The Good Ole Irish, Let’s Visit Ireland

tsantullo May 5, 2015 0
The Good Ole Irish, Let’s Visit Ireland

We are going to start with Northern Ireland  and the “Giant Causeway.”  The Giant’s Causeway is an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, the result of an ancient volcanic eruption.  It is located in County Antrim on the northeast coast of Northern Ireland, about three miles northeast of the town of Bushmills. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986, and a national nature reserve in 1987 by the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland.  The Giant’s Causeway was named as the fourth greatest natural wonder in the United Kingdom in 2005.  

The tops of the columns form stepping stones that lead from the cliff foot and disappear under the sea. Most of the columns are hexagonal.   The tallest are about 39 ft high, and the solidified lava in the cliffs are 92 ft thick in some places.  The National Trust owns and manages most of the Giant’s Causeway and Causeway Coast World Heritage Site, it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Northern Ireland.  The rest of the site is owned by the Crown Estate and some private landowners.

Giant Causeway Octagonal basalt stone by eschu1952 at freeimages 1079267_66359095

Image courtesy of eschu1952 at


Railway access the Belfast-Derry railway line run by Northern Ireland Railways connects to Coleraine and along the Coleraine-Portrush branch line to Portrush. Local Ulsterbus provide connections to the railway stations. There is a scenic walk of 7 miles from Portrush alongside Dunluce Castle and the Giant’s Causeway and Bushmills Railway.

The site first became popular with tourists during the nineteenth century, particularly after the opening of the Giant’s Causeway Tramway, and only after the National Trust took over in the 1960s were some of the remains of commercialism removed. Visitors can walk over the basalt columns which are at the edge of the sea, it is 1/2 mile walk from the entrance to the site.

“The Ring of Kerry”  is a natural wonder and you can get there by bus or car, you can also do the nature walk into the Gap of Dunloe, it is a popular day trip with numerous bus companies during the summer months. The roads are narrow and make it difficult for tour coaches to pass, all tour buses run in a counter-clockwise direction, traveling Via Killorglin first. It is recommended that cars travel in the opposite direction, going first to Kenmare to avoid delays caused by tour buses. Others advise traveling counter-clockwise to avoid having to pass the buses.

Ring of Kerry Ireland by eschu1952 at freeimage     1094793_86554367

Image courtesy of eschu1952 at

The image is the Gap of Dunloe

There is also an established walking path named The Kerry Way, which takes its own route, and a signposted Ring of Kerry cycling path which uses older quieter roads where possible. The Kerry Way  follows the scenic driving route of the Ring of Kerry.
There are various routes St. Finian’s Bay and Valentia Island, which the driving ring misses, the  cycling route takes in Valentia Island.  It also takes in some great beaches, it has the Gap of Dunloe, Bog Village, Derrynane House, the Skellig Experience Valentia Island, Molls Gap, Torc Waterfall, Muckross House and Ross Castle.

Dublin is the capital and largest city of Ireland.  Dublin is in the province of Leinster on Ireland’s east coast, at the mouth of the River Liffey.  Founded as a Viking settlement, the Kingdom of Dublin became Ireland’s principal city following the Norman invasion. The city expanded and in the 17th century was the second largest city in the British Empire before the Act of Union in 1800. Following the partition of Ireland in 1922, Dublin became the capital of the Irish Free State, later renamed Ireland.  The city is listed by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network (GaWC) as a global city, with a ranking of “Alpha-“, making it among the top thirty cities in the world.  It is a historical and contemporary center for education, the arts, administration, economy and industry.

Dublin House 4 by porah at freeimages    841458_93988571

Image courtesy of porah at

This image is of Dublin House shopping area

Dublin Old Mansion in suburban village by eschu at freeimages     943500_34150409

Image courtesy of eschu1952 at

Here we have a Dublin Old Mansion in a suburban village

Dublin Whiskey Factory 3 by porah at freeimages     833014_26280677

Image courtesy of porah at

The Dublin Whiskey Factory

Dublins Irelands Eye by cancsajn at freeimages   654602_66131571

Image courtesy of cancsajn at

Ireland’s Eye beside Howth Dublin

Irish home by giuseppe at freeimages   508345_79534929

Image courtesy of giuseppe at

This is your typical Irish home with a red door

Galway is known as Ireland’s Cultural Heart and for its vibrant lifestyle and numerous festivals, celebrations and events.  Every November, Galway hosts the Tulca Festival of Visual Arts and other festivals.
“December 1, 2014, the Director General of UNESCO announced the official designation of Galway as a UNESCO City of Film.”
“In 2004, there were three dance organizations, ten festival companies, two film organizations, two Irish language organizations, 23 musical organizations, twelve theater companies, two visual arts groups, and four writers’ groups based in the city.”   You’ll find that Galway city is a major center for traditional Irish music.

“In 2007, Galway was named as one of the eight “sexiest cities” in the world.   A 2008 poll ranked Galway as the 42nd best tourist destination in the world, or 14th in Europe and 2nd in Ireland, behind Dingle.  It was ranked ahead of all European capitals except Edinburgh, and many traditional tourist destinations, such as Venice.   The New Zealand Herald listed Galway as one of ‘five great cities to visit in 2014′. The others were Istanbul, New Orleans, Dubai and Cabo, Mexico.”

