A Few Moments in Ireland

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With St. Patrick’s Day filling my world with green, I can’t help but remember the  Ireland I visited a few years ago.  It’s a beautiful place filled with kind-hearted people who are very genuine and blunt. My trip was essentially a road trip that made a big circle around the coastline, starting and ending in Dublin.  I took a few pictures along the way that remain among my favorites of all my pictures from abroad.

Lady's View, Ireland, 2009, c.b.w.

I remember standing in this spot in total awe.  The view was so beautiful, it made me feel like I had landed in the middle of a fairy tale.  While everyone mulled around snapping pictures of who knows what, I sat on a large boulder and breathed in the magic of this place.

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Clonmacnoise, Ireland 2009, c.b.w.

I don’t know why, but I have a “thing” for old graveyards in Europe.  I find them fascinating and often spend hours roaming about reading headstones and wandering through the past.  Perhaps, it’s my love of history or my curiosity of the people who came before me, but I’m always able to connect to the humanity of a place with more depth after walking through time-worn cemeteries.

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Cliffs of Moher, Ireland, 2009, c.b.w.

It’s a long climb up ramps and stairs to get this view, but it is totally worth the work.  I love places that make me feel like I’m the size of an ant.  There’s nothing more humbling than to stand on the edge of these cliffs and feel the majesty of the rock and wide open space of the ocean.  The wind that day made sure I got a good whiff of salty air and the “green” smell of grass.  The combination of the two made for an aroma I’ve never experienced before or since.  That sweet smell is among my favorite sensory memories.

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Waterford, Ireland, 2009, c.b.w.

Waterford may be famous for its crystal, but for me it will always be the place where I found some peace with a sunset kissed harbor.  I leaned against the ropes of the dock and listened to the seagulls fly overhead, while the water slapped lightly against the embankment.  The writer in me couldn’t help but wonder where all of these boats have been and where they would go next.

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Pub in Shannonbridge, Ireland, 2009, c.b.w.

I got a kick out of this pub the moment I walked through the door.  The place is cluttered from ceiling to floor with knick-knacks, memorabilia, and business cards from those who come to visit. The soup and sandwich I devoured remains on my list of best meals I’ve ever tasted, (over the course of 15 years of international travel).  If you’re ever in Shannonbridge, be sure to visit the only pub in town.

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  May luck find you when you need it most!

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c.b. 2012

34 thoughts on “A Few Moments in Ireland

  1. Your photos make me long for International travel! They really are spectacular and it must be wonderful to thumb through them and reminisce!

    I had to chuckle when you mentioned that the people were ‘genuine and blunt’. It reminded me of my great-aunt from Dublin who always said what was on her mind, no matter how politically incorrect it was!

    I, too, love wandering through graveyards, conversing with ghosts (so to speak) and feeling the quiet atmosphere of those who came before us. Thanks for sharing your Irish adventure. 🙂

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    • Every once in a while I’ll pull out the photo albums or click through my hard drive files. Sometimes its hard to believe I’ve seen and experienced so much. I set out to travel at a very young age and I haven’t regretted one moment. I can’t wait to see what lies ahead.

      Both the Irish and the British share a cultural trait I admire so much – they are so blunt about everything. There is no sugar-coating anything, but rather an honest opinion whether you want it or not. Love that!

      I’ll have to post some pictures of a graveyard I visited in the U.K.’s Lake District. It was both eerie and beautiful. 🙂

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  2. Beautiful! My niece spent a semester in Ireland just last year. The photos and experiences she brought back were amazing. Ireland is definitely on my bucket list!

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    • Ireland was a place I never expected to visit, but it turned out to be one of the more beautiful places I’ve ever been. I’m glad I went and I’ll be sharing more in the future.

      I hope you get there one day! 🙂

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  3. My photos of Ireland tend to let me down. It was a film camera, and over 20 years ago. They are faded, and I know I took more than what I have in my album. There are funny stories (who doesn’t visit Ireland and come back with funny stories???), more shades of green than Crayola could conjure, incredible Connemara ponies, goats, pubs and ice cream shops on every corner, and it always amazed me how they could tell I was American, even from across the street! My picture of the Cliffs of Moher show a great deal of clouds, the way it tends to be. Dublin hit a heat wave when I was there, and the country looks very different from misty and cloudy to bright and sunny. Thanks for sharing, and I hope you have a very green St. Paddy’s Day!!

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    • We Americans stick out like a sore thumb wherever we go – my husband and I make a game of it. Whenever we head out of the country we try to see how many Americans we can correctly point out without hearing them speak. There’s something about how we hold ourselves that is really different from Europeans. I’ve learned how to hide it, but sometimes I get pinpointed immediately. 😉

      I was shocked to find a blue sky at the Cliffs of Moher. Isn’t it always cloudy and misty at the Cliffs? I took it as an omen that a bright future lies ahead. 🙂

      The green is what really appealed to me – its my favorite color and I love how it is everywhere, even in the city. It always smelled like fresh cut grass!

      Happy St. Patty’s!

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  4. P.S. I, too, like wandering graveyards and reading headstones. i wonder what their lives were like, and how they died, and if the more recent generations know about them or visit the gravesite. Have you been to a cemetery in New Orleans? I was, before the flood. Wished I would have done the ghost tour at night, though. I can imagine the stories!!

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  5. For many people, photographs are all they bring back from their voyages. You on the other hand, have brilliantly discovered the secret to travel. Take beautiful pictures to jump start your memory years later, but put the camera down and make those memories first. Bravo! 🙂

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    • 🙂 I take a lot of pictures, but I learned a long time ago they mean nothing without memories of the experience. Its not the site or the view that makes a good trip, its what you experienced while you were there. It’s about paying attention to what changes inside when you breathe in the air and connect to the entire sense of place – I know I’m starting to sound weird, but traveling is more than just being a tourist to me!

      I truly believe there should be a reason for each shot, so I can remember why and how a place touched me. 🙂

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  6. Great shots, and places I’ve not been except for the Cliffs of Moher. Like you, the first time I saw the cliffs it was a beautiful sunny day. The second time it was so foggy you could not see the cliffs or the sea. The smells of Ireland are so distinctive – the sea smells, the aroma of peat fires, – all different from anywhere else I’ve been.

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