Travel Journal

Exploring the World...our way

We don't just travel, we explore

 

- Vien & Hermann

COBH,COUNTY CORK, IRELAND

Ireland

…the land of the mystic past. The land of the “Celtic Twilight.” – Conrad Arensberg (1910-1997)

What to eat & drink when in Ireland

Lamb Shank

There is a lot more to Ireland's food scene besides  the corned beef and cabbage that we know of here in the United States. Whether your choice is meat or seafood, traditional or not, you will never walk away hungry. Check the link to find some of the delicious foods we ate while traveling in Ireland. 

Driving the scenic Slea Head Loop in Dingle Peninsula, Ireland's westernmost peninsula. The road is very narrow with some hairy cliff-edge bends, but the stunning scenery is dramatic and breathtaking.

Cities, Towns & Villages

(Southern Ireland)

The earliest evidence of human existence in Ireland is dated at 10,500 BC with the Celts leaving a long-lasting mark on Ireland's rich culture. The Anglo-Norman conquest left a long-term mark on Ireland's history as well. Evidence of these can be found all over the country. 

 

The island of Ireland is separated into two countries, the independent Republic of Ireland to the south, and Northern Ireland which is part of the United Kingdom. The whole island is predominantly rural, but the main cities such as Dublin in the east and Cork in the south are bustling with life. 

Hiking in National Parks

Hiking, or walking, in Ireland is not just about immersing yourself with nature, but also finding ancient and historic sites as well. Check the links to find out about some of the best short hikes we did while traveling in Ireland.

Link on photo:

The Caher

Wicklow Mountains National Park

Burren National Park

Burren National Park

Torc Waterfalls

Killarney National Park

Other Attractions in Ireland

Famine Museum

 Ancient Sites

Ireland is dotted with fascinating ancient sites, from the earliest settlers, the Stone Age Mesolithic tribes who arrived around 8000 BC, to Neolithic peoples and Celts. Later came the arrival of Christianity in the 5th century AD. Many remnants of Ireland's past can be found in coastal areas. There are burial chambers, ceremonial mounds, tombs, standing stones, ring forts, Celtic crosses, settlements and early Christian ruins. These were all once important sites and an integral part of Ireland's history and culture.

Castles

Castles are relics of the past. They evolved from wooden Motte and Bailey-built earthen mounds topped by a wooden tower, to stone fortresses that lasted for centuries. In Ireland, the construction of stone castles started a century after the Norman invasion; previous sites were re-used, which were originally chosen strategically for military purposes. The Gaelic tribes adopted the process of building stone castles. Apparently, there are about over 30,000 castles dotting the island, some in ruins and others remodeled.   

Cathedrals & Churches

Christianity arrived in Ireland in 5th century and was spread throughout the country by early missionaries. It replaced the old pagan traditions and many Catholic religious institutes were formed such as Franciscans, Jesuits, Capuchins and Augustinians, to name a few. However, after the Norman invasion, the Catholic church was outlawed and suppressed for several centuries. Protestantism was introduced. The Normans brought the Gothic style of architecture into Ireland (examples are Christ Church and St. Patrick's Cathedrals in Dublin), but most common is the Romanesque style (examples are Cormac's Chapel on the Rock of Cashel and Clonfert Cathedral in Galway).