Read More about Ireland on GoNOMAD
The first thing you notice about the West of Ireland is the predominance of stone in the landscape. There are no trees to speak of, and even the outbuildings are built of stone, yet the countryside is lush and green.
From the Stone Age tombs on the Burren, to the Iron Age hill forts of Inis Mor, to the battered castles and monasteries of the Middle Ages, to the ubiquitous stone walls enclosing tiny patches of land, these stones tell the story of Ireland. And a grand, uplifting story it is, though surely not a cheery one.
But it has a happy ending, or at least as happy as one could hope for in an imperfect world. Ireland is free and at peace, jobs are plentiful, the crime rate is low, everyone has health care and the government is committed to protecting the environment. To many Americans that starts to sound like the Land of Oz... Read more
Belfast, Northern Ireland, has put down the guns and opened its arms to the world. The agreement, brokered with the help of the US back in 1997, paved the way for an intensive construction and improvement program.
Besides these fierce paintings depicting hunger strikers on Falls Road, or Thomas Cromwell in Shankill (there are more than 700 murals across these neighborhoods), the city has reduced security and welcomed a state of ‘normalcy’ that has brought prosperity and even tourists. We had a craic (a rockin’ good time!) during our visit... Read more
Tucked away in the little town of Loughmore, Ireland is the perfect retreat for a person itching for a truly Irish experience. Theresa Bourke, music teacher and performer, owns and operates the Fiddler’s Retreat, where she says you will experience, “great food for the body and great music for the soul.”
Islands and boats have a strong connection, and while Ireland isn’t exactly a yachties’ paradise, self-cruising Ireland in a motored cruiser links you to a lifestyle and culture unchanged for centuries.
Ireland’s Shannon River has long been a passage through the very heart of the country, and there are 300 miles of other rivers and lakes to explore, as well as countless villages, castles, and hiking paths. And even in the chill of a late winter, the Irish warmth and whiskey can make an ancient mariner out of even the most land-locked traveler. Read more
The water from the canal lapped at the Swilly Star (our boat) and the George Mitchell Peace Bridge loomed up ahead. Heading up the Erne and Shannon Canal wasn't even possible until 1994. The irony is just how peaceful it is.
The canal was the first joint project undertaken by the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. After a self-skipper cruise on the Shannon River a little while ago, (see above story) the chance to join John Daly of the Irish Tourism Board on uncharted water was overpowering so I went there Read more
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