I always seem to see Dublin one day at a time. On my last visit I landed at breakfast and took off before dinner had fully digested, and this trip is no different. But even with just 24 hours in Dublin, I manage to get a good taste of the city and find a lot of reasons to return.
Rounding the bend on the cliff, I’m surprised to see a shipwreck. The southern coast of County Waterford isn’t the first place I think of when I imagine ruins of giant crane ships, but I suppose they can be anywhere. And the shipwreck is just one of the unexpected things I find during a weekend break in Ardmore, Ireland.
I’m not sure about visiting Blarney Castle. Kissing the Blarney Stone, which according to legend gives the gift of eloquent speech, sounds like a lot of…well…blarney (not to mention germs). But like going to London without catching a glimpse of Big Ben, I can’t visit Ireland’s County Cork without stopping to smooch the ridiculous rock. I have to do it. So I begrudgingly go, but what I find amazes me. Rather than disappoint, Blarney Castle ends up being the highlight of my trip to Ireland. Why? I discover 8 secrets that win me over…
There are a few things I’m embarrassed about. I don’t know my right from my left, for starters. No matter how many times people try to teach me, I still end up giving bad directions. I’m also embarrassed that I’ve lived an hour’s flight from Ireland for almost eight years and I’ve only been there twice in that time. While learning my right from left is pretty much a futile pursuit at this point, traveling to Ireland isn’t. Which is why I’m spending the next 36 hours in Cork.
When it comes to travel, the last places I go are always the closest to home. Give me the option of flying to Australia or visiting Ireland, and I will probably choose the former. Faraway places inevitably sound more exotic, and at some point I find myself having lived in London for seven years without ever traveling to Dublin. Thankfully, that changes today.
My last trip to Belfast was six years ago. I arrived on a train from Dublin, ran through the rain to a cafe, met a friend, then returned to the Republic of Ireland. An hour in total, it wasn’t much of a visit. When I had the opportunity to travel to Belfast again last weekend, I looked forward to getting a proper introduction to the city and a special tour of Belfast’s Titanic sites.
This is the 500th post on A Lady in London. The previous 499 have covered travel destinations all over the world, and, closer to home, locations throughout the UK. I have written numerous posts about my exploits in England, several about my sojourns in Scotland, and a couple about my weekends in Wales. But in the four-and-a-half years I have been living in London, there is one UK destination that I have not covered in this travel blog: Northern Ireland.