Salted Adventures

15 Ways I Experienced The Magic Of Ireland

August 15, 2016

15 Ways I Experienced The Magic Of Ireland | Salted Adventures

15 Ways I Experienced The Magic Of Ireland

 

Trip planning for my next adventure in Spain has been stirring up a little nostalgia about my previous time in Europe. I was lucky enough to spend a wonderful, long Spanish holiday weekend in December galavanting around Dublin. I could go on and on about the people, the culture and the food, but I’ll leave you with this tidbit of advice: go and see for yourself. While I absolutely must make plans to go back for a longer stay, here are a few things I experienced in my short time in Ireland. I hope this sparks a little magic in your heart!

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1) When the streets of Dublin were lined with rainbow colored doors

15 Ways I Experienced The Magic Of Ireland | Salted Adventures

15 Ways I Experienced The Magic Of Ireland | Salted Adventures

I love to spend time just walking around cities to get a feel for their energy and people. I have a major case of door envy, so any neighborhoods with beautiful entryways have serious flair in my opinion.

 

2) When kissing the Blarney Stone to receive the gift of eloquence

15 Ways I Experienced The Magic Of Ireland | Salted Adventures

15 Ways I Experienced The Magic Of Ireland | Salted Adventures

When I was bending over backwards, (literally) desperately reaching for the stone of eloquence with my lips, I wasn’t thinking about anything but living in the moment…and not plummeting down the edge of the castle. I was also not yet a writer. So I guess the stone worked it’s magic on me, afterall.

 

3) When this rainbow happened over the city of Cork

15 Ways I Experienced The Magic Of Ireland | Salted Adventures

After a long day of travel to the Blarney Castle, getting lost again and again, and drinking cider in place of lunch, I was thrilled to see this rainbow pop out of the gloomy skies over Cork. I was truly in the right place, at the right time.

 

4) When the Wicklow Mountains had me craving Guinness

15 Ways I Experienced The Magic Of Ireland | Salted Adventures

15 Ways I Experienced The Magic Of Ireland | Salted Adventures

The Lough Tay (pronounced Loch Té) lake, located inside the National Park, is owned by the Guinness family, but I don’t think it was purposeful for the lake to have such a strong family resemblance. The blackness of the water, the shape of the lake and the white sands lining the perimeter give this grandeur beauty its reputation.

 

5) When the greens were more green than any other green

15 Ways I Experienced The Magic Of Ireland | Salted Adventures

If I had to pick one word to describe Ireland, it would be green. The sheer mass and density of this region’s “greenness” is overwhelmingly stunning. I can’t get over the 360 degree views of gorgeous, vibrant wilderness amongst the National Park trails.

 

6) When I thought I found a bushel of four-leaf clovers

15 Ways I Experienced The Magic Of Ireland | Salted Adventures

Now I’m not a botanist, but I’m pretty sure I found a patch a wild clovers. Or, it could be a bushel of common herbs, but I am sticking with clovers. Do I get good luck forever, now?

 

7) When the cemeteries were too enchanting to be sad

15 Ways I Experienced The Magic Of Ireland | Salted Adventures

15 Ways I Experienced The Magic Of Ireland | Salted Adventures

15 Ways I Experienced The Magic Of Ireland | Salted Adventures

Glendalough County holds such a mysterious beauty. The Cathedral of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, the Round Tower and the surrounding cemetery were so remarkable, I couldn’t stop snapping pics.

 

8) When I first heard Gaelic spoken

15 Ways I Experienced The Magic Of Ireland | Salted Adventures

It took several tries at this sign before my taxi driver stepped in to help a girl out. The Gaelic language (and spelling) is so complex, there’s no way I would’ve figured out Dún Laoghaire would be pronounced “Dun Leary” on my own.

 

9) When experiencing traditional Irish craftsmanship

15 Ways I Experienced The Magic Of Ireland | Salted Adventures

Photo Cred: The Glamorous Glutton

15 Ways I Experienced The Magic Of Ireland | Salted Adventures

You can take a tour of the oldest mill in Ireland, and experience Avoca handweavers in action. My love for warm and cozy knitted fashion does not serve me well here in California. My heart just about imploded watching the colorful yarn be spun on giant looms and, somehow, I managed to limit my purchases to only one, extraordinary scarf.

 

10) When the food had me coming back three times over

15 Ways I Experienced The Magic Of Ireland | Salted Adventures

I could never thank this bus driver enough for sending me to Oneill’s for lunch, also known as Oneill’s Pub Dublin or M.J. Oneill’s. A traditional Irish pub and carvery, this place served me the most satisfying food I had eaten in three months. Nothing was better after a long day on my feet than true comfort food, warm and served with a cider or two. If you’re not on Suffolk Street, you’re not in the right place. You’re welcome.

 

11) When the Dublin Castle was nonchalantly set amongst modern architecture

15 Ways I Experienced The Magic Of Ireland | Salted Adventures

In a culture where the old is so easily mixed with the new, it’s hard to assimilate the beauty of the Dublin Castle with the present-day buildings across the street.

 

12) When I discovered the wonders of cider and chose sides

15 Ways I Experienced The Magic Of Ireland | Salted Adventures

Photo Cred: The Irish Times

It’s not a secret that the British and the Irish have had some troubles, but I was surprised to find that my beloved Bulmers Irish Cider had to be branded “Magners Irish Cider when sold outside of the Republic of Ireland, even though it’s no different. It was then and there that I decided I was team Bulmers. To the rest of the world, sorry, not sorry.

 

13) When Trinity College aquired the Book of Kells

15 Ways I Experienced The Magic Of Ireland | Salted Adventures

The Book of Kells, from the 9th Century, present the gospels (chronicling the life of Jesus Christ) through illustration. The manuscripts are so treasured, the exhibition only displays two of the four at a time. How the relics survived through immense travel and the numerous Viking pillages during the medieval times is still not known. Again, such magic.

 

14) When the music scene blew me away

15 Ways I Experienced The Magic Of Ireland | Salted Adventures

Photo Cred: The Old Storehouse

Several Irish pubs were enjoyed on this trip, but the live music scene at The Old Storehouse won my heart. There is little to say that could explain the energy and the life exuding from the people who performed for us, keeping traditional music alive while mixing the new. I wish I could go back to this specific point in time and experience it all over again.

 

15)When I experienced a proper Irish Pub crawl and barely made my departure flight

15 Ways I Experienced The Magic Of Ireland | Salted Adventures

Photo Cred: TripAdvisor

My favorite tour company in Europe is Sandeman’s New Europe Tours. Instead of braving the nightlife alone, I opted in to make some friends and join a pub crawl. I had an absolute blast mingling with both the locals and my traveling friends and made it back to my hostel just in time to collect my things and get on my way. Thank goodness for airplane pillows!

 

Salted Adventures

 

One of the local guides shared with me that it is said if you visit Ireland once, you will visit three times in your lifetime. So I guess I have two trips to plan. Are you coming with me?

 

{ If you liked this post, feel free to comment below or get in touch with me to share your Irish stories! }

 

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P.S. Check out my Pinterest Board on Ireland for more travel inspiration!

 

*All photos are mine unless otherwise noted

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2 Comments

  1. Reply

    Clarissa

    August 21, 2016

    This was an absolutely beautiful post – I loved that it fell outside of your traditional travel guide, and rather noted on the things that moved your soul <3

    -Clarissa @ The View From Here

    • Reply

      Salted Adventures

      August 21, 2016

      You are so kind! Ireland is an incredibly complex place, I’m glad I was able to share a piece of it with you.

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