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Posts Tagged ‘Ireland’

The Ring of Kerry, Ireland, a Kingdom inside a Kingdom

Almost every country has a section of the population that they like to tell jokes about. In Ireland, it’s the people from Kerry. Not because people from Kerry are stupid. In fact they have a reputation for being the opposite.

The main reason we tell jokes about them is that we are jealous. They have the cheek to call their county ‘The Kingdom’, yet there are few people in Ireland who would dispute the aptness of the name. (The origins of that name have been lost, but that doesn’t matter – Kerry does feel like a Kingdom.)

There are soaring mountain ranges, desolately beautiful valleys, crystal lakes and a spectacularly rugged coastline that is alternatively lashed and lapped by the Atlantic Ocean. Kerry has it all.

The town of Killarney, with a population of 14,000, is the most popular base for exploring Killarney National Park and the Ring of Kerry. The Ring of Kerry is a scenic drive around the Iveragh Peninsula; the Dingle and Beara Peninsulas are best explored from the towns of Dingle and Kenmare respectively.

Killarney has been welcoming tourists since the 18th century, and the locals have become mighty good at it. It is true there are far too many souvenir shops for some peoples’ taste.  But fear not, Killarney is a very pretty and friendly town. And the Kerry people, regardless of the jokes we make of them, are some of the most welcoming in Ireland.

Authentic Ireland’s dedicated writers: Meredith and Win Blevins

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Ireland's Oldest Ale

Smithwick’s is Ireland’s Oldest Ale. Enjoy!

Guinness, right, the first ale you want to drink when you hit the green shores of Ireland?

Well, of course we all love Guinness,  but the Ale that’s been brewing the longest in Ireland, since 1710, is Smithwick’s.  (Don’t pronounce the “w”.)

Doesn’t sound all that long in Irish time, but John Smithwick set up his brewery in Kilkenny, and he chose to set it up on the site of a Franciscan Friary.  And, the monks had been brewing ale there since the 14th century.  So, although Smithwick first brewed his delicious ale in 1710, it win’s the award for the oldest operating brewery in Ireland.

The ale is red.  It is beautiful.  It used to be hard to come by, but no longer.

So, next time you ask for a Guinness when you head to your favorite pub for brew and music, give yourself a treat and order up a Smithwick’s.  It’s delicious and then some!

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The Irish Sun Kisses the Giant's CausewayThe Irish Sun Kisses the Giant’s Causeway

       Sightseeing in Ireland

Sightseeing in Ireland

Wherever you travel in Ireland the pace will be gentle. There will always be one more friend to make, traditional musicians to hear, one more ancient ruin to explore, and another mind-boggling castle reaching to you across time.  Relax and enjoy.

Ireland is a banquet for the senses.  She has rugged peaks and mountains to discover.  There are 3,500 miles of coastline.  The lush pastures are an indescribable color of green.  And, through it all, run hundreds of rivers and lakes.   The most mysterious prehistoric ruins in Europe, older than the pyramids, are in Ireland.  The land carries the myths of a long line of Ireland’s people, from the Celts to St. Patrick, to the Norse and the Anglo-Norman castles and lovely villages.

Slow down.  Breathe deeply.  Whatever you decide to do, let Ireland present you with a vivid experience that is absolutely Irish, and absolutely unique.

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