I had the good fortune to spend all summer this year in Ireland. Irish immigration laws allow Americans to stay there for only 90 days. Now that I’m home again, I’m feeling a bit sad about leaving beautiful Ireland. Beginning with this post, I’ll be sharing the characteristics of Ireland that have caused me to fall in love with that small green country.
Ireland is littered with small towns, smaller villages and many wide-spots-in-the-road with very strange names. These places are hundreds of years old and many of them retain some very old buildings and the atmosphere of the 18th and 19th centuries.
Narrow farm roads crisscross the green hills. Often traffic on them is slowed by big blue tractors driving no more than 40 kilometers per hour (about 25 mph). Farming appears to be the main occupation supporting many families – perhaps a majority. Farms spread over the green hills, divided by ancient hedges and stone walls that are relics of centuries past when Ireland was a colony of Great Britain.
The people who live in these towns and villages and farms are gentle souls, always polite and friendly, speaking with the gentle brogue for which Ireland is well-known. In the west of Ireland many people still prefer to speak the gaelic “Irish” language. Signs are bi-lingual everywhere.
Dublin and other Irish cities are fully engaged in the 21st century but in the countryside life seems to be as gentle as a misty Irish morning. And I loved that!
The photo above is of the ten-arch bridge in Inistioge, which gets my vote for “most beautiful Irish village.” Read my earlier post about it here: https://in-my-suitcase.com/2015/11/07/the-loveliest-village-in-ireland/