Ireland- Explore, Entertain & Enjoy
Ireland is an island located on the east of Great Britain and is politically divided into Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland (which forms part of United Kingdom). My travels took me to the Republic of Ireland whose capital city is Dublin. Touching down at the Dublin Airport after a short flight on Aer Lingus from London Gatwick airport was easy. The airport is friendly and not overcrowded and before you know it you are hitting the main highway and off to your destination.
I headed straight to Westmeath County where lies the town of Athlone where the mighty River Shannon passes and the famous lake monster Lough Ree’s southern tip lies. For a cozy romantic stay you can easily choose from the Wineport Lodge or the Killinure Chalets. Each has beautiful accommodation but different cuisines, so depends on your palate. The town of Athlone does have a castle built in 1129 and recently opened in 2012 after refurbishments and remains a high tourist attraction. Right next to the castle is the oldest pub in Europe, Sean’s Pub that is a must for every tourist who wants to see the mementos over the years and have a taste of the famous Irish Guinness or Murphy’s beer.
Since we are on the subject of old, the visit to the oldest licensed distillery in Ireland. This 300 years old distillery is a marvel and you will appreciate the upkeep and taste of the Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey.
From the town of Athlone I moved on to the city of Galway, which also lies on a River Corrib. This city was a buzz over the weekend especially with their local game called Hurling which is almost 3000 years old and the world’s fastest field sport and played under the GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) unlike the English Premier League this is a volunteer based organization that keeps the youth busy and productive through sport. Galway boasts of pubs, restaurants, museums, great souvenir shops and streets where people just dance and drink. The age groups vary but the fun is the same, Galway is a great party spot.
Finally come Dublin, the capital city and home of the Guinness factory. Dublin is the land where new artists are discovered, where shopping is important, nightlife is active and a burst of Irish culture and the world’s citizens converge.