There are many reasons to fall in love with Ireland – and views like this is only the tip of the iceberg.
If Ireland was looking for a date on the internet, I think it’s profile would go something like this:
I love adventure – the stormier the better. No cliff is to high to jump off of, no ledge too narrow, and the bigger the waves the more I’m stoked. I like it when the wind howls through my hair making me look rough and rugged. However lest you think I’m too masculine, I have a soft side too. I love my mother and see her often, I take care of millions of sheep, I respect the land, and I run a tidy ship. My mother taught me not to be a slob after all. Green is my favorite color. On a typical night I like to go to my corner pub and throw back some Guinness with my friends and maybe even pick up an accordion and play some music. My favorite song? “When Irish Eyes are Smiling” of course.
After I spent a month in the country – I couldn’t help but fall in love with the Emerald Isle. I absolutely had a crush on Ireland as if I were a silly school girl, and I was ready to bring it home and introduce it to my parents. I fantasized about staying in the country, buying a little house, and becoming part of the landscape and culture, meeting a husband, and raising sheep. I could have called the novel – Under the Irish Clouds.
As you’ll see below, Ireland certainly has benefited (and probably broken many hearts) due to it’s good looks. The landscapes are varied and stunning – I let out gasps more than once as I rounded a corner along the Wild Atlantic Way. But even though it was blessed with good looks, it had personality too. In fact, I found myself loving the personality even more then it’s views at times.
The famous Cliffs of Moher
My Top 8 Reasons to Fall in Love with Ireland:
1. They say Fuck all the time – old, young, women, men – you hear it all the time in conversation – but with their accent it sounds more like Feck or Fock. I think they are the only people who use it more than New Yorkers.
2. It’s a country full of late risers. They don’t get up until 8 or 9. Most B&B’s didn’t even start serving breakfast until 8! I got up ‘early’ one day in order to cover more ground. I walked into a gas station at 9:30 to get a coffee and one of the locals who was hanging out having his breakfast and morning paper said “You’re up early, where are you from?”
3. There is an abundance of berry jam in this country – blackberries, raspberries, strawberries – and that makes me very happy becuase I’ve never been a fan of orange marmalade!
4. They love to smoke…their food that is…smoked salmon and mackerel is a breakfast staple!
5. The Irish are storytellers. It reminded me of my grandparents and a simpler time. They loved to talk and visit. They aren’t shy, and you have to learn that a conversation takes time – it’s not done in abbreviations – TYVM!
6. They have a big meaty breakfast – sausage, real bacon, blood sausage, white sausage – all served with 2 eggs, a basket or a half loaf of bread, and a half grilled tomato.
7. Live music is everywhere and there is no cover. I went to a local bar in Donegal with my B&B owner when three older men came in, sat themselves down at a booth, got out instruments, and started playing. Not for money and I’m pretty sure they didn’t even care if anyone listened – they were doing it for themselves. I learned this was a Sunday ritual for these 3 – it had been going on for decades. Music was how they socialized.
8. Every corner, county, and peninsula was different in landscape. Just when I thought that I had seen it all, I was left speechless by the next completely different landscape. There was a surprise around every corner and also a photograph.
My Top 8 Ireland Landscape Photographs to fall in love with:
A smooth rocky beach near Mizen Head in County Cork
This forest scene surprised me when I first traveled into County Galway
The famous Irish bog land in Connemara
Suddenly I driving through fjords along the Wild Atlantic Way!
The limestone rock landscape called the Burren. One of the oddest landscapes I’ve ever seen.
The highest sea cliffs in Ireland – Slieve League in County Donegal
The beautiful flat surfing beach in Eniscrone in County Sligo.
A bumpy landscape in County Donegal
So as you can see – Ireland has it all – a great personality AND great looks. What’s not to love?
Disclosure: Part of my Wild Atlantic Way Road Trip was sponsored by Failte Ireland. However, all of the opinions here are my own.