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Travel Expert’s Guide to Ireland

Ireland sometimes gets an image of being all shamrocks, leprechauns and Guinness. But the Emerald isle is much MUCH more than that, and it boasts a rich heritage, culture and cuisine. To illustrate our point this Travel Expert edition will explore Ireland. We will explore Dubh Linn, better known ad Dublin, the capital and all the iconic Irish vacation spots and historic sites. To visit Ireland, you will need Passport and no Visa, speak some basic Gaelic, Euro and milk honey flower for the fey. (otherwise they will ruin your trip.) Ireland is Gaelic country and that means reverence for Gaelic culture and lore. Best time to visit is April-May and Sept to October, November is too rainy and the trip will be very humid.

Ireland Bucket list.

  • Ride Ireland’s only cable car on Dorsey Island,
  • Stand on the edge of the cliff of Moher in Co. Clare
  • Explore the Killarney National Park in Co. Kerry
  • Check out the Guinness factory in Dublin.
  • Test your bravery by touring Leap Sastle in co. Offary.
  • Gaelic Rivers worth checking out.
River Suir – the river Suir flows from the slopes of Devil’s Bit Mountain in Tipperary. St Patrick is said to have banished evil from a cave on the mountain. The Creature was so angry, it took a bite out of the top of the mountain where a large notch can be seen today. You will note devil horns on top of the mountain. Get ready to hear this legend repeatedly. River Bann – Magiligan Strand is a long sandy beach at the mouth of the Dann. Just off the strand lies Tonn’s Bank, a long sandbank. Legend has it that the Storm god is buried in Tonn’s Bank. It is said that when storms blow up the coast, his spirit walks free. A local saying goes “Manahan is angry today”. Be sure to use it when you hear roaring thunder for a good laugh River Nore – The Nore Valery is sometime called the Valley of Death. Dane Alice Kyteler of Kailkenny was a noblewoman who married four times, each of her husband died early when they were near the River Nore. Shannon River – In ancient times, the river was only a well known as Connla’s Well. The Sea-god’s Granddaughter is said to come to visit every so often.

Must See Castles of Ireland.

Ireland has a vast array of castles, some of which date back to the 11th century. Here are a few that you should definitely check out.  There are over 30,000 Irish Castles and castle ruins in Ireland. The first and largest is the Anglo-Norman Castle known as Trim Castle. Cahir Castle in country Tipperary was regarded as the safest castle in Ireland – it was built by the Butler family in 1375 and held out for six hundred years. Bun Ratty Castle and Blarney Castle are the most visited tourist attraction in Ireland outside Dublin. This castle is famous for its medieval banquets, held twice nightly all year round, comedy colleens and poetry seanchairs.  While you’re at the Blarney Castle don’t forget to give a good old kiss to the Blarney Stone. Kissing the Blarney Stone grants the gift of the gab and eloquence. Glin Castle in country Limerick which dates to the 18th century is said to be home to a friendly ghost nicknamed Gerald. The oldest inhabited castle in Ireland was Kilbrittain castle, country cork build by the O’Mahony clan circa 1035 Parkess Castle is among the most impressive castle restoration projects in Ireland. It has been carefully restored to include window glazing and mortar and tenon Irish oak roof using techniques and craftsmanship of the 17 centuries.

Things to try out in Ireland

Ceoil Agus Craic. Enjoying life is something the Irish like to do. Whether it’s having a drink in the local pub while listening to traditional music with friends or gossiping over a freshly brewed pot of tea, Ireland is a nation full of wit and humor.

Essential Gaelic

  • Hello - DiaDhuit
  • Thank you – Go Raith Maith Agat
  • Good Bye – Slan leat
  • How are you – Conas Ta Tu?
  • How much is this? – Ce Mhead ata se?

Before you visit

Read Ulysses 1922, Watch the Wind that shakes the Barley (2006), Listen to Sunday Bloody Sunday (1983), and read a book on Fey and Gaelic lore, then you will have some basic knowledge of Gaelic and Irish culture and you won’t be just another tourist. Be ready to go trekking in Ireland. Pack you Eagle Creek or High Sierra hiking backpack with all the essentials and get ready to climb amazing cliffs, and enjoy some of the most pristine nature sites in the world.

Cultural Shock and warnings.

Tipping rules in Ireland
  • 10% for wait staff,
  • Bartender require no tip
  • Taxi driver require no tip
  • Tour guide require 10% tip
Pack rain gear, no matter when you visit Table Manners: The small plate is for boiled potato peeling as you remove them. Keep your knife in your right hand; Fork in your left, don’t switch. When finished, lay your knife & fork across right side of your plate, with the blade facing the plate’s center. Greet others with a firm handshake and direct eye contact, do otherwise and you will appear disrespectful. The republic of Ireland is its own country. Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom. Saying otherwise will get you into a fight with anyone who lives there. DON’T just DON’T! There are no words for yes or No in Gaelic. Keep that in mind when speaking with the locals. A reversed peace sign is considered an insult to catholic religion, no peace signs on your shirts. Celtic Symbols are still in use today in jewelry and as tattoos designs and decoration on clothing or mugs.  If you see the Cup Ring (which looks like a Labyrinth), it means you’re in Fey Territory. Fey habitats are a common sight in Ireland and must be respected as such. Keep in mind that in Gaelic Culture a Swastika is a symbol of good luck so if you see one, it is not a Nazi symbol. So on this St. Patrick’s Day of green, what better than to start booking a trip to where it all began and treat yourself to your very own luck of the Irish.

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