County Clare is real Ireland and is a unique Irish gift in itself. From surfing to hill walks and luxurious hotels County Clare has it all even down to the true Irish experience of the mighty craic. Clare isn’t particularly big but has some of Ireland most attractive landscapes and light hearted people. If you are looking to getaway and unwind make sure you get to County Calre.
Lahinch is a seaside holiday town on the west coast. It is considered Irelands surfing capital and has a large number of tours and people stopping off in this famous sea side town regularly throughout the summer. Ireland’s first big wave was found and surfed in Clare and in 2007 they made a movie about it called storm riders
Cliffs of Moher
The Cliffs of Moher are extremely breath taking and tower over the sea at a staggering 400 foot and is a sheer drop. Thousands of people come to the cliffs yearly to gaze over the edge down to the sea below. Recently the area was rebuilt by the tourism board of Ireland and they did a fantastic job of transforming the area into a conservation project with a tourist centre like no other that blends in like it is part of the cliff.
The Burren is a karst region in County Clare and is a must see if you ever make it to the county. This is really Clare’s most amazing area, thousands of acres of limestone with barely any vegetation. It sounds pretty bleak but when you see it, it will astound you. The Burren is unique only to County Clare and one other area in Japan. County Clare is really not to missed if you are visiting Ireland.
Belfast has blossomed into a wonderful city and has really made a turnaround into something its local people are particularly proud of, a tourism capital. The city has many assets such as Queens University and also its famous dock lands. The people of Belfast are particularly friendly and are sure up for the craic.
Belfast is different to any other part of Ireland and a large part of that has to do with English rule which has influenced the city substantially. One particularly unique characteristic about Belfast is its docklands where the Titanic was built, one of Ireland most influential Irish gifts to the world. From Belfast the titanic sailed to Southampton (England), Cherbourg (France), Cobh in County Cork and then made its last voyage towards America but never made it. There is a dedicated museum to ship building in Belfast and specifically the Titanic so it is definitely worth a visit if you are there.
Belfast is a particularly pretty city and is steeped in historical buildings and monuments. Belfast is a particularly large city for Ireland and has all the amenities you would expect from a diverse night life to parks, shopping and excellent dinning. You are guaranteed to have a great time if you manage to make it here while visiting Ireland.
The Irish community has changed over the years and the difference between society today and society 50 years ago has changed dramatically. From thatched roofs and fishing and farming as the main source of income in Ireland. To a dramatic change in house to flats and apartments and the main jobs being office jobs sitting in front of a computer.
Old Ireland had a much easier life than we have today, so some would agree. So here is the reality, People use to have to fend for themselves there was no supermarket, nowhere to get coal and fresh water didn’t come in a tap. You had to work all day to provide your family with the bare essentials. It was hard work but it paid off as these people made life a lot easier for future generations. It was their Irish present to the Irish society
Ireland has changed and the majority of people live in Dublin. The majority being nearly a third of the population. These people all work office jobs, or at least most of them do and they have supermarkets on every corner. The difference is astounding to see.
It truly is some turn around to see in only the space of 50 years so what will Ireland be like in the next 50 years. Will we have returned to or old ways and calm down a little. Ireland isn’t as chilled out as it use to be so it might be nice to see it return to its normal pace. But who knows it might pick up as well? What do you think, how would you like to see Ireland change?
The history of Ireland is unique because there are so many different types of clans, religions and followings since the first people arrived. This has left a huge foot print in Ireland which has made it particularly unique. From the Stone Age all the way to the industrial age and even to today you can see how Ireland has changed over the thousands of years sinceman first stepped on the wonderful Island of Ireland.
The Stone Age was a unique time in Ireland when people believed in fake gods. There were classes amongst the people themselves and they use to live in little huts known as crannogs. These crannogs were made of straw and mud walls and are particularly unique to see as they were made on a manmade island for defensive purposes. A lot of the old Irish stories you hear today are based on stories from this time and have been great Irish presents past down from generation to generation
Medieval Ireland is when Ireland really started to be shaped by buildings. The medieval period left Ireland with lots of large castles scattered around the country and left areas steeped in history. Nearly every city and town in Ireland has some sort of link to the medieval era. This gives Ireland a particularly unique magical experience when you visit.
Modern Ireland is a lot different to the Stone Age and medieval eras. Modern Ireland is full of large buildings which have changed how Ireland is perceived by the world and is now seen as one of the tech capitals of Europe.
There are hundreds of different types of shamrocks in the world. Some are well behaved and some others can take over your garden. These shamrocks that take over your garden are never very welcome and in most countries are actually considered weeds. But some shamrocks are very controlled, grow only in the area you plant them in and have a beautiful flower that varies in colour from white to yellow and even purple. These well behaved Shamrocks make particularly good Irish gifts.
The Dormant Shamrock
Every year at least once, shamrocks go dormant. Similarly to daffodils and tulips the bulb or roots don’t die off but just the flowers and leaves. This can vary depending on the type of Shamrock you have. Shamrock which is grown outside may only go dormant once during the year however shamrock which must be grown inside can go dormant 2 or even 3 times a year. How you know your shamrock is going dormant is cause the leaves start to wilt and the plant looks down. The leaves will change slightly in colour and eventually turn brown. Remove these leaves and stop watering your shamrock. Place your shamrock into a dry cool area and leave them there for 2 or 3 months. If your shamrock has a purple flower then you might only have to leave your shamrock in the cool dry area for only 1 month.
