When I headed to Ireland I was expecting folk music and green beer.. but that’s probably just good marketing. What I was actually greeted with was the most beautiful natural surroundings that I have ever seen in my life. Sheer cliffs dropping off into the sea, lush green rocky mountains covered in white sheep.
My only regret is that I did not go in the height of summer where I could have seen this country under the constant light of the sun.
During my stay I was able to visit several castles (all of which were actual forts during their time). They were beautiful but also functional and that made me think of why they were created in the first place and reflect on the history of the island.
After visiting this enchanted country I can see where the tales of the wee-folk come from. It’s not hard to picture a leprechaun peeping out from behind a rocky outcropping or a fairy hiding in one of the ancient trees.
The cities were equally as cool. As an American you think of “city” and you think of skyscrapers. Ireland could not be further from that in real life. You see, the buildings are much much older than the ones you find in New York and a “skyscraper” may only be 4 or 5 stories tall. The buildings are packed in close together and the streets are much narrower (in most places) than in a modern city like Washington D.C.
The entire place oozed “old world charm”. I do wish the weather cooperated a bit more while I was there (turn out it rains a lot in Ireland). During my trip I met a lot of really cool locals that all wanted to ask me a bunch of questions about the U.S. which is surprisingly hard to talk about because the United States is so large so it’s very hard to generalize. It seemed that a lot of the younger generations wanted to leave and move to America or to at least visit but the older folk would not to live anywhere else.
I could really see retiring here one day… but that is a LONG WAY off! There are too many places left to see in this big beautiful world! I guess that goes hand in hand with what the young people of Ireland said and the old ones too. It seems a lovely place to retire if you want a slower paced life but while you are young you should just stop by for a visit.
Just remember to bring your green die or tragically your beer will not be green!