I am fortunate that in my job I am able to travel to Ireland each year, where I get to experience the amazing people, culture, and scenery. And this year I was even luckier, as I got to spend 2 weeks in a country I love. This is the first post in a small series that will cover the Emerald Isle, and I thought that I would begin with 2 of my favorite cities: Belfast & Dublin.
Belfast is one of those cities that in the past has been full of political and religious un-rest, but is now really trying to make the city great again. The first thing we did while in the city was go to the new Titanic Museum, which was incredible. For those of you that don’t know, Titanic was built in Belfast, and they have created a wonderful exhibit that takes you from the beginning to the end.
We also visited Giant’s Causeway, which is an easy day trip from Belfast and a must see in Ireland. It is made up of over 40,000 basalt columns, which were created by a volcanic eruption thousands of years ago. Or you may choose to believe the Irish folklore of Finn McCool that says he built stepping stones to Scotland to defeat the Scottish Giant, Fingal.
Also, while in Belfast you need to visit The Bar at The Merchant Hotel, which has won numerous awards for their cocktails and where I have had the best ever Old Fashioned.
Then I made my way down to Dublin, which is one of my favorite cities in Europe (or the world for that matter)! You get the hustle and bustle of a larger city, but it’s not overwhelming like most and is so easy to navigate. Plus an added bonus of Ireland…all of the people are friendly. I have not once met anyone in the country who was rude.
There is so much to see and do in Dublin, whether it be visiting Trinity College to see the Book of Kells, or perhaps Kilmainham Jail, where leaders of the Easter Rising were held. I had not been to Dublin Castle, which was founded in the 13th century and up until 1922 was the seat of British rule.
We were also really big tourists and went to the Guinness Storehouse to partake in the Connoisseur Experience, which I have to say I was pleasantly surprised about. In my mind I guess I thought it would be hokey, but the special “class” we did was actually a lot of fun and I have now become a Guinness drinker, although I can barely get through one!
I can never say enough great things about Ireland and I am excited to share more of the amazing country with you soon…cheers!