After the dormant period take your shamrock out of the area and begin to water again. Add a little bit of plant food formula to give the shamrock a lift and within a few days you should start to notice your shamrock spurting back into life. In no time at all you will have a healthy thick plant of shamrock again.
The Irish are a creative bunch and have given the world some great Irish presents by inventing some products that changed the world. The Irish people come across sometimes as care free and lackadaisical but when they put their mind to something they really pull through and come up with some amazing inventions.
We may not have solely invented this one but we did play a vital role. A man called Michael Faraday discovered the principle of induction but it wasn’t until an Irish priest and scientist Nicholas Callan managed to prove this theory in 1836 at St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth. Without this invention we would have huge trouble trying to take an x-ray, and electrotherapy along with many other inventions.
Many people think we invented whiskey but what about chocolate milk. It was invented by an Irish physician and collector Hans Sloane. He was more notably known for his collecting which became the foundation for the British museum.
From James bond cars to F16 planes they all have one thing in common, ejector seats. The ejector seat was invented by an Irish man called James Martin. As with all inventions he wasn’t the first person to come up with the concept but he was the first person to make a functional ejector seat that actually worked
Farmer time is a way of life in Ireland where figures don’t exist. “I will meet you around lunch time” or “Just after breakfast” and somehow people will end up meeting exactly on time. Some times it gets a vague as “this afternoon” . The more rural you get the more frequently you will hear Farmer time and the more accurately it will get.
Sarcasm is a very social part of Ireland. You can be sarcastic to anybody in Ireland as long as it is in good taste. It also makes Ireland a very interesting place to visit and is part of the craic that you hear about in Ireland.
Speak Gaelic (Gaeilge)
Only in Ireland is it possible to speak Gaeilge as it is the only country in the world that speaks the language. The language is understood throughout the Island as it is compulsory to learn in the schools however it is actually only spoken by few in special Gaeilge areas known as Gaeltachs. One of the great Irish presents on offer
Accents are very unique in Ireland and change for nearly every county. Every 30 – 50 miles you will hear nearly an entirely new accent from the soft tone of south Kerry people all the way to the deep northern accent. Ireland is famous for its unique accent all over the world.
The average Irish person drinks roughly 6 cups of tea per day. If you every visit Ireland expect to drink a lot of tea. It is the social epicentre of Ireland. Ireland has its own brand of tea known as Barry’s tea which is a strong, highly concentrated cup of tea.
Ireland can be fairly chilled out and relaxed towards life in general, however when an Irish man puts his head to something he gets it done and gets it done in style. He can create the perfect Irish present or use his head to make something to change mankind for ever. Just some of the biggest achievements Ireland has either partaken in or created are listed below.
Ireland Invented the Submarine
A County Clare man invented the submarine, John Philip Holland. The first project or attempt was rejected as unworkable by the Us Navy. The project was continued to be funded and eventually in 1881 the first submarine was launch by his company. The submarine was name the Fenian Ram. The submarine is now on display at the Paterson Museum, New Jersey.
The Beaufort Scale
Everybody knows how hard Ireland gets it with storms from the Atlantic Ocean. Not many people know it but the Beaufort Scale was invented by an Irish man. It is a scale similar to the Richter Scale but is used to measure wind speed instead. Without it your weather forecast would be entirely different.
Surprisingly enough one of the most common medical instruments in the world was invented by an Irish man called Francis Rynd. It has since been redesigned but was a medical breakthrough during it’s time and still is today. The exact type of syringe he invented was the hollow syringe.
This year Riverdance will return home to celebrate Ireland and its latest craze the Gathering. The Gathering for those of you that don’t know is a Tourism Ireland initiative that is trying to reunite old friends, family and distant relations that haven’t meet in years or in some cases have never meet before. The gathering also includes larger get together like river dance where everybody is invited to come and join in in the fun.
From the 15th to the 19th of July Riverdance will be holding what they have been calling “A Riverdance Master Class Series”. This event will feature 50 of the best and brightest young dancers from Ireland. But the really great thing about this gathering is that anybody can enter. What a fantastic Irish present to be given! All you have to do is show the judges by video how well you can dance and the final 50 will secure places on this amazing gathering opportunity. (it can be any sort of dancing from salsa to Irish).
The Master Class will then preform publicly on Saturday July the 20th at the beautiful Georgian neighbourhoods, Merrion Square and if you didn’t manage to make the cut for the Master Class you can still join in here. There will be song and dance all day here from 2 p.m. onwards so make sure you get down to join in with the craic. If this Gathering doesn’t suit you then make sure you get involved with one of the other 3,500 other Gatherings happening across the tiny Island of Ireland.
Galway is one of the best cities in Ireland and is a must see if you make it out of Dublin. It has unique traits that can only be found in the heart of the west and is one of the only towns where there is little influence from the English. Galway is a gem of an Irish present to the world
A lot of people go to Galway for the night life. It is suited to all ages and varies from the “old man pub” to the crazy nights out for the young ones. You will hear some of the best trad in Ireland being played at all hours including midday in a pub called “Tig Collí”.
The scenery and atmosphere in and around Galway city are unique to only Galway. It has a vibrant main street with a friendly hustle and bustle that lets you relax and soak up the Irish culture. It is situated right on the coast and has fantastic views and lets you breath in that lovely fresh Atlantic air.
There is load’s to do in Galway from the free museum which features a tour of the city during medieval times. Head out to salt hill to stroll along the wonderful promenade or even get out to Connemara for the day to rural Ireland. Galway has it all and is a must for anybody that has the chance to make it.