Ireland: Rare and Collectible Books About Ireland and the Irish
Each country we have visited has delightful characteristics found only in that country, and none more so than Ireland. In addition to being positive that there were elves hiding under every leaf, the language itself is musical; absolutely everyone speaks with a splendid lilt so that it seems as they are singing all of the time. Until visiting Ireland, we never connected Ireland with the roots of music from the Southern United States: fiddles and clomping are right out of Ireland. All of the Irish we met were welcoming, warm and wonderful (this was also true of Japan . . . but the Japanese, of course, do not have those lilting voices).
More than 5,500 tours and activities in more than 400 destinations around the globe, including World Heritage Sites.
Blarney Castle is one of the best known castles probably in all the world. It was built in 1200 AD near Cork and is now partially collapsed. Some of the castle's rooms are accessible and at the top of the castle lies the Blarney Stone. When we were in Ireland in 2004, it was still possible to climb the narrow worn steps to reach and kiss the Blarney Stone. It actually was quite moving to do so . . . both somewhat scary given the drop below, but also magical given that those who kiss the stone are given the gift of eloquence.
Dublin is Ireland's capital, rife with students, residents, tourists and traffic. It's easy to get around on a Hop-on Hop-Off Tour bus. The route takes you to many of Dublin's major attractions including Dvblinia, Old Jameson Distillery, Dublin Castle, Phoenix Park (where you will find Dublin Zoo), and of course the Guinness Storehouse.
Unfortunately we did not have sufficient time to take a walking tour, which means we also missed the Literary Pub Tour. Yet another reason to return to Ireland. Excellent museums, restaurants, high-end shops, and much more. Trinity College's Old Library holds the Book of Kells which dates from the 8th century. The Dublin Walking Tour includes the Henry Street shopping district toward St Mary’s Church, Flower Market in Dublin.a former Church of Ireland that is now a bar and restaurant simply called The Church. It’s one of the earliest examples of a galleried church in Dublin. It was built at the beginning of the 18th centur; outstanding features include the Renatus Harris-built organ and stained-glass window.
My brother has a funny story about Dublin. He was in a local pub. Six-foot-something guy next to him seriously drinking. Falls down, flat on his back. Beer splashes from his mug all over his face. Revives him. He gets up, looks at the empty mug, and bellies up to the bar for another. Only in Ireland. Beer is "mother's milk."
KILLARNEY AND THE RING OF KERRY
Killarney is the starting point for tours of The Ring of Kerry through south-western Ireland. Killarney is another of Ireland's charming towns. Walking tours from the town wander through Ireland's stunning countryside almost year-round through The Ring of Kerry, which has some of the finest coastal scenery in Europe. It also provides an amazing insight into the ancient heritage of Ireland. In Killorglin, starting on 10th of August each year, they hold the three-day Puck Fair, the oldest traditional fair in Ireland, and one of the oldest non-religious fairs in the world. Each year a group of people go up into the mountains, catch a wild goat (which they crown "King Puck") and keep it on a high stand in the town centre, which begins the festivities. The next three days are spent dancing, singing and of course, drinking.
Puck Fair is one of Ireland’s oldest festivals, stretching back almost 400 years. Where else but in Ireland would a wild mountain goat be crowned King and reign over a town for three days? Killorglin – where a goat is King and people act the goat! The first day of Puck Fair is The Gathering Day; as such it is the oldest Gathering Festival in Ireland. 36 hours includes a unique coronation ceremony and parade, with a free entertainment day and night: concerts, storytelling, traditional music, dancers, music & dance workshops, midnight madness fireworks and the horse fair. The carnival atmosphere includes street traders, street artists, craft fair, buskers, face painting, pet show, bonny babies, puppet theatre, music sessions, and Ireland’s premier funfair – Euroshow!
The second-largest city in the province of Munster, Limerick is one of the country's main tourist destinations, a 15-minute drive from Shannon Airport. Limerick is the setting for Frank McCourt's best-selling novel Angela's Ashes: A Memoir. The city provides "Street Ambassadors," people who are designated to help others around and make their stay more enjoyable. The city is situated on several curves and islands of the River Shannon, which spreads into an estuary shortly after Limerick.
Driving through Ireland enroute to Tramore.Stayed at the lovely Majestic Hotel in Tramore, the South East's leading holiday resort. Within walking distance of the Majestic are pubs with live music, a small carnival in the park with ferris wheels, etc., and race courses. Tramore is in County Waterford, the home of Waterford Crystal. The view from the hotel is lovely. The food excellent.
This lovely town — the largest in County Kerry — is in the shelter of Tralee Bay, with a panoramic of sea and mountains stretching to the West. It is close to the Lakes of Killarney, the exquisite Ring of Kerry, and the Dingle Peninsula. The town has a medieval past, which is represented at the Kerry County Museum, and it is home to the annual Rose of Tralee Festival.