Since the spooky season has already arrived, this week’s blog will show you the most haunted places in Ireland. Ghosts and other supernatural elements ply their dreadful trade in various chapels, hallways and grounds… Do you dare continue reading?
The rugged cliffs, scenic coastal roads and small villages of Ireland become even prettier when you are able to stay flexible and see everything from your motorcycle. There are long beautiful scenic routes along the coastal lines and they also feature many historic sites and places worth visiting. The Irish countryside is not very populated, but it is indeed full of ancient ruins, deserted roads and prehistoric sites. This makes it easy to flee modern life and relax in the stunning landscapes of the emerald isle.
Ireland has waves for everyone – no matter if you are an experienced surfer in search of the unique wave, you are all into stand up paddle surfing (SUP) or a bloody beginner. The rugged coastline and all different kinds of beaches, coasts and reefs make Ireland a highly popular surfing destination. The surfing season starts in September, with warm weather and swells coming in…. And yes, I admit that water might not be as warm as on Hawaii, honestly it might even a little chilly at times, but that is what wet-suits are for.
With the leafs slowing starting to change from a rich green into beautiful shades of orange, yellow and red autumn is slowly starting to creep around the corner. As it is getting a little colder every day and the days are cotinuously getting shorter, most people would like to cuddle up on a sofa with a nice cup of tea. However, autumn isn’t as dull and dark as you might think :).
Most of us probably know the expression “The Luck of the Irish” – but I personally have never wondered where this term is actually coming from. In fact, there are several potential explanations regarding the origin of the saying. Some suggest the Irish are actually not so lucky after all…
After a series of unannounced inspections, the most recent list of Irish top tourism towns was published by Fáilte Ireland. The list is divided into two parts – one for the best small and one for the best large town. Two overall winners will be selected in November and those two can then proudly name themselves “Ireland’s Top Tourism Towns”.
With autumn just around the corner the festival season continues with some great must-see music festivals, and other autumn related festivals like ploughing or harvest festivals. Within this blog I want to show you some great festivals that take place all throughout Ireland to make your autumn just a bit more colorful, melodic and delicious. Continue reading
May the holes in your net be no larger than the fish in it – Irish Blessing
Just by looking at this Irish blessing, one can get a feeling for just how important fishing has always been to the Irish and what part it played in the Irish history. The first settlers that came to Ireland survived on fishing, hunting and gathering. In the 12th century a first industry evolved around catching, processing and exporting pilchards.
Nowadays, Ireland is recognized and known for being a great angling destination, making it a perfect destination for amateur and professional fishermen.
There are many reasons why Belfast should be on your bucket list for you next weekend getaway. The culture, the arts, the history, the scenery, the shops and much much more. Being Northern Ireland’s largest city and capital there is naturally much to see and explore in lively Belfast and you should not miss your chance to see it for yourself. With this in mind I have listed some of my favourite and tested attractions to help you plan your trip. Enjoy!
Titanic Experience – one of the city’s newest attractions the Titanic Experience opened in April 2011, the 100th anniversary of the demise of this famous ship. Situated in the heart of Belfast’s shipbuilding quarter, it offers an unique insight into the lives of those who built, worked and ultimately perished on the ship. With 9 galleries, interactive displays and a cable car all within this modern and sleek attraction – this is one to not be missed! And if you are there on a Sunday – why not pre-book Afternoon Tea in the Titanic suite which features the Grand Staircase made famous in the Titanic movie!
Ulster Museum – located in the Botanic Gardens, this museum is free to visit. Its collection is rich and varied and offers exhibits on art, natural sciences and history – spanning from Ireland to the South Pacific. It has 3 interactive discovery centers for kids of all ages, a coffee bar and restaurant and a wonderful shop with a great array of books offering further insights on things you have seen. Every visit has revealed something new to me and I love combining a visit here with a visit to the Botanic Gardens too!
Black Taxi Tour – one of the coolest ways in my opinion to see the city! Sit back and tour the city in a famous Black Taxi with the local driver/guide driving you around the city, where you learn the history of this troubled town and see the political murals as your guide shares their history and accounts of the city. Real and authentic, with humour and depth this was for me one of the best things to do in Belfast!
Dome at Victoria Square – Belfast is great city for shopping and really has something to suit all budgets and tastes! One of my favorite spots to hit is Victoria Square –not only for the great selection of shops but the view from its Dome! There is no charge to hop in a lift and ascend to the top of the complex for some of the best views of Belfast! No need to worry about the famous Irish weather as the Dome is covered in! Shopping and sightseeing in one! Brilliant!
Crumlin Road Gaol – dating to 1845, the jail closed its doors in 1996 – so ending a chapter in the political and social history of Belfast City. Take a guided tour and learn the history from when children and women were incarnated to more recent times and the political segregation of loyalist and republican prisoners. This tour offers a real insight into the history and politics of Belfast during the city’s darkest days.
St. George’s Market – this is one of Belfast’s oldest markets. A market has been on the site since 1604, with the present market built between 1890 – 1896 – a true Victorian gem. Vibrant and colourful, there are some 248 stalls selling everything from fish to fruit, antiques to candles. You will certainly not leave empty handed!
Crown Liquor Saloon –I just love this pub! Built in 1826 and refurbished in 1885 in an ornate Victorian décor, it is truly different and unique, just like stepping back in time to the Victorian era as you cross the threshold. With beautifully crafted stained glass and woodwork – thanks to the Italian craftsmen brought over especially for the job – this is the most authentic of Victorian era Gin Palaces and a real experience not to be missed!
City Hall – this is probably one of the city’s most famous landmarks – situated right in the heart of the city. There are free guided tours which take you around this gorgeous building and which explore both the history of the building and the city. There is an excellent coffee shop and exhibition area which further expands the story of this building which was completed in 1906. Make sure you take in a visit at night too as it is brilliantly lit up and looks even more splendid!
As you could see Belfast is a beautiful diverse city with much to see. I hope you find your way to it one day, because it’s really a great place to explore. And if you have a little bit of spare time at hand, you should not forget to visit the Giant’s Causeway and the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge! Both are stunning and can be easily reached from Belfast.
If you want to go as soon as possible now you can find accommodation in Belfast here
Dingle in County Kerry is known for its vibrant character, lively pubs, great restaurants and craft shops and is situated in one of the most beautiful spots in Ireland. This small town is full of charm and character and all that is quintessentially Irish and traditional. People are warm and friendly and only too willing to help and advise and share a few friendly words.
We chatted to Ann Curran proud Kerry woman and tour-guide extraordinaire on her tips and recommendations on a visit to her home town of Dingle! Continue reading