During Part 1 of our “advance research” trip to the Emerald Isle, we discovered many things. These are just a few of our “must do list” (offered in no particular order). We highly suggest that if you’re serious about exploring, and making the most of your time, that you recruit an expert, ‘angel’ of a guide–Meet Angela–that’s her sitting with me on the stone wall–she’s an Irish Italian–thus the tan, how cool is that? But what’s really great about Angela is her depth of knowledge~Ireland, past and present. The Celtic world was one of legend and mystery, a mythology based on the magical powers of nature~the sacred groves of oak, ash and yew, speaking stones, healing waters and holy animals…with the passage of time, Druid priests gave way to Christian missionaries, whose teachings could not escape the influence of the rich cultural heritage of the Celts. In their art, literature and music, the Celts wove together the beautiful and the practical with their own bold and colorful style.

The ancient civilization of the Celts may have diminished, but their legacy to Western culture has been profound in terms of their bold, very proud approach to life, their wit and merriment~and their richly evocative music, poetry, art, mythology and literature. And just in case you were too busy “pubbing it” in Ireland, no worries, you’ll get one final chance to taste Irish literature. Where? Would you believe the departure terminal? What other airport in the world contains wall after wall of inscriptions~quotes and passages from some of the world’s greatest literature penned by none other than their own Irish geniuses. Make sure you allow enough time after you check in at Dublin airport to take a nice stroll through the terminal. Forget shopping…just start reading…you can’t miss it. The inscriptions are floor to ceiling and even includes an illustrated image of the author. Enjoy…you may even be inspired to pen your own creative genius!

There is so much to learn and discover about Ireland, that you must stay tuned–We return in July to do Part 2 of our research! So note that our “must do list” below is sure to grow after Part 2 is completed.

While in Ireland, you must experience:
…its 5-star destination resort/hotel, the Ritz-Carlton Powerscourt with its heavenly beds, sensational ESPA, complete with a glistening black pool, and Gordon Ramsay restaurant offering his signature dishes,
…its oldest PUB, (By the way, we found pubs to have excellent Irish food),
…its places of worship…there are hundreds of cathedrals from which to choose,
…its great green countryside with clear emerald lakes–great for day or extended hiking too,
…its not so inviting frigid cold ocean–I felt it, frigid is an understatement, but the natives think nothing of diving into it for their daily swim,
…Bono’s favorite hotel (he owns this one located in the heart of Dublin, and it’s very popular with his peers–other musical artists too, so if you’re a Bono fan, this may be your best spot to get a Bono sighting 🙂
…and of course, while in Dublin, visit this unique statue, a tribute to one of its greatest literary minds, Oscar Wilde. It is located at Merrion Square Park. This may be the only statue in the history of statues both to totally capture the subject’s personality and do it in a way that would have delighted the author and playwright.

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