As you probably have guessed, my favorite part of Ireland is the southeastern corner. This area is called the “Sunny Southeast.” The weather is a bit better here than in other parts of Ireland. The hills are the amazing green that Ireland is famous for. This is where the gardens are most plentiful, where Irish history is about Vikings and monks, where castles and round towers pop up everywhere. (The picture above shows the Hook lighthouse which has been standing tall and warning sailors for 800 years.)
The Irish Tourist Board has begun to promote the eastern side of Ireland with a new marketing campaign entitled “Ireland’s Ancient East.” They’ve created an excellent website that begins with a video and extends through a number presentations featuring important periods of Irish history. I think anyone would enjoy this site but particularly for those planning to travel to Ireland, this is a not-to-be-missed opportunity for learning about this country before you arrive. Click here to when you have some time to explore historic Ireland: http://www.irelandsancienteast.com/
There’s something special about islands. Something about being cut off from the world appeals to me, at least briefly. Often the landscape is both wild and beautiful. The coast of Maine is famous for its fir-covered islands. Caribbean beaches and relaxed way of life appeal to many people. Every island seems to charm its visitors.
This weekend’s New York Times Travel section features island destinations including several in the United States. Click here for a good introductory article to American islands and then explore the Travel section for stories about islands in other places. (You can read up to ten articles a month on the Times website for free: NYTimes.com.)