush of the tourist crowds. I am certain that that enhanced my passage on these glorious back roads. Picture yourself alone in some of the most heartbreakingly beautiful landscapes imaginable, wild and lonely, just you and the free ranging sheep, fresh air and the heavens above you.

Killarney National Park

When you return to your hotel or your holiday house, there are plenty of things to do in the evening. It is never difficult to find a social outlet enhanced by music. The Irish unabashedly enjoy their traditional music. Most villages have at least one if not many Irish pubs where, in addition to enjoying live music in the evenings while drinking a Guinness, you can also indulge in a meal, particularly the famous pub grub. There is something very comforting about ordering the roast of the day with cabbage, potatoes, carrots and hearty Irish soda bread. You will have an appetite after spending a good part of your day on the peninsulas. A hearty meal is just what your body needs.

There is so much that I could say about this gorgeous country with its many shades of green and it’s unending rainbows. It is a magical and wholesome environment. If you haven’t been to Ireland, you’ve got to give it a try. Who knows! You might run into me while you’re there. I have returned more than once to this enchanting island and plan to do so again and again and again.

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  1. I have heard a few people talk of the beauty of Ireland but I haven’t been there. It sounds like it might be worth a visit. I loved your National Park photo.
    I love wild and lonely places too and spend a lot of my time in Australia exploring the unspoiled areas.It has been a long time since I visited my family in England so I might just have to make a side trip.
    Thanks for the post.

  2. Yes, Nikki, you would love Ireland. I have spent time in England and Ireland. They both are great places to explore, but Ireland is my favorite.

  3. To be honest, I never found Ireland a nice and interesting place for some reason, but after reading this post I need to admit I was wrong. There are so many interesting spots there so I will do my best to go there maybe next year 🙂

    • Ireland is such a beautiful country. I have to say, it is one of my all-time favorites. I could easily imagine living there permanently.

  4. Ireland is a wonderful place that is without a doubt. As a child it was a regular family holiday spot; now it is somewhere I always look forward to returning to.

    The Ring of Kerry is exceptional and well worth experiencing. Just hope it is a fairly clear day as clouds can spoil a dramatic view.

    • The Guy,
      What a wonderful place to make childhood memories. How often do you return?

      • Hi Teresa,

        I don’t get much chance to visit nowadays although I am hoping that we’ll get a chance later this year.

  5. I agree with you, County Kerry is unbelievably beautiful! I loved Killarney and Kenmare, and I can’t wait to return for a proper tour of the Ring of Kerry next year.
    Violeta Matei recently posted…From Killarney to Kenmare, Are We on a Fairy Path?My Profile

    • Oh, I’m glad to hear about another lover of Ireland. I’ll be in Dublin again in March. For me, it was love at first sight. Thanks for the comment.


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