Saturday, March 17, 2012

{Happy St. Patrick's Day!} Snapshots of Ireland

  Turn on the Celtic music, bring out the Guinness, & put on something green 'cause it's St. Patty's Day! In honor of this joyous day, we thought it would be fitting to share some snapshots of our recent trip to Ireland!

   On the streets of  Dublin, there are so many beautiful painted doors.  Why the different colors you ask?  The story is that a long time ago, an Irishman came home drunk & crawled into bed with the wrong woman... It seems he had gone into the wrong house because he was inebriated.  As a precautionary measure to prevent incidences like this from happening again, each door was painted a different color.  Love Irish folklore! 

Singing “Cockles and mussels, alive, alive oh," is the magnificent Molly Malone who stands on Dublin's Grafton Street.  She is a famous folklore icon who has her own song & national holiday.  The song is great by the way, you should give it a listen...

   One thing Ireland is known for is its glorious cathedrals.  They are steeped in tradition & truly works of art. 

   No trip to Ireland is complete without touring the Guinness Storehouse & Jameson's Distillery.  Both places offer great tours and provide a free tasting at the end!

 There are many gems around Ireland, which make for perfect sightseeing!  The cemeteries are blanketed with lush green clovers and beautiful Celtic masonry dot the land.  One cemetery is the final resting place of the Lusitania disaster victims.  Another sight worth seeing is the oldest pub in Ireland, the Brazen Head, established 1198.  

  We took a day trip to the port town of Cobh, which was was the last stop for the Titanic before her doomed voyage to New York.  Gaelic is still spoken in many places and can be found on the street signs as well as many important buildings. 

   This is Roscommon Castle a.k.a. a typical Irish park.  The castle has been around since 1269!  Today it serves as a national monument & park perfect for strolls & picnics.  Keep an eye out for the keepers of the castle who reside nearby :)

   If you only see one place in Ireland, make it Blarney Castle!  Nestled in the town of Blarney, this famous landmark needs no explanation.  Atop the castle are picturesque views of the Irish countryside (yes, it really is that green) & the infamous Blarney Stone herself.  We both kissed the stone & now have the gift of gab :)  On the castle grounds there are other Druid ruins, including the Witches Stone.  Legend has it that the Witch of Blarney emerges from the stone at nightfall.  Blarney Castle closes at dusk, so no worries! 

Ireland is a magical place & we can't wait to return one day!
        "May the good saints protect you
      And bless you today
           And may troubles ignore you
         Each step of the way" 

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