But for now, on with the show!
Continuing on from last week's post, my best friend and I will be visiting Ireland for a week in June. Ireland is another country that I would just love to spend a whole year exploring, but as is always the way, there is limited time to do so. We both have an Irish heritage (amongst my additional French, Spanish, Scottish, Welsh, Swedish and who knows what else) so Ireland was always going to be a part of this trip. We chose Dublin just to be completely predictable tourists and then chose Cork due to my ancestors being from there (as well as Limerick). This isn't some sort of 'tracing my lineage' trip, but rather visiting a place that I have an interest in due to family history. Unfortunately, my friend has no record of where her family originated due to records being destroyed in a fire many years ago, so we have no way of knowing where to visit.
My vision of Ireland is a mixture of the greenest rolling hills, colourful people in colourful buildings, moss-covered castles, and of course, a pint of Guinness. I had the pleasure of spending a day in Oxfordshire in England the last time I visited, and coming from a drought-stricken country like Australia I couldn't even believe just how green it was in the countryside. I imagine Ireland to be even greener.
They also have a dark history, including the Great Famine of the 1800s and the unrest between the country's Catholics and Protestants. I won't go into a history lesson here, as I am admittedly not well-educated on the subject and many issues are still fresh wounds to many people of Ireland.
Below are some of my favourite images of Dublin and Cork and places which we will be visiting. I'll have a Guinness (or two) for you while I'm there!
(As always, any recommendations can be left in the comments below!)