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Archive for the ‘Galway City’ Category

The Busy, Bustling Streets of Lively Galway City, Ireland

Authentic Ireland’s dedicated writers:  Meredith and Win Blevins

In a nationwide survey, the people of Galway were found to be Ireland’s happiest residents. When you visit Galway City, it’s easy to understand why.  (Click the link http://www.authenticireland.com/galway?utm_source=authentic&utm_medium=email for a look around.)

Galway is a lively university enclave of narrow streets, quaint shop fronts, bustling pubs and stunning scenery. Galway has always attracted a bohemian mix of musicians, artists and intellectuals.  That sense of freedom and creativity is palpable as you walk the streets.

Galway has been an important commercial center since the 11th century when it traded heavily with Spain and Portugal.   In 1477, Christopher Columbus was one of Galway’s renowned visitors.  (It’s amazing he didn’t stay!)  At that time Galway was known as “The City of the Tribes” because it was ruled by 14 wealthy merchant families.

Today it is a vibrant, popular hub buzzing with festivals, parades, street musicians, and racing boats.  The annual Arts Festival attracts thousands, especially for its outrageous, glorious street parade.

Start the new year off with a dream.  Plan a perfect, custom time in Galway City!

Best, The Crew at Authentic Ireland Travel

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The Wren Boys in Dingle, Ireland, Celebrating St. Stephen’s Day

From Your Dedicated Authentic Ireland Writers, Meredith and Win Blevins:

In Ireland, St. Stephen’s Day, the day after Christmas, is one of nine official public holidays.

In Irish, it is called Lá Fhéile Stiofán or Lá an Dreoilín, meaning the Day of the Wren or Wren’s Day. When used in this context, “wren” is often pronounced “ran”.

This name alludes to several Irish legends, some linking episodes in the life of Jesus to the wren. Although not practiced often anymore,  in certain parts of Ireland people carry either an effigy of a wren or an actual caged wren through the streets.  They travel from house to house playing music, singing and dancing.

Depending on which region of the country, they are called wrenboys and mummers. A Mummer’s Festival is held at this time every year in the village of New Inn, County Galway and Dingle in County Kerry. St. Stephen’s Day is also a popular day for visiting family members.  (Good-bye Christmas dinner leftovers!)

A popular rhyme is known to many Irish children and sung at each house visited by the mummers.  Here’s a very nice version of the song for you to enjoy, complete with chords and words!:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZI_PzRIqU0

The wren, the wren, the king of all birds…

Happy December 26th, St. Stephen’s Day, from the Crew at Authentic Ireland Travel

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Ireland is the Perfect Place for a Family Reunion

“There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met.” – William Butler Yeats

Do you dream of getting your entire family together?  Many of us live far from each other, the kids are growing or gone, and the grandchildren and cousins don’t see each other often enough.  Wouldn’t it be a wonderful legacy to arrange a family reunion in Ireland?

Ireland is all about families, friends and the ties that bind.  Because of this, there is no better place to strengthen your ties, relax together, laugh and reminisce.  You may even arrange to broaden your family circle, and see the Irish family you’ve never met.

Children are treasured in Ireland.  They are welcome most places, and there is a lot for them to do and enjoy.  They’ll even find shopping a small miracle as they wander through the maze of a medieval town, especially when they hear stories of witches and faeries who wandered the same streets.

And there’s so much more: festivals, circuses from Eastern Europe, wildlife parks, tidepooling, the Aquadome,  a Viking tour of Dublin, visiting an Irish farm, horseback riding, ecology for kids, cooking on a farm, visitor centers for kids at Neolithic sites, folk parks, houseboats on the Shannon River, exploring caves… That’s plenty to keep the whole crew wide-eyed and happy.  Rent an Irish house together and explore.

Make the time to enjoy and appreciate each other!

Your Dedicated Authentic Ireland writers:  Meredith and Win Blevins

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