Galway City is referred to as the ‘Bilingual Capital of Ireland’ they speak Irish but they also speak English.  The city is well known for its “Irishness”,  Galway holds the archive of spoken material for the Celtic languages.



Cork is a city in Ireland. It is located in the South-West Region province of Munster.  It is the second largest city in the state and the third most populous on the island of Ireland.  In 2005, it was selected as the European Capital of Culture.  Cork Metropolitan is The Greater Cork area.  The word Cork means marsh.

The city is built on the River Lee which divides into two channels at the western end of the city. The city center is located on the island created by the channels.  The eastern end of the city center where the channels re-converge, quays and docks along the river banks lead to Lough Mahon and Cork Harbour, which is one of the world’s largest natural harbors.

The climate of Cork, like the rest of Ireland, is mild and changeable with abundant rainfall and a lack of temperature extremes.

“The Cork School of Music and the Crawford College of Art and Design Cork is home to the RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet, and to many musical acts.

Cork has been gaining cultural diversity for many years as a result of immigration, from Western Europe, particularly France and Spain, in the mid to late nineties, and more recently from Eastern European countries such as Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Slovakia, Hungary, etc. and some from various African and Asian nations.  It is now grown into a multi-cultural area with restaurants and shops, including specialist shops for East-European or Middle-Eastern food, Chinese and Thai restaurants, French patisseries, Indian buffets, and Middle Eastern kebab houses.  Cork had significant Jewish immigration from Lithuania and Russia in the late 19th century.  Jewish citizens such as Gerald Goldberg,several times Lord Mayor, David Marcus (novelist) and Louis Marcus,documentary maker, played important roles in 20th century Cork.  Today, the Jewish community is a small population, but the city still has a Jewish quarter and synagogue.  Cork also has various Christian churches, and a mosque. Some Catholic masses around the city are said in Polish, Filipino, Lithuanian, Romanian and other languages, in addition to the traditional Latin and local Irish and English language services.

There is a rivalry between Cork and Dublin, similar to the rivalry between London and Manchester, Sydney and Melbourne or Madrid and Barcelona.  Some Corkonians view themselves as different from the rest of Ireland, and refer to themselves as “The Rebels”; the county is known as the Rebel County.

The Cork accent, part of the Southwest dialect of Hiberno-English, displays various features which set it apart from other accents in Ireland.  Patterns of tone and intonation often rise and fall, with the overall tone tending to be more high-pitched than other Irish accents.  English spoken in Cork has a number of dialect words that are peculiar to the city and environs.  Like standard Hiberno-English, some of these words originate from the Irish language, but others through other languages Cork’s inhabitants encountered at home and abroad.  The Cork accent displays varying degrees of rhoticity, usually depending on the social-class of the speaker.

Cork Ireland by jxr006 at freeimages   176176_4781

Image courtesy of jxroo6 at

This image is Cork Ireland

Belfast in Irish means “mouth of the sandbanks”  it is the capital and largest city of Northern Ireland. Most of Belfast, including the city center, is in County Antrim, but parts of East and South Belfast are in County Down.  It is on the flood plain of the River Lagan.

By population, Belfast is the 17th largest city in the United Kingdom and the second largest on the island of Ireland.  It is the seat of the devolved government and legislative Northern Ireland Assembly.  the city of Belfast lies at the heart of the Belfast Urban area, known as the Belfast Metropolitan Area.  
“Belfast has been a center for the Irish linen industry, nickname “Linenopolis”, tobacco production, rope-making and shipbuilding: the city’s main shipbuilders, Harland and Wolff, which built the well-known RMS Titanic, propelled Belfast on to the global stage in the early 20th century as the biggest and most productive shipyard in the world.  Belfast played a key role in the Industrial Revolution, establishing its place as a global industrial center until the latter half of the 20th century.”

“Belfast remains a center for industry, as well as the arts, higher education, business, and law, and is the economic engine of Northern Ireland.  Belfast has two airports: George Best Belfast City Airport in the city, and Belfast International Airport.   Belfast is a major port, with commercial and industrial docks dominating the Belfast Lough shoreline, including the famous Harland and Wolff shipyard. Belfast is a constituent city of the Dublin-Belfast corridor, which has a population of three million, or half the total population of the island of Ireland. Belfast is listed by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network (GaWC) as a global city, with a ranking of ‘Gamma’.

Belfast Ireland by eschu at freeimages   1079691_38179614

Image courtesy of eschu1952 at

This image is of City Hall with mirrors in the shop windows in Belfast.

Derry is officially Londonderry , is the second-largest city in Northern Ireland and the fourth-largest city on the island of Ireland.
The old walled city lies on the west bank of the River Foyle, which is spanned by two road bridges and one footbridge. The city now covers both banks, Cityside on the west and Waterside on the east.  The city district also extends to rural areas to the southeast.  The district is administered by Derry City Council and contains both Londonderry Port and City of Derry Airport.
The name “Derry” is preferred by nationalists and is used throughout Northern Ireland’s Catholic community,  as well as that of the Republic of Ireland, whereas many unionists prefer “Londonderry”, Derry is used by most Protestant residents.  “Local government decided, the city should be known as Londonderry in official use within the UK. In the Republic of Ireland.”

Derry Ireland by eschu at freeimages   1084223_88276660

Image courtesy of eschu1952 at

This photo is seen from the hills above the city as seen towards the old city Derry, Northern Ireland.


Featured introduction image on top courtesy of eschu1952 at

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