Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ireland

I spent the vast majority of my childhood living in Ireland. The memories I have of those times are very fond to me. When I indulge my heritage and enjoy a Guinness I cannot help remember all the Saturday trips to the market. We would walk passed the Guinness factory on our way downtown, the doors stood out not because of size but for the gold letters emblazoned on them. Drinking however also invokes memories of enjoying a Soccer match, or a Rugby game with my friends. My parents enjoyed taking trips, thus every three months we would all board a train and visit a new location.
The trips we took exposed me to just about every corner of the country. We lived in Dublin which is on the eastern part of the country. The weather was generally overcast and made the surroundings seem dull and gray, which is why our trips to Kerry were my favorite. Summer in Kerry is not unlike spring in other subtropical locations. The warmer climate made swimming in the beautiful clear lakes of Kerry a very enjoyable experience. The weather also made it possible to grow strawberries in Kerry, unlike the rest of the country. We would always leave with a case of fresh strawberries to enjoy when we got home.
Another of the places we visited was County Clare. It seemed as if every other weekend there was another festival in town. All of which were open air, thus the smell of delicious meals permeated for what seemed like miles. The other big attraction in Clare was the Cliffs of Moher. The views from atop these cliffs are nothing short of astounding. Watching the sunset with a cool sea breeze on my face is the best memory I have.
One place we visited only once during my time growing up was Blarney Castle in County Cork. My parents realized it had become overrun with tourists and decided it felt over exposed. The castle was a huge draw though because of the Blarney Stone. Legend has it that if you kiss the stone you inherit the "Gift of the Gab", which is the ability to eloquently make a point and convince people to your opinion. It seemed to me however, that they trumped up the experience by selecting a stone that required you to lie on your back and dangle over the edge, thus putting you in quite the precarious position.
In my short life I have been lucky enough to visit numerous places. Ireland though holds a very special place in my heart. The mix of old and new architecture makes for a wonderful contrast. The wide open fields littered with ruins of stone buildings are an eerily beautiful sight to behold. It is no wonder why every time I have enough money and free time for a vacation I choose to return home.

12 comments:

  1. it sounds like a rather lovely place to live.

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  2. I'm curious as to what the Guiness factory smelled like..

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  3. Ireland looks like a really beautiful country. My mother has been there several times and really loves it. Looking at the pictures i understand her!

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  4. I've never been to ireland, but always wanted to go. I've visited england and scottland, but just never made it over to the other island for some reason!

    Enjoyed this post :)

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  5. The distinctive taste of Guinness comes from the use of raw meat in the brewing vats. The closer you are to the brewery the better your pint of Guinness will taste also.

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  6. My family originated from Ireland. I need to go eventually...

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  7. Great post man. Keep in touch... Look forward to more.

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