Thursday, March 17, 2016

Ireland: NOT Always What You Think . . .

If you think of Ireland as dark, damp and dreary, you'd better think again.
Ireland is bright, vibrant and captivating.
Here's our take from a recent visit to the land of fifty shades of green:

We're delighting in a breezy, sunny, bracing Ireland with regular patches of blue skies and beguiling shadows that add depth and wonder to every scene. 
All of the photos that you see above were taken in Dublin or within an hour's drive of the city. 
This is our third day in Dublin and we're enjoying it immensely. There are busy, bustling streets and sidewalks one minute and then serene, verdant parks the next. The parks and public squares are beautifully maintained and the city's stores, museums, bookshops, libraries, galleries, coffee shops and eateries are alive with much activity and conversation.
The streets are packed with many young people from throughout Europe and the US and you get the sense of a nation on the move -- a welcoming nation with a distinct culture but an international sensibility.
Time spent in Ireland is time treasured!

And here are more recollections from our recent journey:
Everywhere we go in Ireland and every corner we turn, we find something new to delight us.
We're now in Dublin and the entire city is rich, alive and vibrant with so many sights and sounds -- music, architecture, art, galleries, museums, churches, libraries, unique shops, restaurants, pubs and a busy, colorful street scene that inviites you to pause here and there and take in the latest surprise that this increasingly cosmopolitain city offers you as you turn a corner.
Since we're just beginning summer (and since we've just finished the longest day of the year) it stays bright in Dublin till after 10 each night. Yes, there's a cool breeze but overall this ia a moderate climate and it never really gets too hot or too cold. 
The photos that you see above were taken at the National Gallery, the Library at Trinity College, The National Museum of Ireland, St, Patrick's Cathedral and along a street near the National Museum.
This is a country that seems largely unstressed -- not a lot of hurries and not a lot of worries, though it does run quite efficiently, thank you!
The people are wonderfully friendly, helpful and engaging. This is clearly a nation with a big heart and a rich, resonant soul -- a soul that's known more than its share of troubles but has proved to be both inimitable and indefatigable.
Amidst everything that has happened here over centuries of dreaded British rule and and the decades that have followed since Irish independence in 1922, the Irish have maintained their great, hearty love of life, their ability to view everything against the broad sweep of history (and even beyond), their irrepressible sense of humor, their magnificent story-telling ability and their redoubtable sense of humanity. 
A sweet sort of tough love has suited Ireland and the Irish quite well.
Thank heaven for it! 

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