To be honest, Kathleen and I did not have Ireland high up on our travel wishlist. We had been debating whether or not Egypt or Turkey would be our travel destination of choice this year. However, upon further review, we decided we wanted a trip that would be relatively easy and easily accomplished within a weeks time. Egypt would require at least a couple weeks and Turkey felt as though it would require a bit more planning then we were willing to put in at the time of booking. So…We ultimately settled on Ireland after a quick brain storm session which focused in on several factors. English is the primary language…Check. Relatively short flight…Check. Flight logistics worked with my air mileage status…Check. Hotel logistics worked with my status…Check. So off to Ireland we went.
I must admit that we did very little planning for our trip. A week prior to departure we did purchase a Rick Steves travel book for Ireland and got a high-level idea of where we wanted to go. Dublin would be our home base and we had several day trips in mind that would enable us to soak in the Irish countryside. We anticipated heavy rain for our trip as it is Ireland after all. Rain coats, umbrellas, etc. We were ready to go! Would you believe it that it didn’t really rain the entire 7 days we were there? Not only that, it was bright and sunny 5 of the 7 days. It’s amazing how lucky we were. Just to put that into perspective. It’s rains about 270 days per year in Ireland and this past year alone they had a rain streak of 80 straight days. Like I said, we were extremely lucky.
Our trip was unique in the sense that the country didn’t grab hold of us immediately. Honestly, we just didn’t love it right away. In fact, Dublin in particular seemed unremarkable at first blush as compared to most other European cities. However, as we immersed ourselves into the Irish culture and learned of their inspirational history, our view completely changed. Unremarkable details suddenly became extraordinary. For such a small country it’s quite amazing if you think of the large artistic influences it’s had on the rest of the world. We wholeheartedly recommend Ireland to anyone considering visiting the country. continue reading »