One of our last trips in Europe was to Ireland. We decided to focus our attention on the West side of Ireland, instead of heading to Dublin. When it came down to what we wanted to see, we all agreed the countryside was priority.
We quickly decided that when we traveled in Europe we wanted to see things that were not the norm for a tourist to visit. We wanted to take our time and linger on country roads, with the sudden stop of the vehicle for me to snap a few photos. We wanted to do more than observe the countries we visited, we wanted to experience them.
We decided to truly experience a country we had to...
1. Stay there for longer than a couple days; We needed to live there for at least a week.
2. We had to choose a location to rent a holiday home that was not located on a well worn path. While we rented that house, we would purchase food from local venues, and we would learn the village that we were nearest.
3. We would explore the area by traveling down roads that lead to no particular destination.
4. Most importantly, our days would not be so scheduled out that we could not linger in the morning light drinking our cuppa, or stop at a little something that intrigued us along the way.
In Ireland, we shopped at the local grocery store, and ate at little hole-in-the-wall pubs, we watched wedding parties celebrate their new unions, all while being quiet observers. The people where friendly and cheerful, full of boisterous laughs; the Irish are a colorful bunch.
Ireland was a country of intense color, not only among its people, but also within its landscape. From brilliant greens, to deep sea blues, every turn lead to a new texture and a new vista to consume your entire thought process. At times, it felt overwhelming to try to take in such beauty.
On our last trip in Europe, as we sat at a Bavarian bakery, we reminisced about each place we had visited, and came up with a top 5 list. The order was random because we deiced that at any point each of these five could move to the top; they all were equally spectacular.
Ireland was an easy win for one of the spots. It would be hard not to include an island that holds the place where our Irish dreams came true.