Where’s the Craic?

Ireland is a beautiful place! I can say that first hand now. I just returned from a week long vacation to this gorgeous land (hence the delay in my posting…). My friends and I booked a guided tour across Ireland through Go Ahead Tours – use this link to get $100 off your first booked trip! – and I really enjoyed it.

Go Ahead Tours takes away all of the stress of planning a big trip whether it’s domestic or international. Each trip includes lodging, 1-2 meals a day, transportation from each destination and to and from the airport, as well as booking your flight and accommodating for any delays you might encounter. You spend the trip with your other vacationers and a guide. Our guide was very informative and approachable. He made our trip enjoyable even while learning about some of the darker times in Ireland’s history. I highly recommend using this group for your next trip!

Even though I only spent a week in Ireland, I feel as though I understand the culture much more than I did before. I was able to see some of the most popular tourist spots such as the Blarney Castle – and kiss the blarney stone – as well as the Cliffs of Moher and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. I also went to some areas better known by locals such as Kinsale and Glendalough. Kinsale is a quaint fishing village. Glendalough – which means Valley of the Two Lakes – is a serene mountain village with an ancient monastic site to visit. Both places had a magical feel to them – or maybe that’s just the tourist side talking!

I brought home plenty of souvenirs. I bought a traditional Irish wool sweater that is softer than I imagined. The tricky part  will be figuring out the proper way to wash wool. Any suggestions?? I also bought a traditional Claddagh Ring. This ring has three parts. The band forms two hands to symbolize friendship. Between the hands is a heart or heart-shaped gem to symbolize love. Above both sits a crown to symbolize loyalty. Nowadays, the ring can also indicate romantic status. If the ring is worn with the heart facing away from the body, the wearer is generally single or has an “open heart”. If the ring is worn with the heart facing towards the body, the wearer is generally in a serious relationship or has “had their heart captured”. Lastly I bought a beautiful Shamrock necklace inlaid with traditional Irish green marble bought directly from the marble mining company. I bought my mom a matching one.

It was plenty of craic! Craic is the common term used in Ireland for fun. They also have a common beer named the Hooker. So on an average night anyone can go out for as much craic and hookers they want! I must admit though, this all sounds way better with an Irish accent!

P.S. The Irish celebrate St. Patrick’s Day just as much as we do – green attire and all!

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