Now I know why that person’s Irish eyes are smiling as the song goes. If you ever toured around the Emerald Isle you would be smiling too.
Last year Athena and I flew into Dublin and began our journey around this lush country. Not wanting to begin our experience in a city we immediately headed south towards Cork. The gentle drive through the storybook villages instantly stripped away any stress that we might have been holding on to.
From Cork we headed west to the famous Ring of Kerry which beholds some of the most inspiring scenery this world provides. Along the route the springtime lambs gleefully played tag with one another but stopped to smile at us as we drove by. It must be in their Irish blood.
Whatever village we stopped in we couldn’t wait to find the local band playing their Irish ballads and Celtic songs. The bright laughter of the accordion, the wail of the fiddle and the windy purl of the flute were always magical. The music alone was almost worth the trip.
For a little taste of the city life we traversed the western shore, stopping by the majestic and awesome cliffs of Moher and then continued north to Galway. It is populous but not crowded. The buildings are elderly and stately but very few were run down. We even stayed in an old stone warehouse that was recently converted into a brand new youth hostel for only $20 a night.
By staying at youth hostels, traveling in the off season, finding a rental car for $12 a day (Auto Europe 800 223-5555 FREE) and eating cheaply at pubs (with a couple of special meals at more expensive places), our entire one week trip to Ireland cost less than $750, not including airfare. Now my wallet is smiling.