Whenever we travel to a new destination for a holiday or to travel around, we want to experience something authentic. Following the tourist crowds, eating bland westernised food that we are already used to and staying in a faceless holiday resort is not what we envision when we try to scratch our wanderlust itch. It doesn’t matter where we travel to, we want to experience the things at the heart of the country.
If you are like us and if you are planning on visiting the Emerald Isle anytime soon, the chances are that you will want to immerse yourself in the culture of Ireland and not simply whip a Canon (or Nikon if you must) around your neck and follow the hordes of tourists. Therefore, we have listed a few ways in which you can see the real Ireland and not just Temple Bar in Dublin.
If you want to learn about the history, culture and dynamism of Ireland, why not head to the famed Belvedere Irish Night. This traditional night of Irish entertainment will encompass dancing, music and cuisine for you to sample. You’ll witness some Riverdance-esque tap dancing complete with high knees and clicking heels and have a chance to listen to the dulcet tones of Irish singers and folk music. While a sort of cabaret type show, this is a wonderful way of witnessing how the traditional Irish pastimes are still very much followed and enjoyed today.
Food & Drink
If you love nothing better than following a gastronomic route when travelling abroad, then the Emerald Isle will not disappoint. Irish stew is the headiest mix of lamb, swede, potatoes, onion and a rich gravy. Served alongside champ or colcannon mash, you have a hearty meal that is an integral part of Ireland’s history. Every family has their own recipe passed down through generations in the same way that Italian nonnas pass down their ragu recipes. You might also want to sample the potato pancake, boxty or a coddle consisting of bacon, sausage and potato. Although rustic, Irish food is cooked with love and is hearty tasty grub.
Alongside the cuisine, you can’t possibly head to Ireland and not partake in a Guinness (or 10), even if you are not the biggest drinker of the stuff. The dark nectar is the most famous of Irish stouts.
Go Off The Beaten Track
If you have had your fill of Dublin, don’t think that the capital city is all that Ireland has to offer in terms of culture and history. You may want to travel to Blarney Castle to kiss the world famous stone, venture to the coast to enjoy some bracing cliffside hikes or hot-foot it to County Cork to enjoy the rolling countryside and patchwork green fields of clover. The people of Ireland are friendly and welcoming and love nothing more than showing off their incredible landscapes. Guided tours can take you into the heart of the country exploring trails and paths that haven’t been well trodden by millions of tourists.
The Emerald Isle is a wonderful place to visit and has something to offer everyone from the achingly cool hipster to the culture vulture. Visit cosmopolitan Dublin, experience the coast and countryside, but most of all – enjoy!
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