March 7, 2017 / 2 Comments
We recently came back to the States from two weeks in three cities abroad- London, Amsterdam and Dublin . While there are travel blogs to chronicle our time in London and Amsterdam, both of which we loved, Dublin stands out for us.
In the United States, Ireland comes with a brand of stereotypes that are mostly positive depending on your level of alcohol consumption. The Guinness, the Luck o’ the Irish, the Celtic music, the fables and famous authors all aid in the creation of the Irish legend, but Ireland (and especially Dublin) is so much more. Sure, the Irish are drinkers. They’re also Thinkers. Laughers. Lovers. Story-tellers, geniuses and most of all, friends. We can say this now with absolute certainty, and allow me to tell you why.
Travel is for us, as it is for you, a form of release… an escape from the daily doldrums of the work/eat/sleep cycle. When you choose a place to visit, you hope you get something out of it in the form of good times, memories and a few pictures you can take back as proof that you’ve seen something unique. Every once in a while, instead of going somewhere, instead of thinking that you go into the destination, the destination goes into you. Ireland, and especially Dublin, was this.
For four days we had the pleasure of enjoying this truly magical place and experience points of interest in Dublin. While we spent a good majority of our time in Dublin, we also took the day trip from Dublin to the west coast of Ireland to the Cliffs of Moher. Words don’t do justice. Words cannot do justice. You simply have to go.
One has the feeling on every stretch of Irish soil that yes, this, is God’s country if there ever was one. For us, Ireland was immediately moving. Yes, Guinness tastes different and is miles from that indifferently-poured piss-water we have here in the States. Yes, everything is green and you can buy a four-leaf clover sticker every 20 feet or so. If that’s what you go to Ireland for, then my friend you have missed out dearly.
Never has a city, and more importantly the people of a city, moved us. Grown into us. Became us, and we became them. Dublin has a way of being romantic for couples in a way that, perhaps, no other place does. The Irish are a fan of conversation, as its something to be savored. In general, we failed to meet one person that didn’t have at least a decent sense of humor. Laughter is everywhere, given and taken freely like some comedic Utopia. The Irish really are hilarious, clever, generous and lovely, lovely people.
What’s more than just these bastions of good manners is the rolling landscape in which they live. Leaving from Dublin to Cliffs of Moher, we were greeted by four hours of beautiful, lush greenery, dutifully kept farmlands and modest (if not beautiful) homes that no doubt carry history of their own. I found myself jealous of these people, whoever they are, to be privileged to live in such a land with so much damn charm. If only the entire world were such as this…
When the day trip from Dublin reaches the Cliffs of Moher, one has the feeling that this is where the world began somehow. As the ocean spray somehow magically climbed the more-than 700 foot cliffs and soaked my black wind-breaker, I couldn’t help but forget to chronicle the experience the way we do in the 21st century by breaking out my iPhone or some other damnable device. The best camera I could have, the only I wanted for a few moments anyway, were my eyes. Remember this on your travels… pictures are great, but there is no lens that is the substitution for the human eye and the memory that the senses bring. Remember to stop and soak in the pure majesty of such places, as I couldn’t help doing so throughout our time in Ireland. If there is one real Ireland travel tip we can give you it’s that – really let yourself take it in.
Standing outside of Darkey Kelley’s in downtown Dublin before bed on our final evening, having a moment to hear the midnight bells chime hit me. The midnight chill sent waves from my neck straight to my heartstrings and played them like a violin. Ireland is so many things you think it is, but so many things you have no idea. It’s actually charming (no pun intended), and the depth of feeling we had about it was surprising – even shocking.
Travel opens you up for these kind of experiences, and that’s ideally what you pay for – to be moved. If you have Ireland anywhere on your bucket list, and that’s the type of experience you’re looking for, move it up the list. Move it to the top. Travel from the United States to Dublin is as cheap as it’s been in years, and currently couples can get packages through sites such as TravelZoo with direct flights from Atlanta to Dublin for as little as $500 per person. It’s beyond a recommendation, it’s a necessity.
You simply have to go.